My post today is about fusion recipes combined with my commitment to enjoy the tastiest meals in as healthy a manner as possible – All of who know me know that I love to come up with new ideas of combining unlikely ingredients and cutting back on the oil and fat. I have come to the conclusion that herbs and spices are what make a cuisine what it is – When I say mustard, you’ll probably think or say Thadka, when I say Basil, you would say pesto- What I have been for a long time now (which I now record in my blog) is use these herbs and spices in different cuisines and situations and see how they change, enhance or take away from the dish –
Like I said in another interview, fusion cooking is like a baby cross-racial couple – Often they take the best of both their parents and turn our even more amazing than either of them – and then in some cases they inherit the worst of both parents features – Similarly, I come up with some fabulous concoctions and then some not so great ones. Truth be told, however, much like these cross racial l babies, there have been far more hits than misses and there have been less than a handful of recipes that I have not repeated.
Today I am bringing to you one such recipe that is a good blend spices and ingredients.
I am calling it Stuffed Spinut Balls. It is an appetizer, but can also be gravy-fied to be an entre like a kofta curry.
Makes about 35 lemon sized balls
Prep time: 15-20 min
Cooking time 15-20
* 2lbs of Spinach
* 1 cup of peanuts
* 1tbsp sesame
* 1tbsp Urad dal
* 4-8 red chilies
* 1 cup of freshly grated Romano cheese
* ½ cup of herbed cream cheese
* 1 tsp of olive oil
* Olive Oil spray
* Dipped Kuzhipaniyaram pan
Just the addition of Romano cheese changes the aroma of the balls giving it an Italian flavor. And the cream cheese sneaks up on you from inside the ball like an unexpected, pleasant surprise. Again, using olive oil makes a difference.
* I used 3 packs of frozen spinach – if you are using fresh, chop them up fine – Thaw it out and gently squeeze the water out by pressing with a ladle or spoon. For fresh Spinach, cook over stove and remove excess water in a similar way after it cools down.
* As the spinach is cooking, grind up coarsely the cup of peanuts – I used roasted/salted peanuts for this (Planters)
* In a pan, use the 1 tsp of olive oil to lightly fry up the chilies, browning with it the urad and sesame seeds.
* Dry grind this and mix in with the peanuts
* Now add the spinach to the peanut mix and make it a thick paste of ball-able consistency. Add the required amount of salt to the spinach. Also if you need to use more peanuts if your spinach is still watery, go for it.
* Keep them on the stove while doing this – this allows the tastes to blend. When the spinach starts sticking to the pan is a good time to switch off the stove and allow it to cool.
* In a separate plate, grate the Romano with your zester.
* Keep your cream cheese ready.
* Make the balls with the spinach. With your thumbs make a dip in the middle of the ball to add about ½ tsp of cream cheese in it. Fold over it with the spinach and smooth out the ball – repeat process until all the spinach is used up.
* Roll each in the Romano cheese, as you go along.
* Spray the dips in the paniyaram pan and put on low heat. Add the balls and let them cook for about 4-6 min with the lid over the pan.
* Set on serving platter and decorate with cashew halves, if desired – I merely did that for some good pictures.
* Enjoy this gourmet, healthy and low caloric snack anytime.
Tagged: Guest Post