With festival season round the corner, am sure everyone is gearing up for the same. And food, of course, is a very important part of any festivity. The recipe for this Bengali Veg Chops was shared by my neighbour and she actually called me over to see how it is made as well. So this is completely her recipe without any changes made by me. When I tried it at her place and when I made it at home for my family, I found the balance of flavours just perfect. The only thing that you may want to change is to not add the entire quantity of the spice mix as that does make it a little spicier for some.
Oh, did I tell you that we love having these with some tomato ketchup or mint chutney??
Few things to keep in mind
- Vegetables: When my neighbor made these veg chops, she had boiled the carrot and beetroot and then grated it before using for the recipe. She mentioned to me that it is usually just grated and used directly and then cooked well while making the veg chop mix. So I have used the direct method of grating and using and skipped the boiling of vegetables first..
- Spice Mix: If you do not prefer the veg chops to be spicy, you need not use the entire ground spice mix that we prepare for this recipe. You can use as much as you feel is necessary and reserve the rest for another time. Since we add the spice mix towards the end, you can adjust it as per your taste preference.
For the Dry Masala
- Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Fennel Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Cloves – 3
- Green Cardamom – 2 small
- Cinnamon – 1/4 inch stick
- Peppercorn – 5
- Dry Red Chillies – 1-2
- Bay Leaf – 1 small
For the Veg Chops
- Cooking Oil
- Peanuts – 1-2 tsp
- Ginger – ½ tsp, grated
- Green Chilli – 1, finely chopped
- Beetroot – 1, medium size, grated
- Carrot – 1, medium size, grated
- Potato – 1, medium size, boiled, peeled and mashed
- Salt – as per taste
- Sugar – as per taste
- Coriander Leaves – a few, finely chopped
For the Coating
- All Purpose Flour – 2 tsp, mixed in a little water
- Bread Crumbs – for coating the veg chops (Check the recipe for this here)
Step by Step Process
- Heat a pan on low flame and add all the ingredients mentioned under Dry Masala and dry roast them till fragrant.
- Take care not to burn them. Once done, take it off heat and let it cool down completely.
- Grind this into a fine powder and keep it aside.
- In a pan, heat a little oil and fry the peanuts. Once the peanuts change color, remove them from heat and keep it aside.
- Into the same oil, add the ginger and green chilli and fry till fragrant.
- Add the grated beetroot and carrot to this and stir it well.
- Add a little salt and then cover it and cook for 5-7 min till the vegetables are almost cooked.
- Remove the lid, increase the heat and continue stirring till any water that was released from the vegetables is all evaporated.
- Add the mashed potatoes, salt as needed and a little sugar and mix it well.
- Now add the ground dry masala to it. Add it a little by little and adjust it as per your taste. You may or may not need the entire quantity of masala depending on the spice levels required.
- Finally add the peanuts and coriander leaves and mix it all well. Remove from heat and let it cool for a while.
- While the veg chops mixture is cooling down, mix some all-purpose flour and water and make it into a slurry. It should neither be too thick nor too thin.
- Make small oval balls from the vegetable mixture, dip into the slurry and then coat it with bread crumbs. Repeat this for all the veg balls.
- Heat oil in a pan and once hot, add the vegetable chops one by one into it.
- Keep turning it over so that it browns evenly. Once golden brown, remove it from the oil. Serve hot with a dip or a chutney.