In my pantry today:
- 3-4 c soaked-n-cooked black matpe beans (a.k.a urad)
- 3 packets of Chick-fil-A salad croutons
- 1 tbsp plain bread crumbs
- 1/4 c safflower oil
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
- Garam masala
- Chili powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Leftover Basmati rice
- Feta cheese
- Sunflower sprouts ($4 Microgreens from the farmers’ market!)
- Two packets of Zaxby’s Lite Ranch Dressing
First thing’s first — get a large bowl. In it, combine 1.5c of your beans (put the rest in the fridge for the not-too-distant future) and the following: egg, croutons, bread crumbs, salt, asafoetida and to taste: all above listed seasonings. Put the bowl contents into a food processor and pulse until the consistency-ish of what a ground beef meatball mixture.
It’ll be a little slimier in texture than that, for forewarning’s sake. But it will do the same thing as meatball mixture — make little balls! I made six, but feel free to experiment with ball size. Heat oil until it’s at full M then add the balls. Press them a bit flat with a spatula. Let them cook until light-medium brown. Imagine Michael Jackson circa 1974; that color. Then flip them and do a double Jacko.
Remove them and put them into a covered dish (I put them on paper towels too). Put them in at 350° for 10m. While they’re in, mix the spices you put in the pattymush into your leftover fast food dressing packets (ultimately, this was about 2tbsp’s worth) and plate the rice. Remove the cakes. Arrange them artfully atop the rice, then also artfully top with sprouts, feta and a fork-drizzle of dressing.
Look here at how pretty this photo just prior to plating is. And see, now, what had happened was while I meticulously photographed this process from the beginning, we immediately dove into the plated results: food lust drove me from the camera and into the dish. I guess that means it was good?
I checked with my dinner companion. Her verdict: “I wouldn’t change a thing, except for maybe making them a little more moist.” And, dear readers, fear not: I had already edited this recipe before posting to exclude half the original amount of breadcrumbs used and adjusted the oven time. Watch those two aspects to ensure a moister texture!