Aloo chop

Stuffed potato dumplings

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes about

    30

Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

I first discovered these seriously tasty vegetarian dumplings in Madras (now known as Chennai), when I was scared to eat anything containing meat through fear of food poisoning! Bright red inside, they look fantastic, and are adaptable to a range of meals. I serve these on one of my most popular curries, which happens to be a fish curry.

Preparation 1 hour
Cooking 45 minutes + 3–5 minutes per batch

Ingredients

  • 300 g (10½ oz) beetroot (beet)
  • rock salt, for spreading
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) good boiling potatoes, such as russet or sebago, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 300 g (10½ oz) sweet potato, peeled
  • 300 g (10½ oz) frozen peas (or fresh peas, if they are young and not too tough)
  • 150 g ( oz) cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 125 g ( oz/ cup) raisins
  • 3 Indian green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Garam masala
  • Tomato chilli jam, to serve
  • chopped lettuce, to serve

For Crumbing

  • 150 g ( oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 240 g ( oz/4 cups) panko breadcrumbs or fresh sourdough crumbs
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Bake the beetroot on a bed of rock salt for 30–40 minutes, or until cooked through; the rock salt concentrates the heat from the oven and allows the beetroot to ‘dry’ cook, so it won’t make your dumplings too wet. Allow to cool, then remove the skin.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Cook the potato and sweet potato for about 15–20 minutes, or until just cooked when tested with a skewer, but not falling apart. Remove using a slotted spoon and place in a covered bowl to sit and dry out.

Blanch the peas in the same water for about 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Blanch the cauliflower for about 4 minutes, then remove. Drain all the vegetables thoroughly, then place in a large bowl. Add the beetroot and mash them all together using a large fork or potato masher; do not use a blender, or the potatoes will become starchy and mess up your mixture. Set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until browned, stirring often. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or two, until they just take on some colour. Stir in the turmeric and chilli powder and continue to cook for a few minutes.

Add the mashed vegetables and mix thoroughly. Stir in the raisins, green chilli and garam masala. Season to taste, then shape into balls the size of golf balls.

To prepare for crumbing, combine the flour, milk and eggs in a large bowl and mix into a smooth batter. Spread the breadcrumbs in a wide shallow bowl.

Dip the dumplings into the batter, then roll them in the crumbs, making sure they stick well. (You can chill them at this point, if making ahead; leave at room temperature for 15 minutes before cooking them, or they’ll be cold in the middle.)

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns brown in 15 seconds. Working in batches, fry the dumplings for 3–5 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel and keep warm while cooking the remaining dumplings.

Serve hot, with the tomato chilli jam, on chopped lettuce.