I had never tried cannellini beans before, but was intrigued by its appearance as it looked similar to its cousin red kidney beans but of a different colour!! So my inquisitiveness gave rise to finding more about this family of ‘Beans’! Not only does it contain lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but as most beans, also has high amount of protein and fiber, an amazing combination! Fiber, aids in digestion while protein helps maintain optimal health and build healthy body mass giving you a surge of energy! Both highly recommended during pregnancy as you tend to suffer from constipation and fatigue becomes your middle name!!
To go back to how the recipe originated, well after reading about it I thought I should give it a try but rather than use it to make the same old stews, salads or a main dish I wanted to make something a bit more creative and with a bit of gusto! In India a dish that is popular in most parts but given its own unique regional twists is something called ‘Daal ke Pakore’ or fried lentils dumplings which is almost like the world famous ‘onion bhajias’ but instead of onions its made of lentils. Cannellini beans too essentially comes from a lentil family that is, it is also a grain!
Most dishes I make or improvise resolves around what we as a family especially the kids would like. Its my observation that most children prefer finger food rather than the sappy saucy spoon up meals!! Raking my brain for healthy packed easy lunches is also a challenge! I am not saying that this recipes can be made in the morning given how one has to wrestle with a grouchy kid and a ticking clock, but it’s something that can be prepared the night before, warmed up again and packed. It tasted just as good when cold with a little bit of ketchup or better still tangy tamarind chutney!!
So I found this particular dish fitting most scenarios, it was rather simple and easy to make during those fatigue driven pregnancy days, healthy for your body and great lunch box treat for the kids!!
Cannellini Beans and Spinach Fritters
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Deep fried spicy cannellini beans and spinach fritters
Cannellini Beans – 1, 250 gms can
Spinach, frozen or fresh – 1 cup
Gram flour – 3/4 cup
Garlic powder or fresh chopped garlic (optional) – 1 tsp
Turmeric- 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp or as per taste
Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
1. Put the can of cannellini beans, spinach, garlic, turmeric powder, red chili powder,garam masala powder and salt in a blender and blend into a coarse paste. The mixture should not be too smooth,it should be thick and grainy.
2. Now take the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the gram flour powder to the beans mixture and mix it well to incorporate the flour with the beans and spinach mix. The consistency of the mixture should be thick enough so that is holds in a spoon.
3. Heat oil in a pan ready for frying the fritters.
4. While the oil gets heated,add lemon juice, about 4 tbsp of oil to the beans and spinach mixture and mix well. Make quenelles with two spoons or simply scoop into spoon and drop it in the hot oil for deep frying.
5. Fry until light golden brown in colour and drain on a kitchen towel.
6. Serve hot with ketchup, taramind chutney or mint chutney.