#6 New Zealand: Kumara and rice patties

NZ

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Whilst listening on the radio to the All Blacks beating England at rugby, I kept with the New Zealand theme and had a go at this recipe from Down Under which makes for a nice little starter.  At first I thought this dish required a vegetable that was completely unheard of to me, until I discovered that ‘Kumara’ is in fact the Maori name for sweet potato.

As with any patty or rosti-type recipe, where you need your ingredients to bind together, you have to use your own judgement to get the balance of ingredients right to get a texture that will hold when you fry your patties.  Mine did, thankfully… but only just!  I’d be tempted to add more breadcrumbs next time, as the mashed sweet potato is quite sticky.  But the brief ‘will-it, won’t-it hold together?’ anxiety as I carefully turned the patties in the frying pan was worth it for the end result: a light and satisfying starter in which the clean and simple flavours come through in a way that works really well.  It’s just a shame that the final score from Twickenham wasn’t equally as satisfying!

Ingredients (makes 10 patties)

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1-2 large sweet potatoes (500g)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup diced courgette
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Method

  1. Cook the basmati rice.
  2. Chop the sweet potato into chunks and then steam or boil until tender.  Mash the cooked sweet potato in a large bowl until almost smooth.
  3. Dice the courgette into small pieces and add these to the mashed sweet potato.
  4. Add the rice, frozen peas, breadcrumbs, cumin, garlic, egg and parsley to the mix, stir well, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon equal portions of the mix into a round pastry cutter for an even patty shape, and then transfer your patties and cook in a lightly-oiled frying pan, turning as required, until golden brown on both sides.
  6. Place on a paper towel and use to remove any excess oil, before serving each patty on a bed of baby leaf salad drizzled with a chili dressing.

Acknowledgement: This recipe is based on one I found on Food.com.

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