To say that K is a fussy eater isn’t correct. It’s just that he gets fixated on certain things and overdose till he can’t stand it anymore. In dislikes he is very particular, I won’t go into the details but suffice to say that he thinks peas have no personality, capsicum is an obese chilly at best, green leafy vegetables are for cattle and paneer is spoilt milk in the first place, so why would anyone want to eat it….. So I have learnt to simply cook around this madness because logical arguments have failed and are a waste of time. Him being kitchen challenged helps, also the fact that he blindly trusts me!! I simply camouflage and cook on……the only thing I’ve been unsuccessful in getting him to eat is capsicum because of its strong flavor. My favourite way of getting him to eat things he doesn’t relish is to hide it in some form that he loves. Cutlets have been my ultimate escape. From trying to use up cooked leftover sabjis to dressing up a simple meal when we have unexpected guests, I have sought refuge in them and marveled at how they can be adapted to embrace whatever is in the fridge. Apart from potatoes, cutlets made from yam, raw bananas and even pink cutlets with beetroots too work well. They are flavourful, nutritious and a good way of having your daily requirement of vegetables. The mixture can be made and stored in the fridge; leftovers make for great chapatti / kathi rolls, sandwich fillers or midnight snacks. The litres of unused milk threatened to drown me, so yesterday I had to convert some into paneer, a huge bunch of spinach sat sadly in its newspaper wrap in the fridge and I knew I had to redeem it. I zeroed in on the hara bhara kabab for its simplicity and the fact that I could use two of the offending ingredients always puts a devilish smile on my face.
For the kababs (makes about 12)
2 medium potatoes boiled and mashed
1 big bunch spinach, blanched and pureed
1 cup shredded paneer
1 tsp pav bhaji masala (optionally use ½ tsp garam masala and ½ tsp amchoor powder)
1 tsp red chilly powder
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves (pureed with the spinach)
2 tbsp besan or breadcrumbs
Salt to taste
2 tbspn oil
In a shallow mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the oil to form a fairly firm dough. Divide into 12 balls about the size of a table tennis ball. Roll between your palms to smoothen and gently flatten them. Heat a tava (non stick is best for lesser oil usage), pour a tablespoon of oil. Dip the kababs directly into the hot oil and move to the side of the tava, so that they are just coated with oil enough to make them golden but don’t drink up all that oil. Repeat on the other side with another tablespoon of oil. Fry till golden on both sides on a medium flame. Serve hot with salad, sauce, mint chutney or as a side dish.