Veggie balls with quick pickle and cucumber raita

By Rodney Bowers
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veggie_balls_quick_pickle_cucumber_raita
SERVES
4
 TO
6

Ingredients

VEGGIE BALLS

  • 1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup red pepper
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sweet potato, cooked and peeled
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 - 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • 1 cup cooked bulgar wheat
  • Oil, for frying

CUCUMBER RAITA

  • 500 millilitres thick, plain yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 bunch mint, chiffonade
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed

QUICK PICKLE

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 white turnips, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled & chopped
  • 6-8 radishes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Directions

VEGGIE BALLS

  1. Throw the garlic, mushroom, carrot, pepper, onion, celery into a food processor and purée.
  2. Cook this mixture in a saucepan on medium-high heat until most of the water is cooked out and the flavour is concentrated.  Add back into the food processor.
  3. To the food processor, add the sweet potato, parsley, oregano, cumin, bulgar and lentils.
  4. Pulse the mixture so some of the lentils are being mashed and some keep their shape.
  5. Take the mixture out of the food processor and place in big bowl.  Add the chickpea flour and taste for seasoning.  Mix well so the entire lentil mixture is seasoned.
  6. Form mixture into balls and fry in hot oil (320-330F) until golden brown.
  7. Serve on warm naan bread with quick pickle and cucumber raita.

CUCUMBER RAITA

  1. In a colander lined with a cheesecloth, press yogurt to remove excess water.
  2. Peel and grate cucumber then toss with salt and allow to drain for 20 minutes.
  3. Gently squeeze excess moisture from the vegetable.
  4. Combine yogurt, mint, cucumber, fennel, vinegar and seasonings.
  5. Keep refrigerated until needed.

QUICK PICKLE

  1. Make pickle brine by placing all ingredients into a pot and bringing to a boil. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes to infuse the flavours.  
  2. Strain and set aside to cool.
  3. Place all of the vegetables into a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Pour the pickling liquid over the vegetables until just covered.
  5. Place a plate on top of the veggies with a weight and let stand for at least three to four hours. Refrigerate until needed.

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