Here are some pics from our dacha after a quick rain which is this summer 2014 a very ‘frequent guest’, as we put it in Russian. The photos are from mid June though, when there were all these flowers around. The same applies to the recipes I wanted to share with you all this time, Russian carrot patties inspired by a dish I once ate at a vegetarian cafe in St Petersburg. There the patties were called rather un-vegetarian-like Zajka Moya, My Bunny : ) Both recipes I’m sharing here with you do not contain flour, butter or eggs and were listed under ‘Lenten’ food on the original websites.
But first let’s enjoy some more nature:
Those peonies were huge!
This is thyme in blossom and oh so fragrant. I like to put some in my tea, whether fresh or dried, it’s lovely.
Love the pattern of the ‘sun’ part (the yellow)
A rose is just a… beautiful rose!
And here come the carrot patties! Get the best and the most out of fresh carrots with these two recipes I found on the Russian food sites. №1 The first variant requires boiling carrots before making the patties which makes them super-soft:
A year ago – Seeds and Grains
Two years ago – Sourdough Bread with Dates and Flaxseeds
Carrot Patties adapted and translated for you from pojrem.ru (website’s name can be decently translated as ‘let’s eat away’) will make neat almost melt-in-the-mouth patties. My remarks are in italics. I actually halved the amount of the ingredients.
- 700 g carrots, unpeeled
- 1/2 cups semolina – I used semolina for the batter and wheat bran to roll the patties in
- 2 tsp sugar
- vegetable oil for frying
- salt, to taste – I accidentally put in too much of salt… + added curry and premixed seasoning for salads
Cook the unpeeled carrots in salted water till they are done. Let cool a bit, peel and finely grate them. – This is the trick of these patties – they are so soft because the carrots have been boiled first! I forgot that the carrots had to be unpeeled, btw… But there was no problem with that.
Add half of the semolina and the sugar to the carrots and mix well. Form patties (make them rather small = easier to handle!) and coat them with the remaining semolina (here I ran out of semolina so I used wheat bran instead which was actually quite nice!). Fry on both sides in vegetable oil (when my were done I also let them cool down a bit on a paper towel so that the excess oil is eliminated : ). Serve the patties with sour cream (smetana) or jam (yes, the recipe says so and indeed, these might turn out quite sweet if you do not overload them with salt and seasoning!).
Result: These patties cook through perfectly and yet remain really soft and tasty. What I also like about them is that you don’t get those soaked-in-the-oil fried things. The recipe can be easily halved. Be careful with the salt though – if you put too much you can try to ‘extinguish’ the salt with plain yogurt, which I did, or if you put too little than serve these with some salty sauce as the patties might be a tad too sweet!
№2 The second recipe does not require par-boiled carrots but you will have to cook the veggies first anyway. This recipe did not make nice-looking patties though as they were quite not willing to keep their shape when I cooked them:
Lenten Carrot Patties with Semolina adapted and translated from webspoon.ru will make spicy patties (paprika is good!) though rather oily and somewhat falling apart.) My remarks are in italics.
- 3 Tbs water
- 60 g semolina
- 2 onions – I took 1 big onion
- 20 ml sunflower oil
- 500 g carrots
- 6 Tbs breadcrumbs – I used whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- a pinch of ground black pepper
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 cloves of garlic – I took 1 big clove
Dice the onions and sautée in the oil. Add salt, pepper and paprika.
Peel the carrots and shred it with a kitchen aid or just finely grate it. Add the carrots to the onions. Incorporate the semolina and add water. Cook the mixture for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should thicken. Finally add minced garlic.
Form small patties (which was quite tricky!) and coat them in breadcrumbs. Cook the patties on both sides in oil. Serve them hot!
Result: Though these patties tend to fall apart when you try to cook them and also take more time to get cooked, the taste is nice, spicy and rich thanks to the par-cooked vegetables.
Verdict: So, I would vote for the first recipe: although it is less tasteful (forgive me for this phrase), there’s less oil and they are so soft! Probably I just did not eat enough dietary food at the kindergarten (which I skipped) =) The second recipe is more for those who do not like carrots when they are sweet – and paprika makes them really spicy!
For more lunch / dinner ideas (mostly vegetarian), check this page.
Will come back with some bread!