Archive for April 10, 2006

Leftover Surprise #2 – Curry-Dal Fritters with Cauliflower

Dal started me on my Indian food journey. Maybe it’s a 40’s thing, (am I finally growing up!?), because all my life, I’ve avoided beans. Not fresh green beans, but anything that even resembled a dried bean. I avoided them until a busy January day when I couldn’t leave work at noon. A nearby Indian restaurant delivers, and I ordered a “thali” lunch which included dal makhani. I was hooked on dal.

Over the weekend I made plain spinach dal and also mixed up Indira’s bottle gourd curry (which also works wonderfully with zucchini, if you can’t find a bottle gourd). Now I have leftover dal, fairly bland, leftover curry, fairly spicy, and of course some rice. I’ve been salivating over the potato bondas on My Dhaba, and also wanted to try out Priya’s gobi paratha… I’m in the mood for something crisp and crunchy. However, there is the problem of the leftovers. I am not inclined to throw out good food. Since I’m the only one here who really appreciates my new little obsession, the leftovers are all mine. Which led me to…

Curry-Dal Fritters with Cauliflower


Here is what I used:

1 c. cold leftover dal
1 c. cold leftover bottle gourd curry
1 c. leftover cooked rice

1 tsp oil
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 c. raw cauliflower, chopped very fine
salt to taste

1 egg (or egg white), beaten
unbleached all-purpose flour for dredging
1 TB oil for frying

Mix leftover dal, curry, and rice. Add more rice if filling is too soft to hold its shape. Set aside. Fry garlic and cumin in oil for a few minutes, then add the chopped cauliflower and salt. Cook over medium heat about 10 minuntes, until it begins to brown. Set heat to low and cook, covered, a further 5 minutes until tender but still crunchy. Remove to a bowl and set aside. When cool, mix 1 c. cauliflower with dal/curry/rice mixture.

Heat 1 TB oil in frying pan. Scoop up about 2 TB of filling, dredge in flour, dip into beaten egg, then slip into the hot pan. Flatten the fritter slightly with a spatula, and cook, about 5 minutes per side, until crispy and browned. When fritters are nearly cooked, add the remainder of the chopped cauliflower to the same pan and heat through.

Serve crispy fritters and cauliflower with yogurt and fresh lime.


curry dal fritters with cauliflower

Surprisingly, I liked these! The outside was crunchy enough to satisfy my craving for deep-fried food, and the inside was meltingly tender. The spicy-sweet curry blended nicely with the mild spinach dal. A little messy in the making, but a tasty way to use up my leftovers. Now if I could only figure out how to categorize links… but, tomorrow’s another day.


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