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Monday, June 20, 2011

PERSIAN-STYLE VEGAN POTATO PANCAKES

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The other day I got carried away revising some writing and didn't eat my usual breakfast (oatmeal with apples).  Come 11:30 I was starving!  But I didn't feel like having oatmeal at that point and there weren't any leftovers in the fridge (DH took them to work).  I remembered a type of potato patty that I had seen quite a while before and had placed on my mental list  to try veganizing-- I thought that this might be a good time to try it for "brunch".

In Arabic and Persian cuisines there is a type of thick baked omelet or fritatta that can utilize almost any vegetable (but always contains some green herbs).  It can be eaten hot or cold and is often used as a picnic food.  In Arabic it is called "eggah" ( عجة ʻaggah or ʻajjah) and in Perisan it is called "kuku" (کوکو).  According to food historian Alan Davidson, these are most probably the origin of Italian fritattas and Spanish tortillas (not the Mexican corn variety). 

Sometimes the mixture is made into small "pancakes" or "patties" and is shallow-fried in oil or clarified butter instead of baked.  This is the type of thing I wanted to try, but, of course, egg-free and made with only a little oil.  I also wanted to make the potato variety because it sounded nicely substantial and I thought the potato would help hold things together. (It can be made with eggplant, parsley and green onions, leeks, broad beans, spinach and other greens, cauliflower, squash...)  I decided to try a mixture of mashed tofu and chickpea flour instead of the egg.

My first effort actually worked! (Good thing, because I was really hungry by then!)  It was super simple to make and very tasty—open to alot of variation, too, so I will be playing with it further. I think the potato did help, but you could probably use less if it was baked—something for further experimentation.

I wasn’t sure what to serve with it, but rice sounded like a good idea and I did have some leftover brown basmati in the fridge. I read that yogurt and green herbs are usually served with these omelets, so I mixed up some plain Nancy’s soy yogurt with some of my homemade vegan low-fat mayonnaise (commercial soy yogurt is a bit sweet, so I wanted to add something more acidic) and mixed herbs. Unorthodox, perhaps, but tasty.  (I also tried it with some Peruvian Huacatay Sauce and that was good, too. (Homemade recipe here.)

The following recipe uses curry powder—not something you generally find in Persian cooking—which evidently is used in the potato pancakes made in the ancient city of Elam in southwestern Iran, according to the book Silk Road Cooking.


Printable Recipe


BRYANNA’S PERSIAN-STYLE VEGAN POTATO PATTIES (Kuku Sib-Zamini)
GF
Makes 9 pancakes

2 large russet potatoes (1 lb. total)
8 ounces medium-firm tofu, drained and mashed
1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil for frying

Peel the potatoes cut them in half.  Steam them until they are just barely done (still a bit firm).  (Alternatively, you can microwave-steam the potatoes in a covered Pyrex casserole for 4 to 5 minutes, or are just barely done but still a bit firm.)  Cool the potatoes in the freezer while you gather the other ingredients, mash the tofu, etc..


Grate the cooled-down potatoes on a box grater into the mashed tofu in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide into 9 equal portions and form into patties.



Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a medium to large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook half of the patties for about 3 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown on each side, handling gently.  Repeat with the other 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and the rest of the patties.  Serve hot. 

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1 patty): 110.6 calories; 23% calories from fat; 3.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 217.8mg sodium; 414.5mg potassium; 17.5g carbohydrates; 1.6g fiber; 0.9g sugar; 15.8g net carbs; 4.5g protein; 2.1 points.

Enjoy!

8 comments:

Scott Carlson said...

Might okara work as a substitute for the tofu in this recipe?

Brenda W. said...

Wow, Bryanna ---- the thought that you can create a recipe WHILE hungry is amazing!! You truly do have a gift!!

These sound great .... all I'm lacking in my pantry is some potatoes ... will get them tomorrow and give these a try!

Thanks for another great meal idea!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Scott, I can't be sure, but if you try it, make sure it is well-squeezed. If the mixture doesn't hold together well, maybe try a bit more chickpea flour.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Brenda-- but I did have this in mind for a while! Let me know what you think!

Brenda W. said...

Oh yum!! Take a look:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nc_hiker/5857512264/
Wonderful flavor, and so easy to mix up. Made for a great lunch!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Wow-- you are fast, Brenda! Great photo! So glad you enjoyed them. I wonder if they would work with instant mashed potato flakes for folks REALLY in a hurry? Hmmmmm...

AikoVenus said...

Oh my do those look delicious. I think that I need to delve into some Persian food a bit more now.

Anonymous said...

These look fantastic!!