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Crispy Left Over Rice and Vegetable Cakes


A working parent can’t have too many quick and easy dinner recipes in their repertoire. The same applies to snacks. Something that can be easily made, served warm, are filling and delicious. Savory rice cakes made with left over rice, fresh or frozen vegetables come to the rescue when you have made too much rice and the family will not have any more.

Add dices vegetables of choice for color (bell peppers, kale, golden beets, red kidney beans),crunch ( celery, broccoli) and protein (shelled edmame beans, drained canned chickpeas ). Technically beans are not veggies but they add protein to the cakes and make them filling. And as they are staple of vegetarian diet, they fall under vegetable category for me. The possibilities to customize these savory cakes are endless based on what you have on hand and what flavors you crave. Italian seasonings, mexican spices and even Chinese spices can totally render this into a completely different snack.

Rice being a binder, you don’t need anything else to hold them together. Add spices, mix and mash. Shape and either bake in oven or pan fry with a little oil. With a side of salad this can even be a filling meal. Colorful, flavorful and crunchy to boot. Not to mention the protein and the fibre. Make some extra rice ( or moong dal khichadi or risotto) just so that you can make these the following evening.

Am sure this will soon be a staple in your house just like it is in ours!

Crispy Left Over Rice and Vegetable Cakes Recipe

  • 2 cups left over rice ( or khichadi)
  • 1/4 cup Onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper finely diced ( red and yellow mix)
  • 1/4 cup asparagus or French beans , diced
  • 2 tablespoons green onions finely diced (only the green part)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves
  • Handful spinach leaves chopped up
  • 3- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 ” ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • A generous pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of hing or asafoetida
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (reduce if you are not a lemon lover)
  • 2 tablespoon oil (to fry)

1. Take rice in a large mixing bowl and break into smaller lumps with a spoon.

2. Add all the ingredients. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Shape the mixture into patties or cakes and set aside.

3. Heat oil in a non stick skillet. Fry them till golden brown and crispy on each side ( about 3- 4 minutes per side). Alternatively you can bake them at 325 F for 12 – 15 minutes till cooked through.

Serve warm with ketchup or mint chutney and onions and extra lemon. Enjoy!

Date Truffles

Date Truffles formed

Today, at work, Shipra, told me  to try making truffles with fresh dates. They are easy to make and kids eat them thinking they are chocolate. They are healthy, easy to make and all natural.

Mixed date and chocolate paste

Only problem – I have never bought dates before. Call me crazy but I think they look like cockroaches! And I am scared of cockroaches. I may put on a brave front and be all cool and grown up about it if you are not family. But when no one is looking I scream, jump on the nearest couch or chair or even table and scream some more. They go about minding their own business and finally someone in the family turns up and takes care of the cockroach.

Coating in chocolate

Eew, food and pests in same sentence don’t exactly sound appetizing. I hope I have not thrown you off already, bear with me…its gets better. I promise.

On the way home, we picked up some dates. Tunisian ones to be precise. Varun helped me pit them at home. Combined with cocoa powder, they tasted just like chocolate. This is a recipe where quality ingredients shine as there is nothing else to this than cocoa and dates. Roll the date-chocolate paste around nuts ( roasted almond, raisins or even pistachios) or filling ( caramel, coffee or custard) for a hidden surprise. I didn’t do any of that and they were still a hit.

Varun had a couple after dinner. And smiled and announced “chocolate”. Victory! I will have to ration them else he will eat them all at once!

Date Truffles

Date Truffles Recipe

  •  1 cup Arabic dates pitted
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil in a small bowl
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder or coconut flakes for coating (optional)

1. Whirl the dates and cocoa powder till they are coarsely mixed in a blender.
2. Dump the mix into a large plate. Oil your palms and form truffle balls.
3. Coat the truffles in cocoa powder or in coconut flakes.

Store in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Enjoy!

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