Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lima beans with parsley and sorrel, fried potato cake, and carrot halwa

The lima beans were based on a recipe of Deborah Madison's in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (I overcooked mine a little bit so they're less bright than they might have been). The potato cakes are super-easy, especially if you have one of these:

Potato cakes (makes one large cake)

2 medium sized white potatoes (any kind)
1 egg-sized piece of sweet potato
1 tbsp flour
3 tbsp canola oil

Julienne, grate, or shred the potatoes, and mix them together with the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Heat the oil in a large skillet (preferably non-stick or well seasoned cast iron) and when it is hot, pour in the potato mixture. Flatten the potatoes with a spatula to make a compact pancake, cover, and cook on medium heat for ten to fifteen minutes, until the bottom of the cake is brown.

Slide the potato cake out of the pan and onto a plate. Place another plate on top and quickly flip the cake. Slide it back into the pan for another five minutes or so of cooking, uncovered this time so it will crisp up.

Carrot halwa
(based on a recipe for zucchini halwa in Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking, but you can also see it made on YouTube at Manjula's Kitchen)

1 lb carrots (five or so large carrots)
5 cardamom pods
2 c soy milk
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp pistachios (I used cashews) finely chopped

Grate the carrots very finely, and place in a heavy saucepan with the cardamom pods and soy milk. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium and cook until you can no longer see liquid at the bottom of the pot, about half an hour.

Add the sugar and oil and cook for ten minutes more. The mixture will be like bright orange mashed potatoes. Add the raisins and pistachios and cook another minute. Turn out into a bowl to cool. Serve room temperature or chilled (my strong preference is for chilled).

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