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Cottage Cheese Fritters and Papdi Beans & Sweet Potato Curry


What's Cooking? by P.S. Lakshmi Rao

1 cup cottage cheese
1½ cups water
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup rice flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons finely chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
½ cup finely chopped onions
2 cups oil for frying
Blend cottage cheese and water in a blender.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine all-purpose flour, rice flour, baking soda, salt, cumin seeds, green chilies, ginger, onions and cottage cheese and mix thoroughly.
Cover the batter and set it aside for 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Take a hand full of batter and drop marble sized balls into the oil. Fry until light brown and crispy on all sides. Remove cottage cheese fritters from oil with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate.
Serve with any chutney or sauce.  Makes 8 servings.

Papdi Beans & Sweet Potato Curry

2 pounds papdi beans
1 small sweet potato
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
1 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon home made ghee (optional)
½ teaspoon red mustard seeds
1 teaspoon chana dal
1 teaspoon urad dal
2 broken dry red chilies
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon cashew pieces (optional)
Curry leaves from two stems
2 chopped green chilies
2” inches peeled and chopped ginger
Remove strings from both sides of the beans and pinch them into two or three pieces depending on the length of the beans. Place them in a colander and wash.
Peel sweet potato and cut into two inch pieces and wash.
In a three or four quart-sauce pan boil the water. Add salt, turmeric and the beans. Cook for five minutes on medium high heat. Add sweet potatoes and mix. Cook until the potatoes are cooked, but not too soft. (about three minutes). Remove the vegetables into a bowl.
Clean the pan and return it to the stove on medium heat until the moisture is evaporated and add oil and ghee, if using. Add mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, red chilies and cumin seeds. Fry until dals become light brown. Add cashews, curry leaves, green chilies and chopped ginger and fry for half a minute. Mix the cooked vegetables with the spices. Mix papdi beans curry gently making sure not to break the sweet potato pieces. Cook on low heat for three minutes to incorporate the flavors.
Tastes good with rice or chapattis.
Make 6 servings.
 Variation: Eggplant can be substituted for papdi beans. Cook eggplant and sweet potato together or separate and follow the rest of the recipe. Mix half in half a teaspoon tamarind paste before transferring into serving bowl.

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