Vegetable chop recipe | Bengali vegetable chop | How to make vegetable chop


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Bengal is the heaven of street food and myriad chop recipes, rolls, cutlets, pakodas are prepared in the street corners, line hotels and restaurants. Tele bhaja, I mean deep fried stuffs are always a big forte of Bengali street food and chop recipes are one of them. In fact, a pair of vegetable chop with a bowl of moori (puffed rice), kacha lanka (green chilli) and peyaj (onion) is one of the favourite food of Bengalis.


What is chop?

Chop is a Bengali street food which is quite like cutlet or croquettes recipe. But both are quite different in taste and texture from each other. Many people consider Chop as an Anglo-Indian recipe. According to them, when British came to India, they used to have breaded deep-fried meat and eggs. With time, these recipes got modified in Bengali kitchen with regional flavours and using different types vegetables and fish in addition to meat and eggs. In this way, different types of chop recipes got invented in Bengal. Vegetable chop recipe aka Bengali vegetable chop is one of them.


Types of chop recipe

There are different varieties of chop recipes that are prepared in Bengal. One of it is the vegetarian one that is prepared with different types of vegetables like aloor chop, vegetable chop, raw jackfruit chop aka echorer chop, mochar chop aka banana blossom chop and many more. On the other hand, nonveg chop is mostly prepared with fishes, eggs, minced meat like prawn chop, mutton chop, chicken chop, egg chop, fish chop etc
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Whenever I talk about Vegetable chop recipe, it always makes me feel nostalgic. I still remember how my dad used to bring Bengali vegetable chop with cucumber-onion salad from our regular street food vendor for evening snacks and how we used to devour that with immense pleasure.

In fact, vegetable chop was one of the most popular snack recipes in our student life, especially during Durga puja. There are three reasons behind it.

  • It tastes amazing and you can have it without spoiling your make up during puja.
  • It is cheap but the portion is enough to kill your hunger for couple of hours.
  • It is a pure veg no onion no garlic recipe. Many people have rituals to have pure veg food during selected days in durga puja. Veg chop recipe is a perfect match for the situation.

But after leaving Bengal for job, I used to crave for Bengali street food badly. Though there are very few Bengali food stalls in Pune and Bengaluru, but it is not always possible to go so far for the snack. Even now, whenever I go to my hometown, I always visit street food stalls and have vegetable chop to satisfy my crave and to give a throwback to the memories of school & college days.

But after marriage, with the passage of time as I have myself become an experienced cook now, I decided to prepare this delish at home during Durga Puja. I had first prepared the Vegetable chop recipe for the first time at home four years back and it came up pretty good in taste and texture. But they got slightly cracked during the time of frying which made me disappointed then. But with time and experience, I have now learnt how to prepare perfect Bengali vegetable chop which even tastes better than the market bought ones. Today, I am going to share the full proof vegetable chop recipe with you including all tips and tricks which will help you to meet perfection.

Normally, vegetable chop recipe can be prepared in two different ways. One by grating the vegetables and cooking them with mashed potato, bhaja masala and herbs. Another way is by boiling all the vegetables together and mashing them nicely. Then all the spices and herbs are mixed with the mashed vegetables. Second method is much easier as compared to the first method.

Usually, most of the restaurants and stalls follow the first type to prepare vegetable chop recipe. The second type is ideal for the situation when you are running out of time. But there is no doubt that cooked grated vegetables taste better than the boiled ones. As I already mentioned, I am dedicating this recipe to the Durga puja festival. So, I will not go for any short cut. Hence, I will share the first method of Bengali vegetable chop recipe with you.

The difficulty level of preparing vegetable chop recipe is moderate and it requires little bit of arrangement before preparing. It is a little bit time consuming recipe because the chop needs to be shaped and coated with breadcrumbs and the bhaja masala needs to be prepared at home. But it’s completely worth to spend each second on it.

Vegetable chop recipe tastes completely different from other chop recipes because it is a no onion no garlic recipe and it is prepared with freshly ground bhaja masala which gives it a completely different flavour.

Vegetable chop recipe with step by step photos and instructions have been provided in the ‘Instruction’ section of the recipe. If you follow each step of my recipe precisely then you will get crispy vegetable chop with perfect flavour and taste which will taste better than the market bought ones.


