Monday, March 1, 2010

Beetroot and Peanut Vegetable Cutlet

As children we had tasted Vegetable Cutlets for the first time when father took us on long tours during our holidays. That was the only time when we were off 'home food' for so many days, and virtually 'Ate out', every meal, everyday. Father taught us how to eat the piping hot cutlets using a fork and knife. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience, eating a strange but yummy snack, in a strange ambiance, using stranger instruments!
The origin of the cutlet is attributed to many countries, but this lip smacking snack has entered all households in various avatars, containing diverse ingredients. Vegetable cutlets have a special place even in the most traditional and conservative of kitchens in South India. In fact, I was astonished and pleasantly thrilled, when vegetable cutlets were served instead of vadais in a traditional feast served on banana leaves, at a friend's place soon after my wedding.
Amused by my fascination for Cutlets, my husband made it customary to stop at 3ACES, a popular restaurant on M.G.Road in the 1960s - 70s, during our evening drives. The taste of the gorgeous cutlets which were served with an assortment of salad vegetables and mint chutney still remains fresh in my mind.
This nostalgia was triggered off by just looking at the yummy vegetable cutlets my daughter had prepared two days ago, for a party. The beetroots and peanuts which she had included in the recipe, rendered a special taste to her cutlets.

INGREDIENTS Potatoes - 4 large
Beetroots - 4
Carrots - 2
French Beans - a fistful
Coarsely crushed Roasted Peanuts (skin removed) - 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Star anise - 2 (powdered)
Grated fresh ginger - 1 tbsp
Finely chopped green chillies - 2
Chopped coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Lime juice (optional) - 2bsps
Salt - 2 tsps
Black pepper powder - 2 tsps
Corn flour - 3 tbsps
Bread crumbs - 250 gms
Oil - for deep frying
1. Pressure cook potatoes. Peel them and set aside.

2. Peel and chop beetroots and carrots. String the beans and break into small pieces.
3. Boil the chopped vegetables and peanuts with just enough water, until they become soft. (Or cook to three whistles in a pressure cooker). The vegetables should be completely cooked, but not mushy. They should retain their individuality in the cutlets. Allow the vegetables to cool well.
4. To prepare the seasoning, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai and add cumin seeds, grated ginger, chopped green chillies, followed by coriander powder, star anise powder.
5. Switch off the flame, and add the coriander leaves, salt, pepper powder (and the optional lime juice) . The seasoning is now ready.
10. Add potatoes to the seasoning, and mash and mix well with the prepared seasoning.
11. Next mix in the cooked vegetables and peanuts with the potato mixture.
12. Take two tablespoons of the vegetable and shape into roundels (or any desired shape) and keep aside. (We could make 40 cutlets with the amount of ingredients given above)
13. Make a thin batter of water and corn flour in a deep vessel.
14. .Spread out the bread crumbs evenly on a tray. (To prepare home made bread crumbs, toast about 6 bread slices into a golden brown colour. Break them into pieces after they are cooled and run in the mixer to get a coarse powder.)
15. Dip the cutlets in the the batter one at a time, and place the coated cutlet on the bed of bread crumbs. Cover the cutlet well with the crumbs on all sides keeping the shape in tact.
16. Arrange all the cutlets with out overlapping, on a flat tray and place in the refrigerator.
17. You can keep the cutlets in the fridge for at least for two hours, or till you are ready to serve them. This will allow the cutlets to firm up, making frying easier.
18. When you are ready to fry the cutlets, heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel.
19. We used 1/2 liter of oil in a large kadai. Slide in four cutlets (or more if the vessel has space) at a time into the hot oil.
20. Using a ladle take the hot oil from around the cutlets and pour on top of them and cook for at least 3 minutes without disturbing the cutlet.
21. Gently flip over and cook on the other side of the cutlets. When the cutlets are evenly browned on all sides to a copper brown in colour they are ready.
22. .Remove them onto paper towels to drain out excess oil.

Serve the cutlets hot and crisp with fresh mint chutney and tomato sauce.

11 Post your Comments:

Finla said...

Looks so beautiful and delcious. Wish i could grab couple of them.

Trendsetters said...

very healthy n very colorful..yumm

Nithya said...

Cutlets look so yummm :)

S.R.Ramachandran said...

Reminds me of 3 aces tasty cutlets we regularly had with mint chutny, appa

Lakshmi said...

colorful and tasty cutlets :)

Jayashree said...

I love the taste that beetroot imparts to any dish. Your cutlets look vibrantly colourful.

jayasree said...

Liked the idea of adding peanuts to cutlets.

Unknown said...

The cutlets are gorgeous...teh color is fantastic...very healthy options...teh clicks are great

YOSEE said...

Droooool ! Long time since I made this, beetroot being banned from fridge ! So colourful !

Sorin said...

This sounds wonderful. I'm going to have to try it.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome maa. Peanuts in the cutlet are the best.

I remember Dibbs' mom-in-law serving us these hot spicy cutlets a few years ago. Can literally remember its taste and aroma.

Yum Yum!!!