Veggie Cutlets

Ruvir is almost 14 months old and these days it has been so hard to understand his palate. We have maintained a vegetarian diet for him and plan to do so until he is at least 2 years old. In Ayurveda, the concept of the digestive fire, agni is not mature and strong enough for a 1 year old to handle meat products. In fact, it will actually further weaken it. With my Ayurvedic knowledge, I have carefully tried to make sure he gets a good balance of different foods and especially grass-fed ghee at least 1-2 teaspoons in a day. He loves his bread and pasta, which is fine once in a while, as moderation is key.

Toddler Friendly

It has been a challenge to figure out what he will be able to pick up with his fingers but also satisfying his palate. We have joked around that Ruvir is a true Ayurveda baby because he loves spices and ghee so much! This week I have finally found a recipe that has endless variations of what vegetables and lentils to use in it. I have seen only positive results so far! As we are entering the fall season I wanted to make something that is vata pacifying.

Veggie Cutlet Recipe

Veggie cutlets are something like a burger except smaller and perhaps the terms is region specific to places like India.

  • 3 small beets
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked black lentils
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon garlic clove grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (unroasted)

Chop and cook the beets, potatoes, carrots and lentils.I used my instantpot and put all of them together with 2 cups of water on high pressure cook mode for 8 minutes.

Once it is all cooked, remove excess water and mash slightly. Add the turmeric, garam masala, garlic, ginger, fresh coriander, salt, pepper and mix well. Add the chickpea flour, semolina flour and sesame seeds and mix.

I would suggest not making the cutlets too well in advance. When they are served fresh, there is nice crispiness to them that doesn’t last for too long. Heat a 1-2 teaspoons of ghee in a non stick pan on medium heat and let it warm up.

Meanwhile, make a small ball of the mix and flatten it out, approximately 3 inches in diameter. It should be relatively firm not soft and mushy. If needed, then add more of the chickpea and semolina flours.

After many trials and errors, I have found that sometimes when it is too thick it does not cook well from the inside. Add 2-3 flattened round cutlets in the pan and wait for a few minutes for the edges to get crispy, and then flip over. I usually keep flipping every few minutes until I have reached the perfect crispy texture.

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 cup grass-fed yogurt
  • 1 few pinches of roasted cumin
  • a pinch of salt or black salt
  • Mix it all together and serve with the cutlet.

If serving for toddlers that are self feeding, wait for the cutlet to cool down. Cut it up unto small pieces and serve. If for some reason they feel it is a bit dry, dipping them in the yogurt will help if you have already introduced dairy.

Ayurveda Breakdown

Beets and carrots are vata pacifying, as they are root vegetables and sweet in nature.

Potatoes are pitta and kapha pacifying as they are astringent.

The spices used are all heating in nature and great for vata and kapha,

Sesame seeds are vata pacifying, they are heating and sweet.

Semolina is vata pacifying, it is a form of wheat and it is heavy.

Chickpea flour is pitta and kapha pacifying because it is astringent.

Ghee is tri-doshic.

Yogurt is vata pacifying because of its sour taste.

Roasted cumin powder is tri-doshic.

Black salt is vata pacifying.

Overall, this is a vata pacifying recipe that takes into consideration to also partially balance kapha too.

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