Sunday 18 August 2013

Black Bean, Pea and Mint Bites with Raita Dressing GF SCD

I stopped picking the mint from the garden a couple of years ago because whenever I glanced out of the window the local black tomcat was sitting on it. Moving it into a pot didn't help but this year, I've had a plentiful supply from my Mother's garden and we're loving the wonderful fragrance in the kitchen.

These little bites are perfect for adding to salads, putting in wraps or just snacking on. They need to be prepared in advance to cooking because the mixture has to cool down before you can shape it. If you want to eat them cold they actually improve in the fridge overnight. The raita can be made with coconut or dairy yogurt and adds a freshness which works beautifully with the bites, especially when served in a wrap. We wrap them in crisp cos lettuce leaves, perfect! This recipe makes 12 mini bites but you could form them into 4 burgers as an alternative.

Black Bean, Pea and Mint Bites with Raita Dressing GF SCD

150g frozen peas
230g cooked black beans 
½ medium red onion
1 small clove garlic crushed
1 heaped tblsp fresh mint chopped
3 heaped tblsps fresh parsley chopped
1 rounded tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp coriander
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Raita Dressing

240ml (1 cup) of yogurt or dairy free yogurt
1 tblsp grated carrot
1 tblsp finely sliced cucumber
1 tblsp finely sliced red onion
1 tblsp finely sliced tomato (without the seeds)
1 tblsp finely chopped fresh mint

First make the raita.

Pour the yogurt into a bowl and add the finely chopped or sliced vegetables and mint. Pour into a dish and sprinkle with paprika. Cover and store in the fridge until needed.

Then make the mini bites. Very finely chop the red onion.

Gently heat about half a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a pan then tip in the cumin seeds and coriander and cook on a medium heat for about a minute, stirring regularly. Add the chopped red onion and crushed garlic and cook on a gentle heat until the onion is soft.

Add the frozen peas.

Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the peas are just cooked. Meanwhile tip the beans and chopped herbs into a food processor bowl and add freshly ground sea salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.

Tip in the cooked onion and peas mixture, making sure you scrape everything into the bowl.

Pulse until the ingredients are combined but you can still see bits of chopped peas or beans in the mixture. Tip into a bowl and allow to cool in the fridge.

When the mixture is cool, take heaped tablespoons of the mixture and form into 12 balls (I used a small ice cream scoop). Then flatten them and reshape, they are slightly sticky.

Gently heat a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a deep frying pan. Cook the bites on a low to medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes each side or until just browned.

It's best to do this in batches and you may have to reshape while they are cooking.

They should look like this when they are cooked. Serve them hot or cold, we LOVE them straight out of the fridge the day after when they're not as fragile to hold.