Vegetarian traditions are found in cultures around the world, with India being the most prominent. As a young man, I journeyed there four times and experienced the marvelous cuisine first-hand in homes, temples restaurants and street cafes. I learned the value of treating every meal and each morsel with respect and appreciation. I also discovered a rich heritage of compassion toward fellow humans and animals.
The art of Indian spicing is legendary. My kitchen arsenal for preparing sub-continent cuisine contains a number of masala dabars * and other vessels to hold over forty spices. In addition, there are grinders, mortar & pestles, grinding stones and tawas* for roasting the various masalas*; however, there are many simple dishes from India which do not require elaborate combinations of spices, hard-to-find ingredients and equipment. Simple, fresh and sattvic*, Indian food can be a delightful and exciting addition to any home cook’s repertoire.
Alu methi tikki is one of the flavorful, yet easy-to-prepare, dishes from the Gujarat region of India. The recipe calls for fresh fenugreek, one of India’s wonder spices and well known for substantial health benefits; the fenugreek leaves impart a rich flavor into whatever dish they are used in. This vegetarian traditional recipe adds depth to any repertoire.
Alu Methi Tikki
(Indian Potato-fenugreek cakes)
Makes 10 cakes
1 1/2 cups creamy new potatoes, chopped and steamed until tender
1 cup packed fresh fenugreek sprouts or leaves, chopped if leaves
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup garbanzo flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil
Mash all ingredients together, except coconut oil, and work into a dough. Form into 12 patties. In a griddle or saute pan on medium heat, add a small amount of oil. Place several patties onto griddle. Turn when golden brown and cook until second side is golden. Use remaining oil as needed. Keep warm. Serve hot with lemon or your favorite chutney.
*Masala dabar is a covered round metal container, most often made of stainless steel, which usually has six little vessels inside for holding spices and an inside cover tray to keep the spices from spilling
*Tawas is a flat iron skillet used for toasting spices or making flat breads like chapatis
*Masala is a mixture of spices, powdered, whole or toasted and freshly ground, which is used as a flavor base for Indian dishes.
*Sattvic means goodness. According to Ayurveda principles, every food item falls under the influence of a mode, or combination of modes of nature. There are three modes: Goodness, Passion and Ignorance (Sattvic, Rajarsic and Tamasic). For optimum health, they advise eating sattvic foods as much as possible. Sattvic foods are often defined as fresh, juicy, balanced in taste and energizing.
This looks so good! I have some dried fenugreek, not sure if it’s the seed part, I may try to sprout it.
I was at the North Park Farmers Market Thursday and sampled popcorn sprouts, that was a fun first! Great Video
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Paige is passionate about humanitarian causes and empowering people from around the globe. She has worked with local refugee/immigrant and low-income populations and served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego chapter of the United Nations Association. Another longtime interest of hers is promoting a healthy lifestyle and diet. She volunteered with EarthSave International and other health- and environmentally-conscious organizations, and founded a chapter of the Vegetarian Society of Colorado.
Having traveled extensively in South and Central America as well as Mexico, Paige speaks Spanish fluently. She has also ventured through East Africa and Europe, and hopes to motivate people to explore new foods and cultures. Taking photos and art bring her inspiration.
Paige received a B.A. in English: Creative Writing, and her work has appeared in Vision Magazine, VegNews, VegDining.com, and other publications, including some in Spanish. She recently received a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of San Diego.