I formed the idea for these fried gems Sunday, but didn’t until today have the yams needed to make them happen. Must have seen an ad on TV for sweet potato tots, came up with the name tiger tots, then needed something for the black tiger stripes. Black beans leapt to mind.
I hacked a recipe for Mixed Vegetable Fritters from The Indian Vegan Kitchen (I subbed yams and black beans for the white potatoes and spinach in the recipe), so these are really just pakoras. Their Indian origin brought to mind the Tamil Tigers, but I was just smart enough to brush up on my Sri Lankan history before I thought of calling these Tamil Tiger Tots. That done, these are just Tiger Tots. No connection whatsoever to the separatist movement. No need to mix civil unrest with fried snacks.
Want to give them a try? Mix in a bowl a cup of black beans, a cup of shredded yams, a half cup finely chopped onion, one or two finely chopped jalapenos, a teaspoon of ground coriander, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a teaspoon salt and a teaspoon of amchur (sour mango powder, or just use lemon or lime juice). Toss the mixture with one cup besan (chick pea flour), two tablespoons cream of rice (huh?–don’t ask me–since my mill was out to grind the chickpeas into flour, I just ground up some brown rice, too). Add a half cup of water and mix well. Mine wasn’t too sticky. The patties weren’t holding together.
My chick pea and rice flours were probably not sufficiently fine. So I used a potato masher to mush up the works. That released from the beans and onions some liquid. Then I let it sit for five minutes. That gave the coarse flour a chance to absorb the liquids and become sticky. It worked. With that, the patties formed easily and they held together during frying.
Fry small hand formed patties in oil. I used a mix of peanut oil and canola oil (would have used grape seed oil if I had it) in my wok. Fried four at a time for a couple of minutes on each side.
I’ll be honest with you–they aren’t as good as they look. Good enough that there will be a next time, but I should use two or three jalapenos with the seeds in and add more salt. That should pump ’em up just right. Or maybe I am being too hard on my precious Tiger Tots. Might have helped if I didn’t make them in the middle of the afternoon. I wasn’t really hungry, so I had no business making a batch of fried snacks. I just couldn’t wait. Cooking is too fun!
I also planted seven flats of veggies. Let’s see if I can name them from memory. Roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes (together in one flat). Cucumbers. Celeriac (no idea–I just got the seed packet for free when I signed up for the community garden). Dino kale. Flat leaf kale (don’t know the variety–it showed up in my garden and I saved the seeds). Mustard greens. Basil. That’s it! They are all warming atop propagation mats now. I have a bunch of seeds that will be sown directly in the ground at the two gardens, also. Exciting!