Makai Patties Tamatar Ke Rassedar Saucewalle

Think back on your life to the people you’ve most looked up to. For most of us, I am sure, it is not people who are rich and successful. Instead, most likely, it is those who always did exactly what they loved to do, even if they didn’t make a lot of money doing it, or weren’t considered successful by the usual parameters.

The people I envy are the young man who left a well-paid software job in the United States to start and run a school for poor children in rural India. The woman who runs a mobile veterinary clinic in an Indian city that spays and neuters stray dogs and vaccinates them for rabies. The couple who left powerful careers in New York City to retreat to a simple life in rural America where they grow their own food, live without most material trappings, and yet have lives that are blissfully rich and meaningful.

Sure, money and a fulfilling career have their rewards and can be the means by which to get to your goals, but setting limits in your pursuit of success, as the rest of the world defines it, is more important.

I am probably not a great person to advise people on reaching goals, but I do know the importance of keeping your dreams in sight because, for a while,I let mine slip away in pursuit of a better paycheck.

I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had interesting jobs: I’ve worked for newspapers in three countries, I’ve interviewed governors, members of Congress, movie stars, music stars, and even a First Lady. I’ve traveled extensively and learned things I’d never have learned otherwise: things I might never use again, but which I am glad to know nonetheless.

But before I started on my latest job where I work on issues close to my heart and interests, I spent nearly four years in the most boring newsroom, writing about education policy and working under an editor I did not respect. I thought I wanted the job because it paid a little better than the more interesting jobs I’d had before. Yet, when I look back on those four years now, all I can see are lost opportunities to do something I truly valued, and work with people I really cared about. The better paycheck was by no means a better trade.

So here’s the point of this post: try not to let the pressures of day-to-day living take you off-course from pursuing what makes you truly, deeply, incandescently happy.

For some of you it could be being a good mom and homemaker. For others, it could be travel, or cooking great food that people dream of eating. Writing a novel. Writing a diary. Helping orphans in Africa. World peace. Gardening.

No dream is small or insignificant, especially if it’s yours. Dream it, and then do it. And try not to get sidetracked.


Need more zen? Head on over to Zengirl’s blog, Heart and Mind, where she shares great tips on topics like celebrating holidays meaningfully and simply, reconnecting with your community, and making small changes to improve the quality of your life.


And now for today’s recipe, a simple one — in keeping with the theme of this post– that’s rich with the wonderful flavors of a few everyday vegetables. I worked off a recipe I found in a Vimla Patil cookbook that I’ve treasured for many years now.

Makai Patties, or corn patties, are a popular street food in some parts of India. While these patties would often be eaten with chutney or ketchup, Patil also included a recipe for a sauce made with tomato and ketchup and spring onions/scallions that sounded so delicious, it seemed worth my while to go the extra mile and make it.

So here we go, a quick but super-delicious recipe that’s wonderful for a snack or even a light dinner.

Makai (Corn) Patties

(Makes 10 2-inch patties)

1 1/2 cups cooked corn (I used frozen corn and zapped it in the microwave until really tender, about 7 minutes)

1 medium onion and 3 cloves of garlic, diced and then fried until brown in 1 tsp canola/vegetable oil

2 medium potatoes, skin on, diced and then boiled until tender (I zap them in the microwave for 10 minutes)

2 green chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 big or 2 small slices of whole-wheat bread, soaked in 1/3 cup soymilk until soft

3 spring onions, green and white parts chopped

Salt to taste

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process just until you have a mixture that holds together when you pick up a piece and form a ball. Don’t overprocess because you don’t want a paste– you should still have some texture from the corn and the scallions.

Divide the dough into 10 balls and then flatten each into a pattie, about 2 inches in diameter (if, for any reason, you find the mixture is too runny, add some cornflour so it holds together. My measurements worked perfectly for me.)

Smear or spray some oil over a cast-iron or non-stick skillet. Heat. Place as many patties as you can without crowding the skillet, and cook on each side until quite brown and crusty.

Spicy Tomato Sauce

5-6 spring onions, green and white parts chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup tomato puree

1/3 cup tomato ketchup

1/2 – 1 tsp red chilli powder, like paprika

1 tsp oil

Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a skillet.

Add the spring onions and saute until they start to brown.

Add the tomato puree and ketchup and cook until the mixture starts to turn darker.

Add chilli powder and salt to taste. Turn off heat.

Serve with the Makai Patties.

Enjoy! =”separator”>=”separator”>

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

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  1. says

    So true Vaishalli. I think the happiness should come from within, money or not… just to enjoy the “being” and the loved ones around and the moment.. for the moment gone never comes back. I just look at my kids and my family and feel that I am so fortunate, with so much misery around.. I am the lucky one to have all the love around.

    I am craving corn today and have been planning to go ahead and do a sweet and spicy corn casserole. These look mouhtwatering!

  2. says

    You have given some valuable advice about living one’s dreams…very inspirational! The patties with the sauce looks super delicious…I have to try this :)

  3. Anonymous says

    VeganPete here…
    I am trying to go vegan in diet and mind. Like your blog a bunch. Thanks for keeping it so motivating. I am still flipping the archives

  4. says

    Nice warm post Vaishali.One should follow ones dreams sooner or later.I believe if you dream something which looks impossible now,then you should try to make it happen for you with relentless effort.I echo Soma’s words as well.
    Have never tried Vmla Patils recipe.Your adaptation looks hearty and perfect.

  5. says

    Very well put, Viashali. And very true. “He who sacrifices his conscience to ambition, burns a picture to obtain the ashes.” – Chinese Proverb.

    Delicious looking patties!

    Peace, Stephanie

  6. Anonymous says

    Dear Vaishali,

    You have a very nice blog. I hope u know that your blog was mentioned in The Hindu.Click this link-
    Will be visiting ur blog more often and shall try ur recipes and post my feedback very soon.


  7. says

    Hi Anuu, Thank you!! You made my day– I didn’t know about this piece, so thanks very much for passing it along. :)
    One quick question– I don’t see a link or the url of my blog in the article. How did you figure it out?

  8. Anonymous says

    Hi Vaishali,

    I’m glad that you came to know of the article :)If you go back to archives and check every Saturday they do a write-up on a food blog and they usually provide the url but surprisingly for yours they did not. I googled as Holy Cow Vegan recipes and landed in your site :) Maybe the write up in the paper might have the url.Will check with my parents in Chennai and let you know and probably will try to get a copy of the same. I tried your dad’s “Not-Mutton” Mushroom Curry. It was yummy!I just wanted to say you made a hungry pregnant woman very happy cos I enjoyed eating the dish and guess my baby also enjoyed it:) Thanks….


  9. says

    Hi Anuu, thanks so much! And thanks also for the feedback on my dad’s not-mutton mushroom curry– it is definitely one of my favorites, and I am glad you liked it too :)

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