So in Bangladesh we are heavy on bhortas, which is basically mashed up food. It could be any vegetable under the sun or nuts (peanuts), or even fish! We ideally mix it with mustard oil, salt and lemon and eat it with daal and plain rice or a table laden with other stuff. So today I had a pumpkin languishing in my fridge and I was dying for some bhorta and also, I needed to use the store bought, processed beef mince (note my disdain at not being able to source fresh beef in Crete, as this island rarely has beef) so I decided to make patties or koftas or keftedes, choose as you please. (I am multilingual and a big show off!) So here’s my attempt at recreating something from back home in my Cretan kitchen!
100g mince beef (you can use mutton)
1/2 cup of a mixture of chopped fennel greens (you can use any greens you have like coriander, parsely) green spring onions, 2 garlics
Pinch of nutmeg, cumin powder, coriander seeds, roughly ground
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup boiled and mashed pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp mustard oil (you can use flax seed oil or chili oil)
Mix the pumpkin puree with mustard oil, salt and lemon and set aside (dont forget it…!) Mix the mince beef with the greeny ingredients, the spices and add a pinch of chickpea powder or basic flour to make it firm. Roll them into balls. Now in a wok or pot with a thick base, take the olive oil and place the meat balls. Swirl them around once they have toughened up and make sure they dont burn. I must confess my pot was not very thick so my meat balls didnt turn out as desired. They kind of lost the will to live somewhere along the way.. The process takes about 20 minutes.
Mince meat mix with the green ingredients
Serve the meat ball and pupkin puree with rice. I will eat this with my hands as we do back home and I was also craving rice so enjoy your meal in which ever way you choose to serve it! 🙂
Caution: DO NOT sing… on top of spaghetti… my poor meatball…! 😀