Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vegetable Cutlets or Aloo Tikki

I loved the veggie cutlets that my grandmother made. I have seen many cutlets recipes but two ingredients stand out from my grandmother's recipe - fresh coconut and toast powder for dredging. I waited this long to post this recipe because I couldn't find the right toasts in the supermarket. Finally, I came across the plain toasts (without raisins). So even before dunking them in hot tea, I decided to make my grandma's cutlets.

This recipe got changed slightly within our family, when my cousin J Didi took a cooking class. She announced one day, that before dredging it, the "real" cutlets need to be dunked in the egg whites. But I avoided that step here as I wanted to make them eggless. But J Didi also introduced a heart shape. I made mine heart shaped as well.

You can use fine rawa, breadcrumbs or all purpose flour for dredging. But to get the real taste of my grandmother's cutlets, you need to powder those crispy toasts.

With some exclusions (like coconut and sugar), these cutlets are called Aloo Tikki of North India. Serve it with Chhole, sweetened yogurt and sweet-sour tamarind chutney to make Chole Tikki Chaat.

Grandma's Veggie Cutlets
Vegetable Cutlets
5 medium potatoes
Handful of green peas (fresh or frozen)
1 small carrot, peeled & grated

2 slices of breads, crusts removed

Grind to a fine paste
2 tbsp fresh coconut (Use more if you like)
2-3 green chilies
Handful of cilantro/coriander leaves
1 1/2" ginger, peeled & chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
salt to taste
A pinch of sugar
1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

For dredging
2 ready made plain toasts, powdered coarsely

Oil for shallow frying

1. Pressure cook potatoes, peas and carrots. Peel the potatoes. Mash with the potato masher. Set aside.
2. Add green chutney and knead it together.
3. If the mixture feels sticky to hands, add fresh bread crumbs. Use one bread slice a time depending on how sticky it feels.
4. Place all the cutlets on a plate. Keep in the fridge for 15 minutes.
5. Heat a pan/griddle or tawa. Add oil for shallow frying.
6. Dredge all the cutlets in toast powder. Remove excess powder. Place gently on the tawa.

7. Shallow fry on medium low heat till all are uniformly browned from both sides.

Note -
1. You can use egg whites to dunk the cutlets before using toast powder.
2. Fine rawa, all purpose flour, rice flour or bread crumbs can be used for dredging.

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