Potato Chap

ASSYRIA/IRAQ

These stuffed and spiced potato patties need to be on everyone's plate

SUBMITTED BY

Rachelle

In my “How the World Eats Fried Foods,” I couldn’t resist using multiple recipes with potatoes. This stuffed potato fritter is called potato chap, and they are no small feat! However, if you have some experience with stuffing foods, I recommend you try these. The golden color, lovely textures, and tender meat come together to create a delicious take on potato fritters that anyone is sure to enjoy.

This potato chap recipe comes from Rachelle, who is from Chicago but is also half English-Irish and half Assyrian. Made from potato, potato flakes, ground beef, onion, egg, coriander, and turmeric, these fritters are a staple food item for Assyrians. Rachelle’s nana would care for her and her siblings often, cooking meals of all kinds. When it came to potato chap, Rachelle noticed that she would get frustrated by this recipe. Years later, when she finally attempted to make it herself, she realized that the potato flakes were the secret ingredient. Without them, the dough would break apart in the oil. Moral of the story: Don’t forget your potato flakes, folks!

Assyrians are not to be confused with Syrians. Up until 600 BC, an ethnic group called Assyrians existed in the Middle East. They do not have a country today, but modern-day Iraq, Turkey, and Syria make up what used to be Assyria. Rachelle’s father’s family left Iraq in the mid-1970s to escape the Iraq-Iranian War, a fact reflected in their food. As a matter of fact, potato chap is eaten in many Iraqi homes, too. This meal has interesting roots, so thank you to Rachelle for sharing, lest we forget them!

This crispy, fried potato dough encases a lovely ground beef filling; my ratio favored potato, so make sure to stuff a fair amount of beef into your potato chaps. The texture of this dish is key, so make sure to fry them according to directions to achieve a perfect fry and a salty, tender filling. I will say that this dish isn’t super easy to make, but if you have the proper experience, it is worth it. The trick is to make sure every ingredient is at room temperature during preparation, ensuring an easy stuffing process.

If you want to substitute lamb or add yogurt as a pairing, I think both adjustments would work beautifully with potato chap. But it’s also tasty as is, so give this historically rich recipe a go and let me know what you make of it!

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Ingredients
  

For filling

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ bunch parsley finely chopped
  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tsp seven spice
  • salt & pepper to taste

For dough

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup potato flakes
  • cornstarch if needed
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • Boil your potato WITH THE SKIN ON in water until fork tender (this will help retain more of the starch for the dough). While the potato is boiling, you are going to start your filling.

Filling

  • Cut your onions and parsley and set it aside.
  • In a pan on medium heat, cook the onions with the ground beef. You will not need to add oil as the fat from the beef will release oil. Once the beef is cooked and browned, you are going to drain the residual oil. This will prevent the oil from potentially compromising the integrity of the dough by causing it to break apart when frying.
  • Once the oil is drained from the pot, add seven spice, salt and pepper. You can give it a taste to see if it needs more spice to your liking.
  • Once the spices are incorporated, turn off your pan and put in your finely chopped parsley and mix. Then move your filling into a bowl to cool while you make your dough.

Dough

  • Once the potatoes are fork tender, you are going to peel off the skins and mash them until smooth.
  • Then you will add in your potato flakes, egg, salt, pepper, and turmeric and mix until smooth and the dough looks consistently yellow.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  • When it’s time to make your potato chap, you will need to test the consistency of the dough, by taking a tablespoon amount and trying to flatten it and see if it breaks when folding. If it does, start adding half (measuring) teaspoons of cornstarch at a time. Mix the mixture and try forming the dough again. Trust the process, eventually it will turn out.
  • Once it’s the consistency you want, take a tablespoon amount of the dough, flatten it into a circle and then grab a spoonful of the filling and fold the edges over until you have a patty.
  • You can fry them right away but to ensure no breakage, you can put them in the fridge, covered, for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Heat up oil on medium heat in a pot and once ready, you just need to fry and flip until the patty is golden brown. Which should take about 3- 5minutes and then let them rest on a paper towel until you are ready to serve!
Course: Lunch, Snack
Region: Asia
Keyword: Party Food

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