Monday, July 12, 2010

Stuffed Vegetable Cutlets

"Hmm.. here is your butter. Hold out your hand. No! No! don't come near me!! Don't touch me!! ugh! Here!  and remember, don't come into the house  like this. Clean yourself thoroughly." He grinned , accepted the white butter and slathered it on to this 'paav' and eagerly devoured it. He then went to the back of the house, to a lone tap and  'thoroughly clean up', chuckling to himself and then entered the house. 

My father is a raconteur and this kind of family talk and laughter were the highlights of my India trip. I enjoyed this little anecdote my Father told me as I soaked slices of brown bread in a saucer of water and squeezed them. We were sitting at the family dining table and I was doing the prep work for Vegetable Cutlets. 
I love hearing tales of his childhood and how things were in India before Independence and how VERY orthodox and traditional  his family was, in fact, how ultra conservative Bijapur was. Eating out was not acceptable and 'western' or non-Hindu / Brahmin food was a big no-no. Eating bread or paav ( baked in a non-Hindu) made my Grandmother shudder! How different from this day when one does not stop to consider anything except  in making  a choice in the various brands or very occasionally , white or brown bread! 

Makes 8
For the Potato Shells:
3 Medium ( 1lb.) red Potatoes, peeled and cooked
12-15 Slices White bread ( I use Brown, whole wheat)
4 Cups Warm water
1tsp. salt
1tsp. Veg. Oil

For the Filling:
1 tsp. Veg Oil
1 tsp. Cumin
1/2 Cup finely chopped Onion
1tsp. Chopped Ginger root
2  med. Garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 med. red Potatoes(2/3 lb.) peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 med. Carrot Finely chopped
1/2 cup Frozen peas
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
2 tbs. Amchur pwd. or 1 tbs. lemon/lime juice
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp.Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Cayenne
1/4 cup Water

For the coating:
1 Egg lightly beaten ( I used a runny paste of flour and water)
1 cup dry Plain Breadcrumbs
Veg. Oil to brush

Make Potato Shells:
Mash potatoes in a bowl and set aside
Dip bread slices in warm water,just until moist. remove immediately and press between palms  and remove all water
Add bread and salt to the potatoes and knead the mixture until smooth
* If the mixture is too sticky, add 2-3 DRY slices and knead
Brush with oil and keep aside

Make the Filling:
Heat 1 T. oil in a wok/kadhai on medium high heat
Add cumin and sizzle  for 30 secs.
Add Onion and Ginger root, Garlic
Stir-fry 2-3 mins. or till onion is golden brown
Stir in remaining  filling ingredients, except water
Stir-fry for 1-2 mins. cover and simmer till potatoes are tender
If the mix is wet, open lid and cook till water evaporates and mix is dry
Cool Completely

Assemble Cutlets
Divide dough into 8 equal parts
press or roll each into a 6 inch circle on a lightly floured surface and spoon about 1/4 cup filling onto the center
Carefully fold the dough  over the filling to make a semi circle
Press with a fork to seal
Brush with oil on a 12 inch skillet and heat over medium heat
Coat cutlets with egg/ flour+water , coat with bread crumbs
Place cutlets on skillet, do not overcrowd
Cook 16-20 mins, turning once until shells ate Golden brown.
Serve with Ketchup

Changes I made:
Used Brown bread instead of white. Also unsure of the number of bread slices, so used my judgement. 12-15 slices were too much for me.
Used flour and water instead of egg for coating.  Made a thin and runny solution of  flour + water to dip the cutlets 
I made smaller cutlets
Did not put cutlets on the skillet once they were filled, directly dipped them in flour-water and coated with breadcrumbs

These are a bit time consuming to make but totally, totally worth the effort! You and/or your guests won't waste time polishing them off! 
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  1. very tempting cutlet...luks gr8!

  2. Cutlet looks great !! Lovely pics !
    And talking about father tales even i can go on and on and on ...

  3. Those look so good! I love that idea. A wonderful filling.



  4. Really drooling. Long time since I had cutlets. Tempting pic. Happy to follow you.

  5. Awesome cutlets Manasi. Am getting hungry just looking at the pics :-)

  6. :) Lovely prelude, Manasi, to a delicious-looking recipe. I have got to try this one.

  7. Never knew Betty Crocker had an Indian cookbook. Cutlets look delicious.

  8. Thank U, Subhashini!Taste good too :)

    Thank U,Premlatha!

    I love stories from Dad's childhood and more so coz he has a gr8 way of telling them. thank U for visiting!

    Thank U,Rosa.

    Thank U,Vasavi.Do try the cutlets, they are yummy!

    Thank U,Rajee.

    Thank U,Vaishali. Do let me know how you like them.

    Thanks Divya! I found this book in Dallas Public library.

    Thank u, Delhibelle.

  9. they look awesome and so tempting... bookmarked it

  10. hi mansi,
    these stuffed cutlets r simply superb ...very new n interesting cutlets for me ...looks so crispy n delicious ...i bookmarked
    new to ur blog ...u gota beautiful space here with lovely collection of recipes ...if u get time do visit my blog


  11. Sounds like you had a great trip! These are the sort of memories we'll cherish :)

  12. Hi Mansi, How are you? How is the lil' one? keeping you busy??!!
    Cutlets with tea, yum!

  13. They look so yummy.I will be making it very soon.
    The anecdote that you shared about bread being a non-hindu is so very true in the generation preeceding us.My Naani(ma's mom)was never ready to try bread or anything made from it and it was a constant struggle when going out or making paav bhaji.

  14. Well presented!!Happy to follow u..Do drop into my space sometime..

  15. Your photo is really great! This is one of those recipes where you can try different fillings.

  16. Move to NJ Plzzzzzzzzz..We have serious water shortage here... I am drooling looking at the pics...

  17. Pallu is that you!!!Great to know you blog too.Loved the recipes on your blog am following your blog ...Pls check mine at
    Pls follow if you like it .

  18. Looks tempting and crispy. Want to grab the plate. Do visit my blog when time permits.


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