Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yam Koftas, Gluten Free Holiday Party Poppers

    Ready or not, the Holidays are coming. Like it or not, the Relatives are coming. Like it or not you are going to have to feed people who show up just once a year, give you a cheap plastic panini maker "As Seen On TV." It's handle falls off the first time you use it. Or a Slap Chop, "Loooka that thing go!" and in return They WILL Be Fed. They WILL Be Snacked and Liquored up. After all, isn't  that what Pizza sticks and Chicken Fingers and Hot Pockets were created for? Of course it is. And then they will move on. Not to be seen for another 12 months. Think of them as cicadas with presents.

   But when the smoke clears, and the turkey carcass has been turned to soup, and you grab a breather with your real friends on what the stores call "Black Friday" but we used to call "Left Over Thanksgiving," then the fun begins. The pressure of pleasing picky in-laws, argumentative aunts and all the rest of them is gone and it's time to kick back, relax and share the season's best with the people who've got your back on a daily basis.

   This is not a fancy night. This is not about table cloths and the good crystal. This is not about fine silver or sitting at the Kids' Table. This is about simple. This is about easy. After all, when you've spent the better part if the week, baking, stuffing and basting, complicated is not on the menu. We always have Friday Thanksgiving at our house. Exhausted friends gather bringing left overs. Wine and beer, halves of pie, pieces of cakes and cookies and we have fun. No pressure.

   Which is where these yam koftas come in. Yams and sweet potatoes are popular this time of year. They've got two things going for them. They're cheap and easy to find. Usually they're all tangled up with maple syrup or marshmallows or something like that. Yam Koftas take those good old Holiday favorites in quite a different direction. Yam koftas are a savory. In Indian cuisine, they're usually served similar to meatballs, in a spicy curry gravy. However I like to turn yam koftas into a cocktail snack, a finger food, something to sit around and dip into something cool or spicy while you swap crazy relative stories with your friends.

   When I said easy, I meant easy. What you see in the picture below is all you need to turn out a batch of these tasty treats. Yeah, it's that easy.

Yam Koftas

Here's what you need:

 2 Medium sized yams
 1/2 cup of frozen peas (defrosted)
 1 large chopped shallot
 1 finely chopped  and seeded serrano chili
 2 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro
 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds
 1/2 tsp of salt
 A pinch of pepper
 2 Tbs of corn starch
 1/4 tsp of baking powder

   Contrary to what you might think about Indian food being complicated, these aren't. Chances are you have everything in your kitchen right now to whip up a batch of these.

Here's what to do:
    The first thing that needs to be done is to cook those yams. Now, you could bake them in the oven, which takes a while. Or you  could do what I did, which is gave them a fast microwave bake.
   Wash and dry the yams. Poke holes in them all over with a fork. Set them on a paper plate  and cook them one at a time in a microwave set on high for 2 minutes, then turn them over and cook them for another 2 minutes. When the yams are cooked, scoop out the yam meat and place it in a bowl.

   Go all medieval on it.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, grease a cookie sheet and set it aside.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the mashed yams.

Mix them all together.

Roll the kofta mix into small balls and set the balls on the greased cookie sheet.

Bake the koftas until they're nicely puffed and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
It's that easy.

   Serve the koftas with a nice dipping sauce, a chutney, a salsa or anything you might like. As I said, it's simple and easy after all the Thanksgiving fuss. Another great thing about these little treats... They're gluten free and vegan too, besides them being pretty dang tasty. Serve them along with the Pumpkin Koftas as a couple of great cocktail or appetizer snacks.

   Coming up next, the big Clay Pot Goat-a-palooza where once again the real and the virtual collide, including something different for this site... some banging holiday cocktails courtesy of @FoodAperture aka Phil From Mutineer Magazine.

   There's also a Giveaway courtesy of Tropical Traditions read all about it here. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


  1. wow delicious and tempting koftas,luks gr8!

  2. These look so good! A perfect appetizer for the holiday parties =)

  3. ok...best line EVER. "cicadas with presents" I love you. Also, your photos are beautiful and really have evolved (waving to Allen)

  4. this looks delicious. i love the combo of sweet potato and peas here!

  5. What a great appetizer idea - tasty, pretty AND easy. I have a feeling a batch of these just might make an appearance at my next cocktail party. :) Gorgeous photos, BTW!

  6. What a wonderful way to take the holiday stress away! I really like the idea of making kofta appetizers and appreciate the savory treatment of sweet potatoes!

  7. first time here...wow these yam koftas look so delicious....this recipe is new for me but I would surely love to try it next time. I have a space only on fish recipes. do vit my space sometimes. Happy to follow u here :-)

  8. Just came across your blog & this post from 6Bittersweets. This one's interesting; sadly I threw my yam just y'day because I didn't know what to do with it after I baked it in oven for 10 mins yet nothing happened. Plus it was light pinkish in color upon peeling. Found weird, thought I couldn't make anything out of it. Argh!
    I'm going to make your koftas next time; bookmarked!

  9. Such a nice recipe Kathy, a good break from the same old - same old thanksgiving recipes!

  10. what type of yam is this? very interesting idea!



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