Cutlet is such a common snack in India that almost anybody would know how to make it. But beef and mutton cutlets are familiar sight only in Kerala given the largely vegetarian population of other places in India.
Unlike the vegetable cutlets, the meat version I am used to have no chili powder, cumin, coriander powder etc and allows the flavor come through naturally. The garam masala adds a smoky flavor which appeals to some, while others find it overpowering.
I started making cutlets in the early days of experimental cooking after marriage, having had a lot of experience in shaping and frying them well. But getting the texture correct and not having them fall apart on me while frying took a lot of experience.
Most of the time, its the Potatoes that betray me.They would soak up so much water during boiling that the whole mix would become moist and break. The variety available here was also confusing.Red,Russet Idaho,White, Baking, Boiling...
Now, I stick to using Yukon gold, Russet Burbank or white round potatoes. They hold their shape while boiling and are hassle free if microwaved-baked.
This is my entry Revathi's FMR#7-Comfort Food..
You will need: (Makes 16 cutlets)
Lean Ground Beef or Mutton- 1/2 lb
White Potato-3 (Approx. 3 /4 lb)
Onions- 2 medium sized ones
Green chilies- 8
Turmeric- A pinch
Garlic- 2 cloves
Black pepper- 2 tsp
Biryani Masala/Garam masala- ½ tsp (optional)
Lemon juice- 2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves- 1 cup chopped finely
Canola Oil- ½ cup
Bread crumbs- 1 cup
1. Chop the onions, garlic and chilies finely and put in a shallow pan, without oil. Add the uncooked ground meat, turmeric, and mix .Let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes on high heat, uncovered. Stir to prevent any particles from sticking to the pan.
2. As the meat cooks, it lets out oil which in turns fries the onions. So there is no need to add oil. After 15mins, take the mixture off the flame and add the lemon juice, garam masala and pepper. Drain onto paper towels to remove excess oil.
3. Meanwhile, wash each of the potatoes, wipe them dry and cover with plastic wrap. Place them in the microwave and adjust the setting for the baked potatoes. All the potatoes can be cooked at the same time. Alternatively, the washed potatoes can be pressure cooked with ½ cup water for a single whistle.
4. Peel the potatoes and mash them with your hands/potato masher or the back of a spoon. There should be no lumps.
5. Add the meat mixture to the potato, and add the chopped coriander leaves and salt. Mix and taste and add more salt or lemon juice if needed.
6. Make lemon sized balls of the mixture and shape it into an oval or round shape.
Beat the egg (You can use just egg whites too) with a pinch of salt. Keep a plate with bread crumbs also ready.
7. Dip each oval ball into the egg and then into the bread crumbs. Give it a final shaping.
8. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the cutlets till brown on either side.