Sunday, October 21, 2007

Meat cutlet aka Kerala’s meat croquettes.

Growing up in a carnivorous family, meat cutlets were a part of our menu ever since I can remember. I remember both my mother and grandma start the preparations immediately after lunch, allotting one full afternoon, chopping the onions, getting the cooked meat minced and mashing the boiled potatoes without even a small lump, and then patting each of the meat balls again and again until they get firm cutlets. And I have burnt my tongue umpteen times while trying to gobble up those crispy brown beauties as this has been my favourite snack ever since I tasted it the first time, with some “Challas” (pickled onions in vinegar or fresh lemon juice). Something which I cannot resist and something which always tells me “eat me, pleeeaaaase” till the plate is empty, leaving me with an embarrassing smile in front of my host!! I blame it on these brown beauties, none can just stop with 1 or 2, one needs atleast half a dozen, to really get the taste of the cutlets , to get a feel of satisfaction of relishing them. Perhaps cutlet is the first appetizer that comes to the mind of menu planner, if he/she is from Kerala when a dinner party is announced ………A marriage reception is organized and cutlet, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, is first in the list of starter menu………. Friends coming home on short notice, and then you see someone from the family heading towards the bakery to catch hold of some cutlet or meat puffs. …..After a late evening class, going to the bakery nearby the college to grab some cutlets and hot cup of tea or a fresh lemon juice is something most of us have done while studying...... and still, if someone asks me about my favourite snack, it is meat cutlet forever :)

Ingredients: (Approx.) (Yields around 18-20 cutlets)
  • 2 ½ cup cooked and minced chicken/beef, loosely filled
  • 1 large big onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • ½ tsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp green chillies minced (around 4-5 nos)
  • ½ tbsp curry leaves finely chopped
  • ½ cup boiled and mashed potato (1 medium potato)
  • 1 ½ tsp freshly crushed pepper powder
  • ¾ - 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or powdered rusk
  • 1 tbsp oil + more for shallow frying.

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a shallow pan, and sauté finely chopped onion and when it turns transparent, add minced ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves and cook until everything is soft, in low flame, without burning any of the ingredients. Add pepper powder and mix well; add garam masala and combine everything together, adding a tinge of salt. Now add the minced meat to this mixture and stir well and thoroughly combine the minced meat with the mixture. Next add the boiled and mashed potatoes and blend well and adjust the salt and if you think, you require more spice, add one or two pinch of pepper powder and masala and mix well and turn off the stove. (Note: For the minced meat, I pressure-cook cubed chicken breast or beef with a simple marinade of salt, pepper powder, a couple of green chillies, ginger and garlic and when cooked and cool enough, mince them in a food processor. For the mashed potatoes, boil and cook the potatoes until they are soft and mash them with a fork.)
  • When the mixture is cool enough to touch, divide the mixture into small elongated balls and shape them into a round or oval shapes, patting gently with a flat side of the knife, from all sides of the meat balls, until all the cracks that form in between are sealed well.
  • Keep a bowl of bread crumbs and a bowl with beaten egg ready. Dip each of them in beaten egg and then roll them in bread crumbs, coating all the sides evenly. Do this one by one. Once more pat them with the flat side of the knife and remove excess bread crumbs and make them firm.
  • Heat oil for frying; when the oil is hot, shallow fry the cutlets, in low-medium heat, until they turn brown as in the picture.
  • To serve: Serve warm with ketchup or “challas”. To make challas, chop some fresh big onions and squeeze fresh lemon juice to it and sprinkle with some salt.
NOTE : Making a meat cutlet is a method one masters over the course of time. Even if you follow the recipe thoroughly, sometimes you will be shocked to see your cutlets falling apart or breaking while frying. This happens mainly when the meat and mashed potato is not in the right proportion or when they are not at all moist. Sometimes it could be because of the variety of potato used too; some are overly moist when mashing which causes problem while frying the cutlet. If your mixture or meat balls are too moist and not holding the shape, add some bread crumbs which will help in shaping them. Besides, there should not be any lumps in the mashed potato. Feel free to use your hands if it is necessary to break them. So, even if it is not 100% successful at the first time, this is something you can perfect, if you can figure out the basic problem. Meat cutlets can be made in advance for the party/dinner and refrigerate them or freeze them if it is not going to be used for the next 2 days and when you want to use it, thaw them in the room temperature and fry them just before serving; whether to shallow or deep fry is one’s discretion. I do not like deep fried cutlets, soaked up in oil and hence I like to shallow fry them.

