Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Curried No-Meat Balls

This recipe was from Vegan Fire and Spice.  We added an extra teaspoon of hot curry powder and hot chile powder at the end.  We also baked the veggie balls instead of pan frying them.  We served it over short-grain brown rice.

Allie: This recipe was frustrating to make and I don't think it was written very well.  First of all, I had the blot the chickpeas dry, but chickpeas are kind of in a gel so that is really not possible.  Second, I had to process the chickpeas through a potato ricer, which we do not have so I mashed them with a fork.  Next, the instructions told me to chop peanuts and onions, but after I mixed it all together I determined that they should have said to dice them instead because the larger chunks were not holding together with the chickpea batter.  I formed the balls to the best of my ability.  Then I had to heat a pan to fry the balls, but the recipe failed to specify a temperature so I just used medium.  As soon as I dropped the balls into the pan they started falling apart so I set the oven to 400 and just baked them for 15 min, then flipped and baked for 10.  They mostly held together but once we added the balls to the sauce they mostly fell apart.  The sauce was easy to make but it came out bland and we needed to add extra spices.

THAT BEING SAID, this was super yummy!  I loved the crunch of the peanuts and the comforting flavors.  The coconut yogurt made it rich and creamy.  I have to penalize this recipe by 1 slice due to how irritating it was to make, and I probably would hesitate to make it again but I'm glad I ate it so 4 slices.

Don't curry, be happy! Wait... do curry!

Brian: I was not witness to the ball drama unfolding in the kitchen while Allie prepared these, but if she hadn't told me something was wrong when I came in I don't think I would have ever known. Sure, the curry balls did fall apart a little bit, but I don't think it's exactly reasonable to expect a perfect meatball like product from something that is not actually a meatball (though we have had great success when replicating more traditional fake meatballs.)  The balls themselves were delicious and had a good crunch from the peanuts and onion in them that made it very satisfying to eat in the sauce. My main gripe with this dish probably comes from the fact that I am not a huge fan of how vegan yogurt, or really any yogurt, tastes. To me, when it is in sauces it tends to overwhelm everything else and a lot of the flavors get lost, which might explain why we had to basically add twice the spices at the end to bring it up to any sort of heat level. From a book called "fire and spice" I would expect the recipe to come out already on the hot side. This is not to say it was bad because it was definitely delicious, I just don't know if it would go in to regular rotation at any point in the future. I would rank this at a 3.5 out of 5 slices.

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