Two distinct traditional Indian dishes are combined into an innovated bite-sized delicacy.
By Shuchi Mittal
Don’t the simplest combinations result in exploding mouthfuls?
Vegetable fritters are a common rainy day snack in almost every Indian household. I make mine slightly differently (read – shortcut style), but it doesn’t compromise the flavor whatsoever. Masala chicken mince (or chicken keema) on the other hand, is a north Indian style curry dish, less common but equally loved, and usually eaten with rice or Indian flatbread. The combination of the two – unheard of.
But that is where I come in. In the 29. kitchen, I am all about combining different flavors and creating bite sized delicacies from standard Indian flavors. More challenging, the better. I presented this dish to a tasting party and it worked miraculously! Better than I expected in fact. The crisp warm fritter and cool yogurt on top touches your palate first, and is only complimented with a burst of spices underneath. All in all, a bite totally worth repeating!
- For the Masala Chicken
- ½ pound minced chicken (or turkey, pork, beef, mutton)
- ½ cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1 green chili, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- ⅓ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves, crushed
- 1 green cardamom, crushed
- 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
- ½ red onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- ¼ cup olive oil
- For the Fritters
- ½ cup red pepper, grated
- ½ cup red onion, grated
- ½ cup baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons gram flour
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon dry mango powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Oil to shallow fry
- Heat oil in a non stick pan.
- Add the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves and cook on medium flame till the spices become fragrant (approx 1 minutes).
- Add the onions, garlic, green chilies and ginger and continue to cook till the onions turn translucent.
- At this stage, add the tomatoes along with all the dry spices.
- Cover and cook till the tomatoes are soft and fully cooked and the oil begins to separate.
- Now add the chicken mince, peas and ½ cup water. Cover and cook till the chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove cover and continue to sauté on high flame till all excess liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Make a batter from all the ingredients for the fritters. If its too dry, add a few teaspoons of water, but the water in the vegetables should be enough to make a thick sticky batter (one that can be shaped and is not flowy).
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan.
- Divide the batter into small coin sized rounds, and cook each till its crisp and brown on either side.
- Alternatively you can also cook the entire batter as a pancake and later cut it into smaller pieces.
- Add a teaspoon of the chicken mince on an appetizer spoon.
- Top with a warm fritter, some yogurt and fresh coriander and serve fresh.
Shuchi cooks with the heart of a poet. Banker turned chef, she runs the 29. Private Kitchen in NYC focusing on social tasting events, dining experiences and small-scale private events. Using simple & wholesome ingredients, she likes to re-invent homemade Indian flavors into modern tapas & small plates. Her dream? To cook, feed, write, and eventually open her own communal dining cafe - with a published recipe book on the stands.