Every cuisine offers exciting vegetarian / vegan options. I love experimenting with different spices and flavours to create my own version of classics from around the world. I served these vegan koftas with flat breads, shredded cabbage with some chopped fresh coriander leaves mixed in and harissa yoghurt.
To make harissa yoghurt, add a tablespoon of harissa to a cup of yoghurt. Squeeze a tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix in a few good pinches of salt and sugar. Mix and serve as sauce for flat breads.
100g dried chick peas, washed and soaked in water overnight
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
75g onions, sliced thinly
2-3 green chillies, chopped
Generous handful coriander stalks and leaves, chopped
1 generous teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1 slice stale white bread
Vegetable oil to fry
Using a couple of teaspoons of oil, fry the sliced onions until lightly brown. Discard the soaking liquid for the chick peas, rinse in fresh water and let the water completely drain. I use a sieve just to be sure. Place the chick peas, garlic, chillies, coriander stalks and leaves and salt in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times. Remove jar, mix in the onions and cumin seeds and pulse again a couple of times. The mixture will be coarse but will hold shape together if you press in your hands. Remove contents to a bowl.
Soak the slice of bread in a small bowl of water. Remove, squeeze out all the water and add the wet crumbs to the chick peas and mix to combine. Cover and rest for half an hour.
Shape the chick pea mix into 10 koftas of about 7 centimetres in length and one and a half centimetres at the widest point. Pour oil to cover surface of a small, shallow fry pan. Cook the koftas a few at a time for 2-3 minutes on each side until evenly brown and fried. Serve hot with flat bread, salad and harissa yoghurt. Makes 10 koftas.
300g plain flour
1 tablespoon rice flour plus more for dusting
125ml plain natural yoghurt
Pinch of baking soda
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
60ml hot water
2 teaspoons ghee or melted butter
Oil to fry the flat bread
Whisk the yoghurt with the hot water and set aside. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre and add a teaspoon of ghee or melted butter. Slowly incorporate the flour into the well and add the yoghurt little at a time. Once all the liquid has been used up, add the rice flour and knead until smooth for five minutes.
Grease your hands with the remaining teaspoon of ghee or melted butter and rub it on the dough ball. Cover and allow to rest in a cool place (away from draught) for a couple of hours.
When ready to roll, divide the dough into six equal portions. Use a rolling pin and roll out the dough (one portion at a time) into circles of about 16-18 centimetres in diameter. You can dust with rice flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling surface. Heat a flat pancake pan on medium heat and once hot, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Gently put the rolled out flat bread onto the pan. Cook on each side for a couple of minutes until little brown spots appear. Makes 6 slightly thick or 8 thinnish flat breads and you can scale up the recipe.