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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Baked Vegetable Cutlet

Cutlets brings back my school memories. I remember my mom making it for my after school snack and the smell of cutlets frying would hit me as soon as I enter the house. Her's are the best I have ever tasted. And cutlets were the only way she made me eat beets and french beans. Its been years since she made it again. And now I made them for Little A. And what an hit it was. Not only Little A loves it but his dad too. 

Cutlets are basically veggie patties that are shaped and crumb coated to deep fry. But I baked them.Cutlets are actually a healthy snack. Why deep fry them and make them unhealthy? And baking is much more easier and there is no compromise on the crisp outside. There is one small trick to get crisp outside when baking cutlets and I will be telling you that later in the post.

I was so happy when I made these. It bought back a lot of old memories. Little A could not wait to eat these straight from the oven. He kept walking (Yes, he has just begun to walk unsupported) into the kitchen; asking me to lift him and he kept pointing the oven demanding he wanted one right now. 

You Will Need:
4 Medium Sized Potatoes, Peeled, Cooked till Soft & mashed
1 Medium Sized Onion, Finely Chopped
1/2 tsp of Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Large Tomato, Finely Chopped
1 Large Carrot, Finely Chopped
6 French Beans, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup of Cooked Peas
1 Small Beetroot, Finely Chopped
A tbsp of Finely Chopped Parsley / Coriander Leaves

***All the veggies can either be steamed beforehand or sauteed in the masala to cook. I prefer sauteing them.

Other Ingredients:
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp of Cumin Powder
Salt to Taste
Some Freshly Cracked Pepper
Some vegetable Oil 
2 Cups of Plain Breadcrumbs, Homemade / Store-bought 
2 tbsp of Corn flour / flour 

The Cooking:
Step 1:
Making the Filling:
Heat a non - stick pan on High and add 2 tbsps of oil. Once hot add the onions and saute till pink and translucent. Then add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 2 mins. The onions SHOULD NOT BROWN. They just have to be soft and translucent. Then add the tomatoes and saute for 2 mins on high. Now add the salt, black pepper, garam masala and cumin powder. Saute for a min or so till the spices are cooked. Then tumble in the finely chopped carrots, beans & beets. Mix well and add little water and cover to cook the veggies. Since they are finely chopped they cook quickly with very less water. After 5 mins give a good stir and cook till any excess water has Vaporized. 

Now add the peas and chopped parsley. Mix well. The veggies should be dry at this stage. Add the mashed potato and mix well until the vegetables are well combined with the potatoes. At this point sprinkle over 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs. They absorb any excess water if any. Mix well on low heat and check seasoning. Take off heat and let it cool.

Step 2:
Make the slurry: 
You can either use one beaten egg or cornflour slurry to roll the cutlets. To make the slurry just place the flour on a shallow plate / bowl and add little water to make a thin paste. The slurry should not be runny but little thin. Keep aside.

Step 3:
Making the Cutlets:
Once the filling is cool enough to handle made balls out of them and mold to a cutlet shape. You can even use an oiled cookie cutter to make different shapes. 

Place the breadcrumbs in a plate. Take a cutlet and dip it in the slurry prepared earlier. Then roll them over the breadcrumbs. Pat the breadcrumbs well into the cutlet and shake off the excess. Repeat this for the entire batch. At this point you can either straight away bake them or refrigerate them for later. To freeze just place them in ziploc and freeze. 

Step 4:
Baking the Cutlets:
Preheat oven to 200 degree celcius 
Take a baking tray and line with foil. Brush oil over the foil. Now place the cutlets an inch apart and brush them throughly top, bottom and sides of the cutlet with oil. This is the key for getting crisp cutlets. You don't have to generously brush them with oil but just so they coat well. 

Place it in the hot oven for 35 - 40 mins flipping them over half way through. Once they are golden brown take them off and serve with tomato ketchup!

Happy Cooking!


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