Meet meat Cutlet's cousin Meat Rolls in White sauce.


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  1. Cutlets are one of my fav..been a while since i made cutlets. Will have to try this soon.Looks yummy.

  2. I am sooooo making these soon! Thanks for the recipe. Just a question...what do you mean by cooked and minced meat? Does that mean minced meat cooked or any type of cut meat(like chicken brest/thigh) cooked...and then shredded?
    Also, which meat works better?

  3. Cutlets are something which are hard to resist! Lovely pictures, Shn! Truly, you just can't stop at one :).

  4. cutlets!oh, I love it,everyone here love cutlets!And yours' look perfect tempting me to make those now itself...Yummy cutlets..&lovely pictures...Shn.

  5. The sight of the mom mashing and mixing and shaping the cutlets is a familiar site in my household too...she had to keep the shaped non-fried ones away from us from nibbling at it...
    unfortunately i still have nnot mastered shaping it ...and mine crumbles too..shall take your thoughts on why it crumbles the next time i make them... :)

  6. what a perfect looking cutlets mishy. i must say u have loads of patience, inherited from ur mom n ajji? :)
    dusara greetings to u nad CJJ.

  7. Shn, They looks so yuummmm delicious!! I wish I could gobble them from the pic itself :)

  8. You can stop with half-a-dozen? But seriously, we make these with mutton kima, much smaller, and there's no stopping anybody when they're on the table - over in a trice!

  9. Slurp!!! We used to Mutton cutlets in B'lore in a coffee house,I still remember the taste of ginger in those! This looks so perfect shn.Thanks girl!:))

  10. I love the meat cutlets. My mom used to make them sometimes on sundayés. I don't make them that often in my home, just once in a while. But i do love them. If i make them i end up eating more than few, with onion and tomato salade and ketchup. My hubby and duaghter loves them too. They always complain that i don't make them very often.
    Seeing your pic i am going to make them on a weekend.

  11. Hi Shn....The cutlet looks like a bundle of delicacy dear...Excellent presentation as usual :-)

  12. i know veggie cutlets are soooo yummy...yur pics looks so delicious....

  13. I'm drooling over your can one stop...they look perfect.

  14. Madam please do post some veg recipes too:) nice pics! will drool thinking they are veg cutlets:)

  15. hope my comment didn't vanish!!

  16. I'm drooling over ur cutlet....yummy!!!! its been ayear since i had cutlet...i like all types of cutlets specially the beetroot ones from Indian Coffee House in TVM...

  17. I really envy you the way you make delicious stuff almost every week....wyaaaaaaaahhhh.
    Lovely, great, drooling.....

  18. Lovely munches!!
    Fine pics Shn...

  19. wow ...these remind me of my childhood. And yes me top I've burned my tongue trying to gobble down as many i can and as fast as i can before i had to share them with anyone else. The perfect brown n crispy exterior just makes me go weak in the knees.

  20. Pravs, who doesnt like cutlest right :)

    Nabeela, cooked & minced meat is any type of meat cooked first with basic seasonings ( i have noted that in the recipe section) and then shredded or minced in food processor. It is better to mince the meat rather than shredding. Usually boneless meat is ideal for this. I generally use boneless chicken breasts. Chicken cutlets and beef cutlets are both yummy , though my personal preference is for beef cutlets, I dont know if you eat the latter, if not stick to chicken itself. keep mashed potatoes aside and add them cautiously. If it is too much and moist, then you re in trouble, and if it is less and too dry, then also u re in trouble..its a bit tricky to get the right proportion but with your skill level, you can do it :) do buzz me here if you have more doubts or need any help.

