Vegetable cutlets are pretty popular in south Indian restaurants. Its almost similar to the chaat dish Aloo tikki though cutlets are usually denser and have a crispier exterior due to the bread crumbs coated on them. My husband loves these and so do I. We had friends over for dinner last week and I wanted an appetizer that did not involve deep frying and aslo that it be of Indian origin. Vegetable cutlet ("Indian") was one of the candidates but my menu had vegetable biryani which uses more or less the same set of vegetables (think carrots, peas, cauliflower). I didnt want to duplicate the veggies yet I wasnt willing to give up on the cutlet idea. So a compromise was reached and the cutlet I finally made had potatoes (which is the base and the binding material for the cutlet) and spinach (in place of the mixed vegetables). Spinach is one of those vegetables I can eat all day long and everyday!! The spices were kept to a minimum to let the spinach flavor shine. The cutlets were a super hit with our guests and think it will show up again pretty soon in our dinner plate :-) These patties dont necessarily have to be an appetizer. Its a good substitute to veggie burgers. Use ciabatta or sourdough bread with condiments of your choice (mustard, any spread or just plain ketchup) and cheese to make a complete meal.
- Any greens can be used instead of spinach. I think Kale or swiss chard should work well.
- For a different twist potatoes can be substituted with sweet potatoes that are in season now.
- I kept the spices to a minimum but feel free to experiment with different spices and flavors. Cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala or chaat masala can be added for extra flavor.
- Bread crumb coated patties can be stored in the freezer. Once the patties are coated, place it on a sheet pan (dont let the patties touch each other) and freeze it for 15 min until the coated cutlets are firm. Now transfer it to a ziplock and freeze. Stays fresh for up to 2 months.
1 bunch fresh spinach (if using frozen - 1 cup will do)
4-5 medium white potatoes
1 tsp roasted cumin powder (optional)
1-2 tsp cayenne powder (or red chili powder) - adjust as per taste
Salt to taste
1 cup bread crumbs
1-2 tbsp corn flour
Oil - for shallow frying
- Boil potatoes, peel the skin and mash. Set aside.
- Saute spinach in a 1 tbsp of oil until tender. Add cumin powder, cayenne powder and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- In a large bowl mix cooked spinach and mashed potatoes. Add corn flour. Mix well until the mixture is relatively firm and can be shaped into flat patties. If needed, use more corn flour to get the right consistency for the patties.
- Take lemon sized ball of the mixture, flatten it to form patties.
- Coat evenly with bread crumbs. The patties can be refrigerated or frozen at this point for later use.
- Take a shallow frying pan, add oil just enough to coat the surface of the pan. Heat on a medium flame.
- When the oil is hot enough drop a few patties into the oil and let it fry for 2-3 min or until golden brown. Flip to the other side and continue cooking until golden brown.
- Remove on a plate. Blot the excess oil with some paper napkins.
- Serve with mint chutney or tomato ketchup.