Monday, October 08, 2012

Kid approved Vegetable Cutlet

Saturdays were special. I had half day school. oh! it was a curse getting up early in the first place. 
You have to understand, my regular school timings (Mon-Fri) were 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays, 7:45 am-12:30 pm. so you can guess how annoying it was to wake up very early.
But early dismissal meant at least one good thing, going to meet Mommy! 
My Mother worked for the RBI. They had half day working on Saturdays too!
Sometimes I'd go to meet her at her office and then we would go shopping, Crawford market, Fashion street, Khau Galli were some of our stops. 
Our meeting spot was always the same. V.T Station ( now called CST Station), platform number 1, wait by the weighing scale ( *near* the scale, not on it, that would be embarrassing! ). 
I would come home from school, dump my bag, fling off my shoes, hastily change in to a 'good' outfit, grab money that was kept for me in a purse and race off to the station to get my 'return' ticket. 
I'd walk past the book stall on the station and glance at the 'headlines' on Mid-Day, look at all the glossies with glamorous film stars staring haughtily at me in their garish make up, which at that time (late 80-90's ) looked fine! and decide between 'Chandamama' or 'Tinkle' comic book, buy it with the spare money and settle down to read it before the train came. 

When I reached V.T station ( the last stop) I'd get down and dutifully wait next to the weighing scale. My Mom would hurry in at the appointed time and we would happily start our afternoon. Many a times, I'd just rush from home, without eating anything and in those cases, I'd be hungry as a hunter! I would make a beeline for a small booth that sold greasy food packaged by Railway Canteen. I always picked the cutlet. Teardrop shaped and brown colored. I liked these cutlets. Packed with a slice of bread, nestled on a small paper plate. I wonder if they still sell these cutlets... 

It's been about 2 decades  that I have not tasted those cutlets or stood next to the weighing scale in anticipation of an afternoon of fun and shopping, but those memories linger and today, I was inspired by those cutlets, tasted so many, many years ago.

My version is  Panko coated and pan fried and has vegetables peeking out here and there, unlike the deep brown deep fried version at the Railway snack booth. but I believe mine is healthier.

You need:

3 medium Potatoes  (I used the white skinned ones)
1/2 cup green Peas ( frozen)
~ 8 Baby Carrots, grated
1/2 cup Corn ( frozen)
2 Green chilies ( adjust to suit your tolerance)
1/4 cup Cilantro
1/2 tsp - 3/4 tsp Jeera / Cumin seeds
1 inch Fresh Ginger
2 cloves Garlic
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Amchur powder (optional)
2-3 hefty pinches Garam Masala ( I used Badshah Rajwadi Garam Masala)
2 slices Bread (stale works best)
Panko Bread Crumbs to coat
Oil to shallow fry

Boil/pressure cook the potatoes. Cool, peel and mash.

In a mixie (chutney jar) or chopper, pulse the green chilies, ginger, garlic, cumin.

Pulse the bread slices, if using, and make them into crumbs. Add it to the mashed potato

Grate the carrot and place in a microwave safe glass bowl, add 2 Tbsp. water and microwave for approx. 2 mins to soften the carrot. 

Add the green peas, corn kernel and carrot (ensure that you drain any water left over after microwaving) to the potato and bread mash and mix well. 

Heat oil in a wok, add the pulsed green chilies, cumin, ginger & garlic and saute for 30 seconds (the garlic should not smell raw).

Add the potato- vegetable medley and mix well to distribute the spices.

Season with salt and amchoor ( dry mango) powder.

Sprinkle in the garam masala. Mix everything evenly and cook until the mixture is dry-ish. That is  there is no moisture in the mix.

Last, add the chopped cilantro. mix well and set aside to cool.

In a shallow plate, add the panko crumbs.

Set a pan/ cast iron skillet on on the stove ( medium heat)

Scoop a part of the mixture and shape it into a tear drop or round shape (whatever ou like, go on, shape them like hearts! ) 

Coat with Panko crumbs.  Spray or drizzle some oil on the skillet and gently place the patty on the hot skillet

Repeat the procedure for remaining patties. 

