I once battled meal worms and moths in my kitchen for well over a year. In the end I threw away many grocery bags full of food, much as I hated to do so. My cupboards, from that point on, became storage receptacles for storage receptacles. Tupperware style containers were the solution, and any remaining foods with eggs were contained in airtight plastic, making it easy for me to eliminate any further pests without them contaminating more food stuffs.
The point I'm getting at is I have a lot of plastic tubs. A whole lot. So many, in fact, that there's just not room for me to buy new stuff. This means when a variety of grain or pulse is running low, I try to use it up in order to make space for another that is waiting for its new sealed home. I discovered the chana dal in the way back of the stack, and decided it was time to make space for some Israeli couscous, so this recipe was hence born. So as promised, here's a recipe for chana dal cutlets!
Chana Dal Cutlets with Yoghurt and Garlic Masala Pickle
This is a re-worked version of a simple old recipe that needed some touch ups. These cutlets can also be made into burgers and are delicious eaten with a squeeze of lemon juice, plus a dollop or seven of vegan yoghurt and some garlic pickle. Don’t forget the onion – it’s only a small addition, but makes a difference. If you want to make these into a burger, a little mango chutney on the bun won’t go amiss!
- 100 grams (½ cup) chana dal, soaked for a few hours
- 60 grams (⅔ cup) fine dried okara
- 250 grams (2 cups) vital wheat gluten
- 30 grams (¼ cup) chickpea (gram) flour
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida
- 1 ¾ teaspoons table salt
- 475 millilitres (2 cups) very cold water
- Plenty of vegetable oil, for frying
- Unsweetened vegan yoghurt
- Garlic masala pickle
- Freshly sliced red onion and lemon
- Fresh coriander (optional)
- Strain and rinse soaked chana dal and simmer for about 12 minutes, or until tender (but not mushy). Strain away excess water and leave to cool.
- Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then stir in the cold water. Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to spring back into itself when you make a dent with your fist.
- Divide the dough into 6 pieces and firmly press into approximate 5 inch rounds (¼-½ inch thickness). Some bits of the dough may fall apart, but don’t worry too much about losing the odd dal.
- Heat a skillet to a medium heat and add a glug of oil. Cook each cutlet for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until slightly browned. Add more oil as necessary.
- Serve hot or cold with freshly squeezed lemon juice, yoghurt, garlic pickle, and sliced red onion.
- Author: Kip Dorrell
- Makes: 6-7
- Cuisine: Indian Fusion