In yesterday’s post about Martin’s menu, I referred to Indian-spiced sweet-potato-and-yellow-split-pea cakes with fresh cilantro. These are pretty good, so I thought I’d post the recipe. In the event that your child is not up to sweet potatoes yet because of the carbs, winter squash makes a good substitute. This recipe is very heavily adapted from one for potato cakes that I found in a little “In a Nutshell” volume called Indian Vegetarian Cooking: A Step-by-Step Guide. I find that it makes sense to soak the split peas overnight, and then to set them to cook around lunchtime for that evening’s dinner. You can also cook the sweet potatoes in advance. Another option is to make the whole recipe in advance, right up to forming the patties. Then refrigerate them and dip and egg and cook when ready. I also cook a few without the egg for myself, as I don’t eat egg.
1 cup pre-soaked yellow split peas
2.5 cups filtered water
2 tsps oil (I prefer coconut with this recipe)
oil or ghee for frying
5 fenugreek seeds
1 onion or 4 stalks celery, finely minced
1 tbsp seeded and finely minced green chilis (I leave these out right now)
pinch of ginger powder
minced fresh cilantro (I pile it on, like half a cup)
2.5 cups mashed sweet potato
1 egg, beaten (duck egg works fine)
Cook the split peas thoroughly and allow them to cool. Heat the oil and cook the fenugreek seeds for a few seconds, until they become fragrant. Add the onion or celery and fry until it softens and begins to brown. In a bowl mix together the split peas, oil with seeds and onion/celery, and all other ingredients except egg and cooking oil or ghee. Form this mixture into flat patties. Dip each patty in the beaten egg and immediately fry in hot oil or ghee, until brown on each side. I usually drain them on brown paper bags, but that’s not completely necessary.