Do not over crowd the skillet when shallow frying the patties.

After a couple of minutes, flip the patties and cook on the other side. When cutlets are golden brown on both sides, remove and drain on paper towels.

Serve warm with ketchup or cilantro chutney 

My little one enjoyed these and made me the happiest Mommy on earth! Point to note, he is fussy and would not eat if he could spy vegetables, but he polished off this cutlet! 


You can substitute with vegetables of your choice,for ex: cauliflower, beans, cabbage 

If you like, add a tbsp of chopped mint leaves along with the cilantro. 

I have used white skinned potatoes, these mash easily and are a tad sticky and therefore I added a couple of slices of bread. If you use red potatoes or russet, you may not need the slices, use your judgement.

Slap the cutlet between  hamburger buns, add chutney, lettuce leaves, tomato and cucumber slices, cheese slice and your Vege. burger is ready! 

If you do not have panko bread crumbs, use fine rava/ semolina instead.

These freeze well. 
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  1. So yummy cutlet

  2. So mouthwatering & delicious!!!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  3. wow!so crisp and delicious..loved the crispy golden crust!!

    1. Thank you, Anjana. The crust is Panko crumbs, totally crisp and yummy!

  4. What a wonderful tradition of a mommy daughter afternoon! Loved hearing your memories and having lived in Bombay for several years, I can certainly relate.

  5. What a lovely post! Cutlets are my favorite too, I havent tried Panko crumbs yet, shall give it a try soon.

    I love reading about your childhood :) the memories might be different than mine but since we were kids in the same era and same city I can really relate to it. Eagerly waiting for your next post.


    1. thank you, Priti. your comments always make me happy!
      Do try the panko crumbs, they are lighter and so crispy, they take cutlets to the next level.

  6. Absolutely divine. Awesome clicks dear.

  7. How badly I miss the mommy and mi time. My mom was super busy so we never had a fixed time, but she would take me out for dinner every summer after the end of the final exams and we kind of looked forward to it. She also got me a small dairy milk bar every time I was sick and she could not take leave. I appreciate all of that now more than that time. however I spend doing all of this with my SIL, while my bro was in Japan. We met at VT Station and then hit off for movies, fashion street, Canon Pav bhaji, Then searched for different paper for her wedding invitation cards. How badly I miss those days. Cutlets are super snack as always. I had forgotten abt them in all these rants. wink wink....
    Love Ash.

    1. I am sure as a working Mom you know how difficult is it to manage everything and since I know you, so well, I know you put in a lot of effort.
      I wish I could share these cutlets with u and A and the little ones.

  8. looks so superb i am sure you guys enjoyed it :)

    Cook like Priya

    1. thank you Priya, we did. I was very happy that my son did, more than anything.

  9. Delicious cutlet, my favorite during childhood.

  10. gee- that's a nostalgic recount of the mom n you time ! nice; the cutlets has the kid in me all perked up :)

  11. What a wonderful recipe and a lovely story.I have never seen a Cutlet look so sizzling and delicious.I am tempted to make it right away.Great photography and an amazing recipe.Keep up the good work Manasi :)

  12. Manasi - Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I am going through a phase where my 15 month old refuses to eat anything and everything. I made paalak pakoda yesterday and he happily chomped down a few. So I figured he is game for anything fried or shallow fried. I made the cutlets today and he LOVED it. What a great way to get the veggies in. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Anonymous, Thank you so much for the feed back. I appreciate it.
      I am SO happy that your son also approved! Give your precious one a BIG hug from me!

  13. Nice cutlets! very nice presentation like your blog !you know what i have tried cutlets in a different way.. best for kids.. do visit my place when time permits Vegetable Cutlets Love to have your feedback!

  14. Wanted to let you know that I made these for a Diwali potluck, for the kids' main entree, and we loved it. They were such a big hit, especially the panko breading because it's so light. Thank you for sharing & happy diwali!


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