Monday, March 14, 2011
I had company last week. It was great to have someone home, to talk and share lunch with. It was even better to cook for more than two people. And it’s a darn miracle to myself, how such simple things in life have started becoming a treasure to me. Maybe the overdue maturing is finally happening! You will agree, being far away from one's homeland visits from family and friends become more meaningful. You miss them as soon as they are gone. The house is silent, and suddenly there is a huge void to fill.
Anyways, cutlets are a great snack when you have company or otherwise. Growing up, I could polish off a good number of them at a sitting. A snack every child will love! Talking about children, it was Namitha who initially decided to make cutlets last week. I took her cue, and made some with my friend M who was visiting and she and I photographed them. Thanks to Namitha for inspiring me to cook some myself last week and M for lending me you hand, literally for the photos. Sorry for jumping the gun on this one Nami :) Namitha's recipe will soon follow.
Back again to the topic of cutlets; good company and good food go together; good company and cutlets, now, that rocks! This snack will have your guests asking for more and you children, well they will not ask they will finish them all. A winner with young and old alike, I hope you enjoy it too.
Chicken Breast - 3 (About 1 Lbs)
Cinnamon Stick - 1 inch piece
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 4
Potato - ½ lbs
Onions - 2 big (chopped fine)
Ginger - 2 inch piece (chopped fine)
Garlic - 4 pods (chopped fine)
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Green Chilies - 8 (chopped fine) (reduce if it’s too hot for your taste)
Eggs - 2
Bread crumbs - ½ cup
Flour - ½ cup
Salt - to taste
Vegetable Oil - 1 Tbspn + enough for deep frying
1. Cut the chicken breast into big chunks. In a deep pan, cook the chicken with ¼ cup of water, ½ tspn salt, 2 green chilies cut, 1 garlic pod, about 1 tbspn of the chopped onions, whole cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom. Cook till all the water is completely drained and chicken is cooked through. Set this aside to cool. Once cool, pick out the whole garam masala and grind the remaining in your food processor until it resembles a coarse nut meal.
2. Simultaneously, pressure cooker potatoes with enough water to just cover them. Wait for two whistles and switch off the stove. Once all the steam has escaped open the cooker, drain water and let the potato cool.
3. Heat oil in a pan and sauté finely chopped onions till translucent. Add finely chopped ginger, garlic, green chilies and curry leaves and sauté till the garlic and ginger gives off the cooked aroma.
4. Once the potato cools, powder it using a fork. Mix all the cooked, boiled and sauteed ingredients together. Check for salt and adjust according to taste. Form small balls of equal size, press it on a spoon to form oval shapes.
5. Take flour and bread crumbs in two separate plates. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl big enough to dip each of the cutlets. Grab another dinner plate to keep the prepared cutlets, and make yourself comfortable on a chair. I prefer sitting at the dining table with all these things in front of me before I start dusting, moistening and rolling the cutlets to make them ready for deep frying.
6. Take each shaped cutlet, roll in flour, dip in egg, roll again in bread crumbs and place them on a plate.
7. Once all the cutlets have been prepared as stated above, deep fry till both sides are golden brown.
8. Make sure heat is at medium low and since all ingredients are cooked you do not have to over do the frying.
Enjoy with ketchup as a snack or have them as a side dish with rice or rotis.