Portuguese Sides/ Snacks/ Soups, Veganised traditional Portuguese dishes

Vegan Portuguese style ‘black pudding’ balls

In Portugal we have a snack that is black pudding’s cousin, called ‘morcela’. Is also made of pig’s guts, flesh chunks and blood (my heart skipped a beat here). The worst of it all is that I liked it! I used to eat these horrible things. Well, the good news is that I liked it because it tasted nice and the even better news is that it doesn’t taste nice because is made with pig parts, no no! This vegan version is super tasty, even looks like the original and is much better nutritionally speaking!

Time: 1h and 10 minutes

Type: snack, side

Difficulty: 2 pans

Serves: about 12 balls

What you need:

1 cup boiled arborio rice (or any other short grain rice)

1 tin of black beans (including liquid)

2-3 tbsp red wine

1 bay leaf

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp ground cumin

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

flour (any) for binding

Utensils:

2 pans

measuring cup

mixing spoon

bowl

hand blender

baking tray

parchment paper

Directions:

Start by boiling rice (I used 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water) for about 20 minutes (or check the time in the package of the rice you’re using);

Tip the content of a tin of black beans (including liquid) into a pan and bring to a low heat; add all the spices (onion powder, cumin, bay leaf) and wine, mix well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes; then, add salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat and reserve;

Using a hand blender, blend the black bean mix (remember to remove the bay leaf first!) till it turn into a uniform paste and mix in the chopped parsley;

Once it cooled down a little, pour mix into a bowl, add in cooked rice and mix well; add a little flour at a time till you get a consistency good enough to form little balls;

Place the balls in a tray lined with parchment paper and bake (at around 200 degrees Celsius) for about 45 minutes until crispy;

They’re lovely hot or at room temperature.

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