These popular vegan beignets come from chef Jinu Abraham's express lunch menu, served daily at Hectors restaurant in the Heritage, Auckland.
|150 g||Pumpkin, peeled and chopped (Main)|
|2 tsp||Extra virgin olive oil|
|½ tsp||Fennel seeds|
|150 g||Spinach, washed, blanched and squeezed|
|1 tsp||Olive oil|
|50 g||Almonds, finely chopped|
|1 cup||Plain flour|
|½ cup||Rice flour|
|1 cup||Water, as required|
|1 bunch||Kale leaves, washed and torn|
|5||Silverbeet leaves, washed and torn|
|1 dash||Olive oil|
|1 dash||Lemon juice|
|4||Fresh dates, chopped|
|1 small handful||Mint leaves|
- Roast pumpkin with olive oil, garlic and fennel seeds at 160C until tender, then crush with a fork. Place back in the oven for a further five minutes to dry out a little more.
- Gently fry the shallot and spinach in olive oil until shallot is soft.
- Roughly chop the spinach mix and add to the pumpkin mix along with the chopped almonds. Season with salt and pepper. Form into balls and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
- When you are ready to cook, make the batter by mixing both flours, salt and ice cubes. Add water to get a thick batter.
- Pick up the frozen pumpkin balls with a skewer and dunk in the batter, then fry in clean, hot oil. Once golden, remove and season.
- Mix kale and silverbeet. Season with salt, add a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, mint leaves and chopped dates. Mix well. Place in a bowl and top with the beignets. Serve with your favourite sauce or dressing and couscous if wished.