Spiced potato and almond koftas
Potatoes are an icon of globalisation especially in form of French fries, served alongside burgers and coke. Who can resist them?
Baked, mashed, fried, roasted or boiled – it matters not – the potato makes any meal special. The potato hardly needs a reason to be made part of any meal.
The potato is the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize. The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 5,000 B.C. In 1536 Spanish conquered Peru, and discovered the flavors of the potato. They carried potatoes to Europe and then it spread to the rest of world.
Potatoes are a staple in many homes across the globe and rightfully so. They are easily accessible, affordable, delicious, easy to prepare, versatile, filling and according to many (including myself) – not good for you. I have often looked down at them as a source of my weight gain.
How wrong have I been? Did you know any of the following? Aha I was caught by surprise!
1. Potatoes are virtually fat free.
2. Potatoes are packed with double the amount of B-vitamins of that in pasta and 6 times more than what is in rice. They can account for 10% of the suggested daily value of B-vitamins.
3. Potatoes have 60% more vitamin C in them than blueberries. They can account for 30% of the suggested daily value of vitamin C.
4. Potatoes have 80% more potassium than bananas! They can account for 25% of the daily value of potassium.
5. Additionally they provide a significant amount of fibre, folate, magnesium, copper and zinc. All essential nutrients required for muscle and nervous system functioning as well as heart health.
Obviously, different cooking styles can have an effect and alter the nutritional value of the potatoes. French Fries!
The following recipe I share to help spread a little potato love around and I really think that potatoes need more love.
Spiced Potato and Almond Koftas
1 tsp dry dill leaves
1 tsp dry chives leaves
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 -2 green chilli finely diced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp paprika or red chilly flakes
1/2 cup feta, broken into rough chunks
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp plain flour
1 egg, whisked
3 tbsp almonds, chopped
1½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted and gently crushed
¾ tsp cumin seeds
1½ tbsp black sesame seeds (or white, if unavailable)
vegetable oil, for frying
1 lemon, quartered, to serve
Remove the skin of the potatoes and boil them till soft. Check by piercing a fork through. Drain and put in colander for 20 minutes to remove any excess water and for them to cool down completely. Put the potatoes in a bowl and roughly mash and add the butter. Mash well, I like mine to be smooth. Gently mix in the herbs, chilli, spices, feta, sugar and salt, then form into eight koftas, and lay on a tray.
Put the flour in one bowl, the egg in another and the nuts and seeds in a third. One by one, gently roll each kofta in flour, dip it in egg, then roll in the seeds and return to the tray.
Pour enough oil into a small frying pan to shallow fry them. Put the pan on a medium-high flame and, once the oil is hot, carefully lower in koftas. Fry for about a minute, turning once, so the crust turns golden brown and crisp, and the middle is hot but soft. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining koftas.
Serve with a wedge of lemon alongside. I also like these with a dipping sauce made from 1 cup thick or Greek yoghurt with 1 garlic clove crushed, 1 tsp chopped coriander, 1 tsp lemon juice, pinch of dry dill leaves, and 1/4 tsp salt. If Tahini is available add 1 tsp to add extra creaminess to the dip. Blend well using a fork or a whisk.