Om Patiala Cakes

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Ingredients

Shells

  • 3 medium potatoes (1 pound), boiled, peeled, and mashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 5 to 6 slices white bread
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Filling

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 to 7 fresh Thai, cayenne, or serrano chilies, finely chopped
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Instructions

  1. Shells: In large bowl combine potatoes, salt, and turmeric.
  2. Briefly moisten bread slices under running water. Squeeze slices between palms of hands to remove excess water; add to potatoes. Knead potato mixture well to form soft, smooth dough not unlike bread dough. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil; knead for additional 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Break up dough into 12 equal portions; shape each portion into a round. Cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth or plastic wrap.
  4. Filling: In small bowl mix well all ingredients for filling; divide into 12 equal portions.
  5. For assembling and frying kebabs: Grease palms of hands with a little oil. Remove a potato round. Press it between palms of hands to form a patty roughly 1/4-inch thick and 3-inches in diameter. Place 1 portion of filling in center. Gather up corners of potato shell and bring towards center to cover filling. Pinch gathered edges together to seal shut. Gently shape into 1/2-inch thick patty roughly 2-inches in diameter. Repeat with remaining potato rounds and filling.
  6. In wok or 3-quart saucepan heat vegetable oil (about 2 to 3-inches deep) on medium heat until thermometer inserted in oil registers 350 degrees F.
  7. Gently slide 6 patties into hot oil and fry 4 to 6 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden brown and crispy. Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining patties.

Makes 12.

Sidebar: In India, kebabs are variously shaped bite-size pieces of meats, fish, or vegetables that are either grilled, deep-fried, or cooked in a griddle. In the western world they are always considered chunks of meat or vegetables that are skewered and grilled.

This is a great "do-ahead" dish that can be re-heated in an oven before service. The crispy potato shells regain their crunchy exterior when re-warmed in a 300 degree F preheated oven. Due to this fact alone, they lend themselves well to their freezer home for up to a month. To thaw place in a cookie sheet, still frozen, and re-heat in 300 degree F preheated oven, 20 minutes or until warm in the center.

If you are averse to deep-frying, these kebabs can be pan fried in a skillet. Follow the same steps for assembling them. Heat non-stick skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat; arrange as many kebabs as possible in a single layer without over-crowding. Cook underside 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Flip kebabs and cook other side 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining kebabs.

Source: Om Restaurant, Minneapolis, Minnesota