Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

bargain yumminess: potato cakes with sausages in a tamarind sauce

on January 16, 2011

I have to say, I totally love this recipe. It’s another Ravinder Bhogal one from her book Cook in Boots and I’ve made it many times. I hadn’t made it in a while though, until yesterday, because I’d run out of tamarind. Ravinder’s recipe is just the potato cakes with the tamarind and chickpea sauce. You can really add anything to them to make a full meal. I use sausages because they’re cheap and cheerful. But fish works well too, especially white fish. Grilled chicken or pork chops would be nice as well.

And, with the exception of deep frying the potato cakes – these are pretty healthy. There are ways of making it healthier. Frying in groundnut or sesame oil is much healthier than sunflower or vegetable oil. And I always drain them on kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil. But they do need to be fried and not baked to get the lovely crisp outsides. But don’t wind yourself up too much about the frying – these are still healthy in spite of it, and a little fat never did anyone any harm. These are also vegetarian and vegan (if done the Ravinder way, and also without the sausages!).

Do not be worried by the tamarind either. It’s a totally wonderful ingredient, really delicious, very aesthetically pleasing when cooked, looks very interesting when in pod form on the tree, and is very easy to manage. The simplest way to use it is to get pre-made tamarind concentrate. However, this is expensive and doesn’t last long. The cheaper and more effective way to do it is to get the tamarind blocks, break off a chunk, soak it in hot water for 15-20 minutes, and then push it through a seive to make the concentrate. I reserve the water it was soaking in too, as it adds to the flavour. You chuck away whatever doesn’t go through the seive.

You can use normal potatoes for the potato cakes – as Ravinder says, this is the more usual option. However, I love her choice of the sweet potatoes. They look wonderful and taste beautiful with the tamarind sauce. But if you don’t have sweet potatoes, just use normal ones.

This is not a quick recipe, so don’t make this when you’re really hungry and want to eat fast. It’s a good one for the weekend, or if you have some time. And it’s definitely worth the effort too.

Potato cakes in tamarind sauce with sausages and brocolli

Serves 2

  • 4 pork sausages (I used pork and apple)

For the potato cakes:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (or normal ones) peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • a small knob of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped (de seed if you don’t want too spicy)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp plain flour (Ravinder uses 1tbsp gram flour)
  • 1 egg (Ravinder uses breadcrumbs instead)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander (I omitted as I’ve run out)
  • 20-30ml groundnut or sesame oil

For the tamarind sauce:

  • 1 tbsp oil (I used olive)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick ground (or 1tbsp ground cinnamon)
  • 4 cardamom pods – seeds only – bashed
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1.5 tbsp tamarind concentrate
  • 50ml water (or reserved tamarind water)
  • 1/2 tin of chickpeas
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander (I omitted)

For the Indian spiced brocolli:

  • 100g brocolli florets
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used sesame)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • salt
  1. First of all, prepare the potato cakes. Steam the potato chunks until soft and cooked. You can also boil, but steaming is nicer.
  2. Meanwhile, put the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and spices in a large bowl. When the potato is cooked, add it to the bowl and mash together.
  3. Next add the egg and the flour (I add enough flour so they aren’t too sticky) and beat both into the potato mix until well combined. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  4. Whilst that’s doing, pre-heat the grill for the sausages and steam the brocolli. Again you can boil, but steaming is nicer. Steam until cooked. Also, if using the tamarind blocks, soften some of it in hot water at this point.
  5. After the potato mix has been in the fridge for about 15 minutes, place the sausages under the grill and cook on all sides. Don’t forget to prick them or they’ll explode. Make your tamarind concentrate now too, if using the tamarind block.
  6. Next, make your tamarind sauce. Heat the oil in a small-ish saucepan or high frying pan. Add the onion with a little salt and fry on a high heat until part cooked. Then add the spices and continue cooking until they become fragrant. This usually takes a couple of minutes.
  7. Then add the tomato puree, tamarind concentrate and water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and add the chickpeas. Continue simmering until the chickpeas are well coated and the tamarind sauce is shimmering. Set aside until needed.
  8. Now make the potato cakes. Add the lime juice and coriander to the mix. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (you want the oil to be a good 2cm/nearly 1inch deep in the pan). When it’s very hot, using your hands, form patties with the mixture. I usually use about 1.5-2 tbsp of the mix to make the patties. Drop into the oil and fry on a high heat on each side until browned and crispy. Turn out on to kitchen paper and place at the bottom of the grill to keep warm.
  9. When all the potato cakes are made, remove all the oil from the pan, except for about 1tbsp of it. Add the mustard seeds for the broccoli to the pan and when they start to pop add the chilli and cumin powders. Mix well in the pan with the oil to make a kind of paste and then remove from the heat. Toss the broccoli in the mix to coat in the spices.
  10. And serve! Put 2 potato cakes on a plate, followed by the sausages. Put the brocolli on the side and spoon the tamarind sauce over the potato cakes. And enjoy – maybe with a nice cold glass of white wine too!

3 responses to “bargain yumminess: potato cakes with sausages in a tamarind sauce

  1. […] I already wrote about the sweet potato cakes – you can find it here….  The only difference was, I used red chillis this […]

  2. Alan says:

    Thanks. I might give that a go a the weekend.

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