Hara Bhara Kabab
Hara bhara kabab are healthy, flavorful, savory pan-fried patties loaded with spinach, green peas and potatoes. My recipe is easy to make and suitable for both vegans and vegetarians alike. Bonus, it is gluten-free as well. I share making these kababs in 2 ways – pan-fried and baked version.
1. Rinse well and take 2 medium-large potatoes (200 to 215 grams) in a 2 liters pressure cooker. Add 2 cups water.
I have cooked both potatoes and green peas in a pressure cooker. You can even steam them in a pan or electric cooker/Instant Pot or boil them in a pot.
2. Place a steel bowl containing ½ cup green peas (fresh or frozen) on top of the potatoes. Do not add any water in the bowl containing green peas.
3. Cover the pressure cooker. Pressure cook on medium flame for 10 minutes or 6 to 7 whistles.
4. When the pressure settles on its own in the cooker, then only open the lid. The potatoes would have cooked and become fork tender. The green peas also will be steamed well and softened.
5. Remove the bowl with the help of tongs and place the peas in the strainer – so that all the water is drained.
6. Remove the potatoes with a spoon or tongs in a bowl or plate. Let them become warm. Then peel them. Cover and keep aside. Ensure that there is no water in the potatoes.
7. Rinse 2 cups spinach leaves (100 grams spinach) in water very well. Place them in a colander so that the extra water gets drained.
You can use only the leaves and not stems if you prefer. Stems add some crunch in the kabab. Since stems give a nice crunch thus I add them. If you prefer the crunch, you can use the stems. But use only tender stems.
Note: It is best to use organic spinach or home grown spinach if possible. The spinach available in the market usually has a lot of pesticides. To remove some of the pesticides, soak the spinach in a bowl containing water, baking soda and vinegar for about 4 minutes.
Later using a strainer or colander rinse the spinach leaves very well in clean water a couple of times. Drain all the water from the strainer and keep the leaves aside.
8. Boil 1.5 to 2 cups water with some salt (optional).
9. When the water comes to a rolling boil, then switch off the flame. Add the spinach leaves and immerse them in the hot water for 2 minutes. This step is blanching the spinach leaves.
10. After 2 minutes remove the leaves with the help of pasta tongs and place them in a bowl of cold water for 1 minute. This is done so that the spinach retains their greenness.
11. After 1 minute, remove the spinach leaves in a colander. Drain the water very well. Squeeze the blanched leaves lightly between your palms if there is extra water.
12. Place the spinach on a chopping board. Do squeeze spinach lightly and then place on chopping board.
13. Then chop the spinach finely and keep aside. Instead of finely chopping, spinach can also be pureed – but then you will need to add some more roasted besan which is the binding ingredient used in this recipe.
Moreover with a spinach puree there is a high possibility of the mixture becoming sticky.
14. Take 1 green chilli and 1 to 1.5 inches ginger (peeled and chopped) in a mortar-pestle.
15. Crush to a paste. Paste can be semi-fine or fine.
16. Take 4 tablespoons gram flour (besan) in a pan or kadai. Swap gram flour with chickpea flour.
17. Keep flame to a low and roast besan stirring often.
18. Roast besan till you get a nutty fragrance and the besan changes its color.
19. Keep roasted besan aside.
Making hara bhara kabab mixture
18: In a mixing bowl add the finely chopped spinach and steamed green peas.
19. Grate the boiled potatoes over it.
20. Add the roasted gram flour.
21. Then add the ginger-chilli paste and the spice powders – 1 teaspoon chaat masala powder, 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder) and ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder. Also add salt as per taste.
TIP: If you don’t have dry mango powder, then you can replace it with ½ to 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
22. First lightly mix with a spoon.
22. First lightly mix with a spoon.
23. Then with a potato masher, mash the kabab mixture.
24. Mix again and bring the entire mixture together.
25. Take a small or medium or large sized portion of the kabab mixture and shape into a small or medium or large sized patties. Your hands will be sticky if there was moisture in the spinach. In this case, apply some oil to your palms when shaping the hara bhara kabab.
27. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons oil in tawa or pan. Spread the oil all over the tawa with a spoon. When the oil becomes medium-hot, place the kabab. if you are using a large tawa or griddle then you can fry all the kababs in 2 to 3 tablespoons oil.
I fried in two batches. So fried the first batch in 2 tablespoons oil and then fried the second batch in 1 tablespoon oil.
Use any neutral oil for frying. You can also pan fry these patties in ghee (clarified butter) for a richer flavor and taste.
29. When one side is golden, turn over gently each patty with a spatula.
30. When the second side is golden, then flip again gently.
31. Turn over and fry once or twice for an even crispness and uniform golden color.
32. Place them on kitchen paper towels. The recipe yields 8 large hara bhara kabab and 10 medium sized hara bhara kabab. This recipe can be halved or doubled or tripled as well.
32. Serve hara bhara kabab hot or warm with mint chutney or coriander chutney or tomato ketchup or sweet tamarind chutney.
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