Batata Charp – Potato Cakes with Meat Filling


As promised earlier this month we tried our first recipe from the Middle East Cookbook – Batata Charp. We had prepared our Baharat spices and since there was no required ingredient for lambs brains we were good to go. To be honest, it also looked like one of the simpler recipes from this book. Let me qualify simpler as meaning the process was not complicated but it was time consuming. I completely missed the part about putting meat filling into a potato cake and that there were approximately 40 of these little cakes to produce. Sounding the alarm after rolling, filling and squashing three I reached out for a lending hand from the other cook in our kitchen. Soon we had our production line in full gear with potato cakes sizzling in the skillet.

Now it was time to taste our first recipe from the book. The cakes looked golden brown with no signs of a filling inside. Served warm these would make for a nice appetizer but would require a plate and utensils. The cakes potato flavor somewhat overwhelmed the meat filling but when your tongue tasted the meat the spices were clearly unique and flavorful. We used ground beef as that was readily available at the time. If I were to make this again I would use lamb to bring a stronger flavor into play.

We enjoyed trying this recipe and may try it again. We also loved the meat filling by itself. As the recipe did not call for a large quantity of filling I decided to double the meat recipe. My main reason for this was after spending the time to create the Baharat spices I was not going to use a measly teaspoon of it. We mixed the the meat in with some Quinoa and made another meal.

Batata Charp

Recipe

2 lbs potatoes
1 Egg beaten
1/4 cup flour
salt
pepper, to taste

Meat Filling
1 onion finely chopped (med)
1 Tbsp oil
1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 oz finely ground lamb or beef
1 tsp Baharat spice
salt to taste
1/2 cup tomato peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup parsley chopped
flour for coating
Oil for frying

1. Prepare potatoes and boil in their jackets until tender. Drain, peel and mash to a smooth puree. Leave to cool, then blend egg, flour and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Gently fry onion in oil until transparent, add garlic and ground meat cooking until the meat begins to brown. Stir in the spices, salt, tomatoes and parsley. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Take about a tablespoon of potato mixture and flatten in palm of hand. Put a teaspoon of meat filling in the centre and close potato around. Roll into a ball and place on a tray. During shaping, moisten hands with water to prevent potatoes from sticking.

4. Roll balls in flour and then flatten to make thick cakes. Arrange on a tray.

5. Place oil in frying pan to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Heat well and fry potatoes until golden brown on each side (about 2-3 min in all) Drain on paper towels and serve hot garnishing them as desired.

Servings 40

Here is another Potato n Onion Cake recipe from our recipe archives.

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