Friday, March 18, 2011

Really Large Ricotta stuffed gnocchi

Anyone familiar with the street food scene in India would invariably have come across a firm favorite: The 'ragda patty'
This surprisingly nutritious street side snack consists of a pan fried potato patty drowned in 'ragda', a mildly seasoned curry made with dried peas, & liberally garnished with raw onion & cilantro.
In the early days of panfusine & this blog, I had created a version of ragda substituting the patty with gnocchi. The dish was delicious, but my inexperience in writing about its potential as a star recipe may have pushed it towards oblivion.
My interpretation of this dish consists of a rather large pan fried gnocchi stuffed with a ricotta cheese mixture. The ricotta itself is seasoned with mint, coriander & lemon zest.
Its paired with a split pea puree, seasoned with ginger, scallions & garam masala.
I've resorted to including store bought tamarind sauce for the sake of convenience. A basic version of the recipe can be found on this link: http://www.food52.com/recipes/10460_sweet_sour_tamarind_sauce

Makes 8-10
Ricotta stuffed gnocchi:
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely minced
  • 2 small thai green chillies, deseeded & finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups boiled & mashed Idaho potatoes
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt to taste
  • 2 pinches fresh ground peppercorn (optional)
  • 1/4 cup oil (for pan frying)
  • store bought Tamarind sauce as per personal taste.


Mix the ricotta cheese, mint, cilantro, green chillies, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp salt & lemon juice till well combined. Place in refrigerator for 1/2 hr to allow the flavors to blend.
In a mixing bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, cornflour & remaining salt (adjust as per personal preference) & peppercorn (if preferred). Knead well into a dough.
Divide the potato dough into 8 - 10 parts and roughly shape each one into a ball.
Placing one ball of dough in the palm of your hand. make a 'well in the center using your thumb. Expand this well till the ball resembles a little cup.

Spoon a heaped teaspoon of the ricotta mixture into the well. Using your fingers, fold over the edges of the cup to cover & seal the ricotta filling completely. Flatten slightly into a disk.

Repeat with the remaining dough. You may cover these with plastic wrap & place in refrigerator till you're ready to pan fry them.

Heat oil in a non stick skillet on medium high. When the oil is hot, fry the gnocchi in batches till golden brown on both sides. (~ 2-3 minutes)
When done, remove & place on a plate lined with paper towels. To keep these warm, cover with Aluminum foil & place in a warm oven (~ 200 F).




Split green pea puree:
  • 2 cups rehydrated split green peas,
  • 4 scallions chopped (green & white part)
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger-chilli paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon / lime juice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (~ 8-10 leaves)
  • 1 pinch asafetida (optional)

To make the chilli-ginger paste, combine 1 inch piece of ginger (minced) & 2 small green chillies (chopped) & pound into a paste using a mortar & pestle. It need not be too fine, just enough to release the flavor since the puree will be strained in the end.
Cook the re-hydrated split green peas with turmeric powder till well cooked. Drain & set aside, reserving the turmeric infused cooking liquid.
In a pan heat the oil. when hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds sputter, add the curry leaves, the chilli ginger paste & the optional asafetida,
Give a quick stir & add the scallions. Saute till they get soft & the flavors of the ginger & scallions begin to combine.
Add salt, red chilli powder, garam masala, the cooked peas, sugar and a cup of the reserved liquid.
Cover & cook on a medium-low heat for ~ 5-8 minutes.
Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree well and strain. Discard the residue.
Return to the stove, adjust the thickness of the puree as per your personal preference using either more of the reserved liquid or water if the former has been used up.
Add lemon juice, combine & remove from the stove.
To plate, spoon required quantity of the puree on to a plate. Place 2 gnocchi in the center, drizzle with tamarind sauce. Garnish with finely chopped mint & cilantro & serve with a wedge of lemon.

7 comments:

  1. Niv: You certainly come up with great recipes. Can't wait to try this one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. hi there,
    greetings, i read a glowing feature on you & ur awesome blog in today's newspaper (The Hindu-supplement section ); am glad to folluw ur recipes & Keep rocking !

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have an awesome blog! I must say you are amazingly creative.

    ReplyDelete
  4. delurked for the first time to let you know that i loved the article about your blog in the hindu .

    best wishes,
    s.g.s

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is really nice ... will definately try this. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

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