Tips to prepare perfect vegetable chop

  • Don’t skip bhaja masala for the recipe or don’t replace it with any other spice mixture.
  • Use lightly crushed roasted peanuts. It gives a nice bite to the vegetable chop recipe.
  • Always double coat the vegetable chop with breadcrumbs to get perfect crispy outer layer.
  • After coating the vegetable chop with breadcrumbs, refrigerate it for an hour to set the coating. This step helps to give crack free vegetable chop during the time of deep frying.
  • Always check the temperature of the oil before adding vegetable chops to deep fry by adding little bit of batter into the oil or else the chop may break.
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How to make vegetable chop

To prepare the vegetable chop recipe, I have taken equal portions of carrot and beetroot. First, I have peeled carrots, beetroots and grated them with the help of a hand grater. It is one of the most time-consuming part of the preparation. If you have food processor with grater blade, then don’t hesitate to use it. It will reduce the preparation time as well as your effort.

Then to prepare the bhaja masala, dry roast the whole spices and allow it to cool down completely before grinding. After this, grind the whole spices till dust. For this, I have used cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and dry red chilli.

On the other hand, wash potatoes thoroughly and put it in a pressure cooker with enough water to boil it. Boil the potatoes till al dente. Don’t overcook the potatoes or else they will become soggy. I have pressure cooked the potatoes till 2 whistles in medium high flame. If you like to boil the potatoes in pan, you can do it according to your preference.

When the pressure gets releases, take the potatoes out of it and allow it to slightly cool down till touchable. Then peel the skin off the potatoes and mash them to a smooth paste with the help of either potato masher or hand.

To prepare the vegetable chop mixture, first I have added oil into a pan and tempered panch phoran whole spice mixture for flavouring. Though Panch Phoran is a very familiar spice of Bengal, but still many people, from other regions outside Bengal, have doubts about this spice mixture. Before going further to the recipe, let me explain about the popular Bengali spice mix Panch phoran.

Paanch phoran is a mixture of five whole spices which constitutes of equal proportions of Fenugreek seeds (Methi), Cumin seeds (Jeera), Nigella seeds (Kalonji), Fennel seeds (Saunf) and Radhuni (Trachyspermum Roxburghianum). Normally, in regions outside of West Bengal, Radhuni is replaced by Black Mustard seeds (Sorshe). In fact, the panch phoran masala that I have used contains black mustard seeds.

After tempering the panch phoran, add ginger paste, finely chopped green chillies into the pan. Cook them until the raw smell of ginger disappears.

Then add grated beetroot into the pan and mix it nicely. Put on the lid of the pan and cook them in low flame for 3-4 minutes. After this, add grated carrots and mix it nicely. Add salt and mix them nicely. Cover the pan and cook them till soft but not mushy. It will take some time to get cooked.

Then add mashed potato in it and mix nicely. Cook the mixture in medium flame for couple of minutes and then add sugar and bhaja masala into the mixture and mix it evenly. Cook the mixture in low flame for a minute and switch off the flame.

Add crushed roasted peanut and finely chopped coriander leaves into the pan and mix it nicely. Transfer the whole content to a plate and allow it to cool down completely before shaping them into the form of chop.

Apply oil in your palm and grab a large portion of the mixture in your hand and shape it into cylindrical form by pressing with the help of fingers and palms. Repeat the process and form chop with rest of the mixture.

Make a thin batter of all-purpose flour and corn flour with water for the coating of the chop and take breadcrumbs in a separate bowl or plate to roll the chops.

Dip the shaped chop into the batter and roll it on breadcrumbs. Repeat the process one more time and make a double coating with the batter and breadcrumbs.

Then refrigerate the Bengali vegetable chop for 1 hour. This process helps the coating to get set nicely to avoid any crack during the time of deep frying the chops.

Then take a deep pan and add enough oil to deep fry the vegetable chop. Check the temperature of the oil by adding little bit of batter into the oil. If it floats up, then the oil is ready to fry the vegetable chop.

Add the vegetable chop into the oil and fry them evenly till crispy and golden brown in colour. Don’t overcrowd the pan during the time of frying the vegetable chop and turn the chop delicately.

