This recipe is about leftover-makeover. Celebrating the nifty, resourceful cook, who I guess most of you are! What would you do when faced with small bowls of random curries in the fridge? Make parathas? Or some fried rice and toss in those veggies, perhaps? We made these cute cutlets last week.
Even if we discovered the combination quite by chance, it had a great balance of protein, tubers and vegetables thrown in. Our kids could not find any fault with the textures and flavours in this melange. After polishing off several of them at their post-school snack time, they asked for it at dinner too! It was then I realised we had a killer combo in hand. Quite versatile too, for they can be devoured as such, can be sandwiched between buttered bread and packed for school lunch, or get converted to burger patties, or get drenched in the very Indian ragda pattice.
Since we made them with whatever was in the fridge, I am not sure as to how to record a recipe. Here is what we threw together -
Preparation time – 20 minutes + 8 hours soaking time, Cooking time – 40 minutes pressure cooking + 20 minutes, Serves – 4 - 6
- Does NOT contain egg, dairy, lactose, corn, soya.
- Can be made gluten free by substituting bread crumbs with rice flour or corn flour for dusting.
Cookware – Pressure cooker, electric mixer, colander, mixing bowl/basin, non-stick skillet / any other skillet.
- Boiled* and mashed potato - 1/2 cup
- Cooked* kala channa / Brown channa (Garbanzo beans)– 1/2 cup
- Raw plantain* –peeled, chopped and cooked till just done - 1/2 cup
- Beetroot* – peeled and boiled, 1/4 cup
- Onion – finely chopped – 3/4 cup
- Chopped Coriander leaves – 1/4 cup
- Chopped green chillies – 2 tbsp
- Garam masala / Pav bhaji masala / Chole masala – 1 heaped tbsp
- Salt – 1+1/4 tsp
- Bread crumbs – 3 - 4 tbsp ( Use rice flour or corn flour to make it gluten-free)
- Oil – for sautéing, about 2-3 tsp
- Peel, rinse and chop onion, green chillies, and the coriander leaves as finely as possible. Set aside in a colander.
- *To save time, you can place the soaked channa in a container topped by another with all the other veggies (add 1/2 tsp salt to the vegetables to avoid getting mushed up) and cook in the same pressure cooker. I normally pressure cook the channa on a low flame for 20 minutes after the cooker’s first whistle. We want a just cooked texture without being mushy.
- After the pressure has released, drain all the cooking water into another bowl, place all the cooked contents in a mixer, pulse until coarsely mashed.
- Take a mixing bowl. Transfer the contents of the mixer into it. Also add the chopped onions, chillies, green coriander, add 1/2 tsp salt, the masala powder you are using, bring them all together using your fingers. It should feel like a moist coarse mixture (not paste), but should not ooze water or extra fluid.
- Make lemon sized balls, flatten slightly using your palm, dredge in bread crumbs and set aside. You can keep these in the fridge for half an hour to stabilise the texture. (Or prepare ahead till this stage, store them in a suitable air-tight container in the freezer. Thaw and fry as many as needed each time.)
- Heat a skillet, season the skillet with a few drops of oil, place as many cutlets as the surface of the skillet holds, and fry over high heat first and medium flame later on both sides till well browned.
- Remove to kitchen paper.
- Serve warm with mustard and tomato ketchup as accompaniments. Or make it into a sandwich filling. Or make thicker pattties, shallow fry on both sides and use to assemble burgers along with some onion, tomato rings and crisp lettuce. Whichever way you choose to gorge on it, you will find it delicious!