Monday, January 4, 2010

Crispy Vegetable Cakes (Healthy Hash Browns)

Here is a healthy and tastier version of the traditional hash brown potatoes made with the additions of carrots and zucchini. They look gorgeous too! These veggie cakes multitask from breakfast to dinner; they are fabulous on the breakfast plate and make a wonderful starter before any meal paired with green, tamarind, and/or tomato chutneys.

The besan (chick-pea flour) binds all the ingredients together while the rice flour and cornmeal soak up any extra moisture and provide the crunch factor. If you use the cereal/cracker/bread crumbs the patties will be crunchier. These can be made ahead and frozen; reheat in a 400 F oven for about 15 minutes or until hot and crispy.

Besan, rice flour, red chili powder, and asafetida (Hing) are readily available in Indian markets.

About 12 cakes


1 large Potato
2 medium Carrots
2 medium Zucchini
1/2 a small Onion
A small handful of Cilantro sprigs (about 1/4 cup chopped)
5 or 6 sprigs fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, leaves only
1 Jalapeno Chili, seeds removed
1/4 cup coarse Cornmeal
1/4 cup Rice Flour
1/4 cup Besan (Chick pea or Garbanzo flour)
Sea salt to taste
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder (cayenne)
1 pinch Asafetida
about 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes, panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or plain dry breadcrumbs for coating
2 Tbsp oil for cooking


  • Wash, dry and trim the potatoes and zucchinis. Grate them coarsely and add 1/2 tsp of salt, mix, and set aside.
  • Meanwhile finely chop the onion, Jalapeno, and the herbs. Coarsely grate the carrots.
  • Combine the chopped ingredients, carrots, the flours, red chili powder, salt to taste, and asafetida in a mixing bowl.
  • Squeeze out the excess fluid from the grated veggies and add them to the mixing bowl; the squeezed out juices may be saved for making vegetable stock.
  • Mix well and form into cakes about the size of your palms no more than a 1/2" thick. Coat the patties with the bread, cereal, or cracker crumbs if desired.
  • Heat a seasoned cast iron pan or griddle and cook the patties slowly with a few drops of the oil until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
  • If you need to make several batches of the patties, keep the cooked ones in a warm oven until all are done.
  • Serve hot with chutneys, hot sauce, ketchup, etc as you wish. Enjoy!!

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