Potato and Lima Bean Cakes (Tortitas de Alubias y Papa)


Morelia is a quiet city nestled high in the hills of the Michoacan state of Mexico, and lined wall-to-wall with historic cathedrals and colleges. A grand aqueduct that looks like a procession of arches sweeps around the city’s outskirts. The streets buzz with students, stores crammed with charming artefacts, and tourists looking to just relax or worship.

When we usually travel, our days are a huge blur of running breathlessly from place to place, thanks to Desi who’s a regular Clark Griswold. I, on the other hand, like to take things easy. Needless to say, there’s always a lot of arguing about what to do and how much to do which, I think, makes our vacations more fun!

But in places like Morelia, I win because there is little to do other than go with the tranquil flow.

One of our favorite things to do when we visited Morelia was to go in the evenings to a restaurant, Cafe Europa, just opposite the huge and beautiful cathedral in the city’s center, order a big cup of coffee, and just sit back and watch the world go by. For once, even Desi did not complain about the lack of activity because he was too busy relaxing.

I ate a lot of bean and rice dishes in Mexico, but there were plenty of times when I was pleasantly surprised by the exquisite ways in which your usual old staples were transformed into something special.

In Morelia, I found a vegetarian restaurant where I ate a delicious burger with a vegetarian patty stuffed inside of it. It tasted a lot like these potato and lima bean cakes that I’m serving up today. The crunch of the patty or cake was perfect with the soft bread.

I served these cakes with just some stir-fried beet greens (try them, Obama, and I promise you’ll become a fan of the delicious beet!). You could also just try eating them like burgers, stuffed inside a crusty bread, or like felafel, in pita.

Traditionally, these would contain some cheese, but of course I left it out because this is a vegan food blog and hey, why spoil a good thing?

The potato and lima bean cakes also remind me a little of a popular Indian street snack, Ragda Patties, which are potato cakes served in a pea sauce. But unlike that dish, these cakes combine both the legume and spud right inside the patty which means less work for me. And that’s just the way I like it.


Potato and Lima Bean Cakes (Tortitas de Alubias y Papa)

Ingredients:

4 large floury potatoes, diced and then boiled until fork-tender

1 cup lima beans, soaked for a few hours, then cooked until tender

1 bunch scallions/spring onions, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapeno peppers (use any moderately hot green chilies if you can’t find these)

1 medium red onion, finely diced

2 tsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water

Salt to taste

About 1/2 cup of flour, for dredging the patties.

1-3 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil.

Place the potatoes and lima beans in a bowl and mash together until you have a lumpy but fairly smooth mixture.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix together. The potato-bean mixture should hold together when you form a patty.

Make 2-inch wide patties and dredge them in the flour. Shake off any excess flour.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a cast-iron or non-stick skillet.

When the oil is hot, place just enough patties in it so the skillet is not overcrowded.

Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side, over medium-high heat, or until golden-brown.

Serve hot with any hot sauce or these yummy stir-fried beet greens (recipe follows)

Stir-fried Beet Greens

Ingredients:

1 bunch beet greens, thinly shredded

3-4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced.

1 tbsp canola or olive oil

Salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet.

Add the garlic, and when it turns golden, add the beet greens.

Toss together and cook on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until greens are absolutely tender.

Add salt to taste.

Serve hot.

These delicious cakes go, of course, to It’s A Vegan World: Mexican. There’s a week left to go, more or less, so hurry up folks and send in your entries!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

19 thoughts on “Potato and Lima Bean Cakes (Tortitas de Alubias y Papa)

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Asha

    March 25, 2009 at 9:21pm

    Beans and Potatoes, what’s not to like? YUM YUM!! Nice name for the dish! :)

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Cham

    March 25, 2009 at 10:31pm

    The cathedral is stunning Vaishu. Bean and potato sounds good in between bun!

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Pavithra Kodical

    March 25, 2009 at 10:49pm

    Love love potato..This seems to be so easy and delicious.Great one Vaishali!

    I am waiting for the Mexican event roundup..

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    A_and_N

    March 26, 2009 at 12:58am

    Your posts are always so, so informative! Love it.

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Kumudha

    March 26, 2009 at 1:06am

    Thanks for sharing mouthwatering mexican recipes

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Ashwini

    March 26, 2009 at 2:10am

    That looks so yumm..Both my fav potatoes and Lima beans..

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sharmila

    March 26, 2009 at 3:50am

    At least somebody other than me is ready to leave out the cheese .. no , am not a vegan … I just don’t like it. :-)
    That pattie looks so crispand Beet greens sounds healthy. :-)

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Uma

    March 26, 2009 at 5:40am

    Wow, these cakes look so mouth-watering Vaishali! I can imagine the taste! Yum!

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    DJ Karma

    March 26, 2009 at 5:47am

    That looks so delicious! I love cakes and croquettes of all kinds. Does the corn flour add to the flavor or texture?

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Miri

    March 26, 2009 at 6:06am

    These look really yummy – and yes ragda patties are such a favourite street food!

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    kahliyalogue

    March 26, 2009 at 8:05am

    Hi Vaishali! Your energy dynamics on vacation sound soooo familiar..I once had a relationship like that.I wonder if most of the guys are like that..like a “conquering the territory thing”?
    The patties look sooo comforting and delicious! Mia.

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Cooks

    March 26, 2009 at 2:38pm

    Potatoes and lime beans in a cake, sounds delicious. yumm.

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Usha

    March 26, 2009 at 6:32pm

    The bean and potato cake sounds like fun. The pic of the cathedral looks lovely !

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Daniel

    March 26, 2009 at 8:21pm

    Another delicious recipe–I really enjoy how you combine cultures and cuisines to make amazing eclectic dishes.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Dan
    Casual Kitchen

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Srividya

    March 26, 2009 at 9:38pm

    The place and the recipe sounds interesting. In our case I am the one trying to do much while my other half wants t take it easy :).

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sia

    March 27, 2009 at 1:23pm

    what a gorgeous cathedral! my dream is to visit mexico one day :) i love the combination of bean and potatoes u have used here (well, what’s not to like!!!?)

    wishing u and ur loved ones a very happy Ugadi :)

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