    Musical, thank you sweetie :)

    Liz, so did you fry the next batch ?:)

    Rachel, hope it comes handy. Though I have been lucky most of the time, i still get anxious while making you cant be sure unless you get the first one fried correctly :)

    Sia, not as patient as my mother and grandma and that too great chefs :)Thanks for the wishes, hope you had a great time!

    Cinnamon, yes pls :)

    Sra, hahah...mutton kheema...oh myy they re so yummmm !!

    Asha, as u know , cutlet should not have a predominant taste of the basic ingredients...everything should be in perfect harmony and thats when it tastes better :)

    Happy Cook, and adults cant keep their hands off of the cutlets...fry some for your family this weekend :)

    Sirisha, Pushpa, Sunita, thanks a lot girls :)

    Sharmi, hahahhaha....I am sooooo sorry one is for you and I will try to include more veg recipes, its just that I am not all that experienced in veg cooking as my spouse likes non veg stuff but still I will try to include some of the kerala veg recipes I make, hope that will give you a made me go take my personal recipe file and browse for veg recipes y'day :D

    Remya, oh the beetroot ones from TVM coffee house is so tasty...i have had it once and still remember it...that with their coffee is excellent.

    Sandeepa, ooops...thats quite a misconception dear...i dont make interesting dishes every week, but I manage to post as I take pics whenever I make something worth blogging and note down the measurements immediately.I have got a couple more in my drafts :) This was made last weekend when we had some guests coming home for dinner :) Shall I send some to your place? :)

    Chandika, thanks and nice to have you over here :)

    Bharathy, thanks:)

    Kate, yes , you said it...that urge to eat maximum number of brown beauties comes from the fear that we will have to share it with others or we might end up getting less numbers :))) come over and join us for tea/coffee and lets munch on.


  21. Shn, your family are so lucky to have such a great cook, that Meat cutlet looks so gorgeous on that lime slices. I would love to try this Kheema (lamb)

    You take very good snaps, Shn!

  22. Thx for this wonderful recipe. Pic are mouth watering!!!!

  23. Agree with u, Shn on every single word u have written about the role of cultet in a mallu family(carnivorous brand!, that is) main role while my mom made these were to sit next to her forming the shapes, and have it even befor it was fried.!!!...just cant resist ..

  24. Meat Cutlet is one dish which amma thinks she makes really good..although i dont admit it to her. ;-P

    And this one tastes when piping out with challas!! Btw the shape is perfect ..Normally I see un-aesthetic looking ones.This is one looks so good that you are confued whether to eat it at one go or rather admire the looks first!! ;-P

  25. Please parcel some to me...:D

  26. You reminded me of my college days. There was a shop[Punchiri] who sold cutlets and that was my once a week treat. His would have been half as tasty as yours but in thise days it was heaven.

  27. That pic literally had my mouth watering...amma's beef cutlets were my fav so tempted to make it one of these days..

  28. I'd better have a big bowl of ice nearby when I make these, because my husband and I will both have burned tongues. They look delicious!

  29. You must have read my mind, Shn. Nearly every time I fry (what I call croquettes), they crack or loose their shape. I have no idea what I am doing right when they come out well. Thanks for the great tips and yummy photos.

  30. Shn, i can't wait to have them! this is a favorite in my home... i follow my mom's recipe which is exactly the same as yours!

  31. Look what you've gone and do - make me hungry for meat cutlets :)

  32. Superb mouthwatering cutlets!! I am ready for some right now in this cold weather!! Awesome presentation & photography!!

  33. Landing to your blog finally. Nice recipe you have here. your croquettes looks so YUM! that remind me that I haven't eaten them for quite awhile and probably I should make some now:)

  34. Nevermind the process to make these croquettes, Shn -- but when are you holding the class on veggies as garnish hmm? :):)

  35. What a great blog you have here! my family love cutlets so I am going to have to try your recipe...thanks very much for sharing!

  36. I love cultlets with Sallas.Mishmash! my mother used to add coconut milk to these sallas,It will me delicious.
    Your cutlets look perfect!!

