Kings of the Wild Frontier

DC from Melbourne, Australia wrote:

“I frequently enjoy lunch at Gopals in Swanston Street. One of my favourite items are the bean croquettes. Are you able to provide me the recipe?”

My reply:

These have been on the restaurant menu since Gopals’ pioneering days of the 80’s! They seem to be one of the last remaining intact Kurma-era recipes to be found there. At least I think the recipe is intact. Cooks tend to speculate and change things over time; especially some of the Indian cooks who want to put turmeric and chili in everything, even Anglo Saxon recipes like Shepherd’s Pie, grrrrrr…

Lima-Bean and Cheese Croquettes were invented by Trayadisa, one of our early stalwart cooks who now is head chef at Govinda’s in Burleigh. And they appeared in my first cookbook ‘Great Vegetarian Dishes’. Here’s the original recipe. See how they compare to what’s on the menu at Gopals.

Lima-Bean and Cheese Croquettes

Serve these croquettes with a home-made sauce, chutney or fresh yogurt.

PREPARATION TIME: about 25 minutes,
FRYING TIME: 15 to 20 minutes,
YIELD: 1 dozen large croquettes.


1 cup lima beans, soaked overnight in 3 cups cold water,
1/2 cup carrots, coarsely shredded,
3/4 cup cooked corn kernels,
1/2 cup zucchini, coarsely shredded,
2 1/2 cups wholemeal bread crumbs,
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese,
2 cups cold mashed potatoes,
1 tablespoon ground dry-roasted sesame seeds,
11/2 teaspoons yellow asafoetida powder,
21/2 teaspoons salt,
1/4 teaspoon black pepper,
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg,
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice,
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley,
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves,
ghee or oil for deep-frying,


1 cup plain flour,
1 1/2 cups water,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
1/2 teaspoon yellow asafetida powder.

Drain the lima beans. Boil them in unsalted water until soft. Drain them and mash them coarsely.

Combine all the croquette ingredients (except 1.5 cups bread crumbs) in a large bowl. Mix well. Form into 1 dozen croquettes about 6.25 cm x 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm (2.5 inches x 1 inch x 1 inch).

Combine the flour and salt and add enough cold water to whisk into a smooth batter with the consistency of thin cream.

Heat the oil or ghee in a deep wok or pan. When the ghee is hot 185°C/365°F, dip a few croquettes in the batter, shake off the excess, roll them in bread crumbs, and carefully lower them into the hot oil. Deep-fry until golden brown and crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the croquettes are fried. Serve hot.

And by the way, if you’re wondering about the title of this blog, it sort of goes like this: DC of Melbourne is a real person. I thought of croquettes, pioneering days, and then DC, and it reminded me of (click at own risk) Davy Crockett, and this song came flooding back to me. Now I can’t get the song out of my head. My fault; the unbridled mind is a dangerous machine.

Posted by Kurma on 21/4/10; 3:51:02 PM

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