Ramadan Recipe Series part 2 – Veggie Spinach kebabs a.k.a. Hara Bhara kebabs
After some sinful fried food last week, that I am proud to say motivated a fellow blogger, Kulsum of Journey Kitchen to make these, this week’s Ramadan recipe is vegetarian, not deep-fried, and very heart healthy. Hara Bhara Kebabs are the Hindi name for these yummy fast-breaking morsels of deliciousness, and the name literally means – Green Kebabs.
You can’t go wrong with spinach and cilantro, mashed with a few potatoes, seasoned with the subtle flavors of cumin and curry leaves, molded into kebabs and then toasted in minimal oil. I made these Veggie Spinach kebabs when my sister recently invited me for a Ramadan iftaar party. As we were meeting each other and few other close friends after a long time, we decided to make it a full-on Bohra (the Muslim sub-community I am part of) style dinner. Our friend got the thaal (an elevated plate that 7-8 people sit around and eat from), I made the kebabs and my generous sister made the main course that included an assortment of sumptuous dishes that brought back memories of eating in the thaal with our families back home.
What I really like about this dish is its simplicity. Ramadan is a time of abstinence, like an extreme version of lent, and spending hours over a complicated dish for fast-breaking is the last thing one needs.
I have a question for you though – what is a good substitute for an egg-wash to make the kebabs truly vegetarian? Thanks in advance for your help!
To make about 15-17 kebabs, you will need:
- 5-6 medium sized yellow potatoes, boiled till soft and peeled
- 1 large bunch of spinach – around 1lb – blanched and finely chopped or purée-d
- A handful of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 thai green chili, minced. Use more if you like a kick to your kebabs
- 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp cumin seeds and 2 curry leaves
- 2 eggs well beaten
- Seasoned or plain bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil for toasting
- In a large bowl, place all the ingredients except for the oil, cumin seeds and curry leaves
- In a small plan, heat the oil and when well heated, put in the cumin seeds and curry leaves. Wait till they pop, turn off heat and add to the mixture in the bowl
- Mash everything together really well
- Make into small round patties around 2 inches in diameter
- Coat each kebab in the egg wash, then cover in bread crumbs. I like to use the seasoned variety. Keep the ready kebabs in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour
- When it is iftaar time, in a frying pan, heat about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil till hot. Place a few kebabs and toast on each side till golden – brown. This should not take more than 3 minutes on each side, on medium – high heat
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. The flavors in these kebabs go with a mango mint chutney, to plain yogurt, to a fancy Chipotle honey sauce
Go make this!