Many vegan snacks recipe have already been shared in my previous post. You can check few of them like


..And Many more…
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Ingredients:

For vegetable chop
  • 1 cup Beetroot, grated
  • 1 cup Carrot, grated
  • 2 boiled Potatoes or 1 ½ cup mashed Potato
  • 1 green Chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger paste
  • 4 tablespoons Coriander leaves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Panch phoran
  • 2 tablespoons roasted Peanut, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Oil, to cook

For the Bhaja masala
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander seeds
  • 1 dry red Chilli
  • 1 Bay leaf, medium
  • 1-inch Cinnamon stick
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 Cardamoms
  • 10 peppercorns

For the Coating
  • 2½ tablespoons All-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons Cornflour
  • 6-7 tablespoons Water
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • Oil to deep fry the vegetable chop



Instructions:
  1. To prepare the bhaja masala, take a pan and put it on flame.
  2. Add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and dry red chilli into the pan and dry roast them over medium flame for couple of minutes until a nice aroma comes up.

  3. Transfer the tossed spices on a separate plate and allow it to cool down.
  4. Transfer the spice mix into the small jar of the grinder and pulse them to fine dust. Keep the bhaja masala aside.

  5. To boil the potatoes, wash them and put them in the pressure cooker with enough water. Close the lid of the cooker and cook them over medium flame till 2 whistles. Switch off the flame and allow the pressure cooker to release pressure.
  6. Let the potatoes cool down till touchable and peel the skin off.
  7. Mash the potatoes with the help of potato masher, fork or hand and keep it aside.

  8. Put a pan on flame and let it become completely dry.
  9. Add oil into the pan and wait until the oil is hot.
  10. Add panch phoran spice mix into the pan and let them crackle.
  11. Add ginger paste, chopped green chillies into the pan and mix it nicely.

  12. Sauté them in low flame for 1-2 minutes.
  13. Add grated beetroot into the pan and give a nice mix. Cook it in medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
  14. Add grated carrots into the pan and give a nice mix.
  15. Add salt and mix it nicely.
  16. Cover the pan and cook it in medium low flame for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables get cooked. Cook them till tender but not mushy.
  17. Add mashed potatoes (Step 7) into the pan and mix it evenly with the beetroot-carrot mixture.
  18. Sauté it in medium flame for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in between in regular intervals.
  19. Add bhaja masala (Step 4), sugar into the pan and mix it evenly.
  20. Cook it in low flame for another minute and switch off the flame.
  21. Add chopped coriander leaves, crushed roasted peanuts into the vegetable chop mixture and mix it properly.

  22. Transfer the content on a plate and allow it to cool down.
  23. Apply oil on your palm and pinch large portion of the content in your hand. Make it into cylindrical shape by rolling it in your palm and pressing with your fingers. Repeat the process and shape chop with rest of the mixture.


  24. For the coating of vegetable chop, add cornflour, all-purpose flour, water into a bowl and prepare a batter of moderate consistency. The batter should not be too thick nor too runny.



  25. On the other hand, take breadcrumbs in a separate dry bowl or plate.
  26. Dip the veg chop in the batter and then roll it over the breadcrumbs and coat it evenly.



  27. Repeat the process again by diping the veg chop in the batter and rolling it over breadcrumbs and make double coating. It makes the vegetable chop crunchier after frying.

  28. Continue the process and double coat all the veg chop with batter and breadcrumbs. Keep the coated veg chop in refrigerator for 1 hour to set the coating. This step helps the chop to resist crack during the time of deep frying.
  29. Put a pan on flame and add enough oil to deep fry the vegetable chop.
  30. Check the temperature of the oil and add the coated veg chop into the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the chop may break.
  31. Fry them over medium flame for 2-3 minutes till crispy and golden brown.
  32. Strain the excess oil from the chop and place them on a tissue lined plate.



Serving Instruction

Transfer the Bengali veg chop on serving plate. Serve immediately after frying to enjoy its best taste. Always serve hot or warm. Pair up the scrumptious snack with kasundi dip or tomato ketchup with some cucumber-onion salad.


How to store vegetable chop
After coating the vegetable chop, you can refrigerate it for 2-3 days but not more than that. You can place the coated veg chop in an airtight container and store it in freezer for few weeks. After taking them out of the freezer don’t thaw them. Directly deep fry them but be careful during frying as the oil would splatter because of the difference in temperature.

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