Vegetable Patties

This is an inexpensive, but none the less tasty dish. Serve the patties with an Indian vegetable dish or with a salad.

8 oz. potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

4 oz. carrots, scraped and sliced

4 oz. cauliflower, separated into flowerets

1 small onion, cut into quarters

H- teaspoons salt

4 oz. green peas, weighed after shelling

2 green chillis, finely chopped

2-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

½ teaspoon garam masala

1 oz. butter

1 oz. flour

4 fl. oz. milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 oz. fine dry white breadcrumbs

2 fl. oz. vegetable oil

Place the potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, onion and 2 teaspoon of the salt in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the vegetables and bring to the boil over high heat. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the pan from the heat and drain the vegetables in a colander. Return the drained vegetables to the pan and place the pan over low heat. Dry out the vegetables, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and puree the vegetables in a food mill. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the chillis, ginger, coriander leaves, garam masala and the remaining salt. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Stir in the flour, with a wooden spoon, to make a smooth paste.

Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring constantly and being careful to avoid lumps. Return the pan to the heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until it forms a thick, smooth sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. When the sauce is cool, beat it into the vegetable puree.

Using lightly floured hands, shape the mixture into 8 or 12 balls, depending on the size of patty required. Flatten the balls between the palms of your hands to form patty shapes.

Put the beaten egg on one plate and the breadcrumbs on another. Dip the patties first in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs, coating them thoroughly and shaking off any excess.

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the patties and fry them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown.

Remove the pan from the heat. Using a fish slice, remove the patties from the pan, drain them well on kitchen paper towels and transfer them to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately.

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