  37. The cutlets looks so crisp and delicious Shn!

  38. Oh wow, I LOVE these.... and the shape, you have made them perfectly shn... Beef cutlets are my favorite..

  39. Shn! How do you manage such wonderful photographs????? Care to give out tips :)

  40. Padma, Thanks :)) Not a great cook, just know few things which I share with you all :) Kheema cutlets are yum .

    Rina, :)

    Kitchen Scientist,lets call it an irresistible carnivorous brand, eh ? :)

    Mathew, ayyoo...athrakkum pokkalle :)) Btw, next time when amma serves those cutlets, give her the deserving compliments, am sure she will be happy and proud as well :)

    Jyothsna, sure :)

    Mocha, hahah..punchiri and cutlets and lemon juice, thatz one deadly combo :)))

    Ash, even I prefer beef cutlets to chicken cutlets :D

    Susan, :)) am sure you would love these...try making at home and it is not spicy too.

    Susan,just make a note of the measurements you used and the type of potato used too. that would help you next time :)

    Lissie, yeah...everyone follow more or less the same recipe for cutlets :)

    Cynthia, wanna visit me ?: )

    Kini,Thanks a lot :) Welcome here .

    Dwiana, yeah, when the weather gets cold, meat croquettes and a cup of tea/coffee is what you want! Thanks for dropping by :)

    Linda, hhahh...that was a condiment for cutlet, not a garnish exactly :D

    Lotusreads, hope it works out well for you. Thanks a lot for coming by. Welcome here :)

    Kitchenfairy, oh myyy , what a surprise. welcome back , sweeties :) challas in coconut milk, ohh thats totally new...will try next time :)

    Roopa, thanks dear:)

    Sagari, :) Welcome to Mishmash!

    Sig, I know, generally whoever loves non veg cutlets have a preference towards beef cutlets which is quite understandable :)

    Rachel, oh myy...glad to hear that there are takers for my photos too!!! Dont know what tips to give as my pics are taken with an ordinary digi cam and no softwares are used to manipulate the picture quality either.Dont use flash as well, Most of the pics are taken in natural light.


  41. mishy,
    where is ur sunday post??? i am so used to seeing ur beatiful pics and wonderful write-ups on monday morn in my office;)

  42. sunday post became a monday post coz of my laziness ;P so did u miss me ? :D

  43. Can't wait to try this recipe!
    Just oooing and awwwing at the mouthwatering pic.

  44. This is the best website that I have come accros as far as recipes are concerned. The pictures are excellent. It makes me come back again and again. I wish you had a recipe book with all the pictues and recipes.

    Once again, Great Job!

  45. Hey Mishmash, I have been yearning to eat cutlets. But I'm kinda lost in this new country, coz my Oster blender wouldn't shred the beef for cutlet consistency. It would be great if you could tell me what food processor you used for this recipe.Thanks a lot..

  46. Shine, thank you :)

    Roy, that is very nice of you to give such generous words of appreciation, Thanks a lot :)

    Dj, i got a small food processor along with my OSter blender. I am using that one. Perhaps, you can try mincing in the blender itself...try with small quantities...just pulse and see if you get the minced meat...otherwise, try one of those 10-15 bucks worth small type grinder/mixer/veg chopper.Sorry I am not able to suggest one as I have never shopped for one. All the best!

  47. Ur presentations are awesome!!!

  48. Hi,

    donnow what to say..have been going thru ur blogs recently..many am trying out also..found many similarities between u nd me.. not telling like the made me really happy going thru ur blogs..i wish i could meet u introduce a mother of two kids..

  49. hi
    can we use store bought minced meat.pls do reply

    Thanks & Regards

  50. Wow...Those cutlets looks so delicious.I love cutlets.Whenever i try to make some it always ends up broken :(
    Thanks for posting Shn.

  51. Hi shn,
    Just wanted to check.. Approx how many kgs/gms is 2 1/2 cups ??..planning to try this out next week end..

    thanks in advance !



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