Ramadan here in Dubai, means shorter school and work hours for all of us, and with the summer heat on full swing, it's not easy to head outdoors with the family, one has to wait till sundown to actually step out. Of course I love the fact that I get to spend quality time with the kids and hubby, but when they get home super hungry, it's an uphill task trying to feed everyone. Kids are constantly hungry and need to snack, and aren't particularly amused when I try to sneak in raw veggies or fruit to munch on, not all the time please is what they say. I just didn't want to succumb to giving them something boring.
Then I remembered something inspiring my mom did!
As a kid I was quite a fussy eater too and shied away from any veggie that looked weird, especially Yam, not only did it look scary but the name itself was too much for me to handle- Elephant's foot! In India the Hindi word for Yam is Suran and it's a veggie high on carbs, protein, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and dietary fibers. Yam aids the digestive system (being high in fiber) and it helps reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol) and is found to be good for heart health. Since my wise mom knew all of this, she used to painstakingly make yam stir fry once a week for lunch. But I never could make myself swallow it, Yam and Bitter gourd were my blacklisted veggies! So naturally Mom came up with a genius plan and sneaked in this veggie in the form of cutlets. Hers is a paleo version with eggs, but I have made these egg-less and my kids just can't get enough these delicious cutlets. Here's a very basic recipe, which works out as a wonderful picnic snack or kid's lunchbox idea too. And this was just what I was looking for as a perfect Ramadan snack time option!
350 gms peeled and cubed Suran (elephant foot)
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Himalyan Salt to taste
2 heaped tbsps Cornstarch
2 tbsp Rice bran oil
1 tsp pepper/paprika/ red chilli powder (optional)
Cook the yam with 1 tsp salt just enough water to cover it, strain the liquid and once cooled, mash it well. It will be slightly soggy. To this mixture add the finely chopped onion, cornstarch, pepper powder (optional) and cilantro and mix them all together. You will get a consistency of mashed potato. Heat a skillet with some cooking oil ( I have used Rice bran oil), take a spoon and scoop up the cutlet mixture onto the skillet and press it gently, you will get a rough oval shape. Cook the cutlets and let them brown well on both sides. Serve it warm with ketchup or Mayo as a dip.
Tip- If you want to make this more spicy, feel free to chop up some jalapenos or green chillies and add it to the wet mixture. For kids, you can make it colourful and add grated carrots, frozen green peas or sweet corn, finely chopped bell peppers too; the more colourful it is, the more tempting for the kids. To stick with the original recipe, Paleo peeps can make this grain-free by skipping the cornstarch and using 1 egg for binding.