Hariyali Tikkis

Delicious and healthy, these baked spinach, pea and ginger croquettes are the perfect snack

Delicious and healthy, these baked spinach, pea and ginger croquettes are the perfect snack.

If appearances were everything, these little things wouldn’t get a look-in. Speckled green, rough and ready, they’re like the wacky-patterned shoes you acquired in the sales – the perfect accessory to liven up even the dullest ensemble. Feeds 15-20.

Ingredients:
1kg (2lb 3oz) frozen spinach
1kg (2lb 3oz) frozen peas
7 large potatoes
8cm (3in) root ginger
3 fresh green finger chillies
40g (1½oz) fresh coriander leaves
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp oil
Salt

Method:
1. In two separate pans, simmer the spinach and peas in boiling water for 5 minutes, or until the peas are soft and the spinach has defrosted and heated through. Peel, quarter and boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes until they fall apart when prodded with a fork.

2. Drain the spinach, squeezing it well in your hands to get rid of all the water. Then put all the cooked vegetables in a large mixing bowl and leave to cool.

3. Next peel the ginger and chop finely, along with the chillies and coriander. Add all three ingredients to the vegetables in the mixing bowl. Add the cornflour and salt to taste, then mash the whole lot together with your hands. Check for salt, adding more if needed.

4. Stick this mixture in the fridge to cool and dry out until you’re ready to cook the tikkis. I just helped get the drinks bagged up for the picnic in the meantime. When you’re ready, preheat the grill to high and line a baking sheet with foil. Take 1 tablespoon of oil and spread it evenly over the base of the sheet.

5. Then divide the mixture into 15-20 even-sized balls, flatten each into a 4cm (1½in) disc and place on the baking sheet, leaving a 1cm (½in) gap between each. (Not all the tikkis will fit on to one sheet; you will need to cook them in two batches.) Place under the grill and cook for 12 minutes on one side, then turn over and cook for a further 12 minutes until the tikkis are pale brown on both sides.

6. You need to be careful when flipping them over, as they’ll be soft and hot. If they fall apart, just shape them again on the sheet. You could just shallow-fry them for 8 minutes on either side, but this will take longer
and use more oil.

7. Remove from the grill and place on a plate to cool, then repeat with another batch – first spreading more oil over the baking sheet – until all the mixture is used up. As the tikkis cool, they will harden and hold together better. These are a great hit stone cold dunked in Dhaniya Pudina chutney.

Miss Masala by Malika Basu is published by Collins, priced £14.99. 

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