Thursday, November 10, 2016

Vegan Eggplant Sweet Potato Kefta Balls

I love eating at Aladdin Eatery. I relish their Turkish dishes especially the Kefta which is served as Kebabs. This vegan version of this particular dish in this blog post has the flavor of the spices of Kefta and uses eggplant and sweet potatoes in place of the traditional lamb or beef used in this Turkish dish. I also prepared it into balls instead of the more familiar cylindrical shape.

I based this recipe from the one in the blog Skinny Taste with a lot of modifications. Instead of beans to hold the eggplant mixture together I used sweet potatoes. You can retain the use of beans for more protein if you like. I also substituted  celery for the parsley since I did not have this herb. I also increased the flavor of the original recipe by adding homemade Turkish spice rub which I have published previously in this blog. This transformed the original recipe to the glorious Kefta.

I baked the balls which browned well with a sort of mushy center. One could also pan fry it which I might try next time I prepare this.  I might also add more Panko crumbs and blend it less vigorously in the food processor to add firmness to the prepared Kefta balls. The other thing I might do so I can control the consistency of the eggplant is to microwave it rather than saute it.  I have done this previously with a lot of success in this blog.

I decided to serve the balls in the form of a wrap using Ranch dressing (vegan recipe here) as the sauce and with lettuce and tomatoes. So refreshingly delicious. You can also serve this with marinara sauce over pasta or on a bun.

Vegan Eggplant Sweet Potato Kefta Balls

(Adapted from Skinny Taste)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 lb eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 tsp Turkish spice rub (recipe here)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 cup Panko crumb or more
  • 1/8 tsp red chili peppers (optional)
  • more salt to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a large saute pan.  Add the eggplant pieces and 1/4 cup water till the eggplant is soft. Season with salt and pepper.  About 10 -15 minutes.  Place the eggplant in the food processor bowl and pulse gently.

Add the other 1/2 tbsp oil in the saute pan and add the onion, garlic, celery and turkish spice mix and cook till the onion is translucent and the celery softened.  Add the mixture and the sweet potatoes in the food processor bowl and pulse gently till mix. 

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the oregano, red chili peppers if using and Panko crumbs  Adjust the salt.

Shape into balls or patties. (About 15 2-inch balls or patties).  Place in the pan.  Bake for 30 minutes then flip and bake for 10 minutes more.

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