Archive for the ‘Potatoes’ Category

Fish Cutlets

Posted: November 14, 2010 in Appetizers, Fish, Potatoes, Snacks
Tags: , , , ,
A walk down memory lane

I remember cutlets being the appetizer that my mom used to make when we had guests over. She used to make vegetable cutlets, fish cutlets, kheema cutlets. They are actually pretty easy to make and beyond delicious.

I have made vegetable cutlets before; they are my favorite among cutlets. I bought some tilapia at the grocery store the other day and had plans to fry or roast it for dinner. Then I noticed some boiled potatoes in the refrigerator, and that’s when it hit me, fish cutlets!!!

Mom always used to make some extra cutlets for next day. I loved the cutlets the next day (not that I ate any less on the day of the party) because they used to be served piping hot – from the stove to my plate. The fish cutlets she used to make were from the tastiest fish varieties ever – I so long for the fresh fish from the fish markets in Bombay. I guess I’ll have to make do with the tilapia for now. So here’s the recipe for fish cutlets. You can make them even the day before and save yourself sometime on the day of a party. This recipe makes about 12 cutlets.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Tilapia fillets
  2. salt and black pepper for seasoning the fish
  3. 2 potatoes – boiled and mashed
  4. 1 onion large
  5. 4 green chillies
  6. 2 cloves garlic
  7. 2 tsp black pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  10. 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  11. coriander leaves (1 cup chopped)
  12. 1 egg
  13. bread crumbs (made from 3-4 slices)
  14. 2 teaspoons oil
  15. oil for frying
  16. salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Season the fish fillets with salt and black pepper. Set this aside for a about 15 minutes.
  2. Bake the fish in the preheated oven at 350 deg F. Turn the fillet over after about 5-7 minutes. Turn over the fillet once again after another 5-7 minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven after about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Shred the fish into small pieces and set aside.
  4. In the meanwhile boil the potatoes and mash the potatoes to a smooth consistency.
  5. Chop the onions, green chillies and garlic cloves.
  6. Heat the oil and when hot add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the green chillies and the garlic and fry all the ingredients till the onions turn a brown in color.
  8. Now add the cumin, coriander powder and fry for a couple of minutes till the ingredients are mixed together well.
  9. Reduce the heat and add the mashed potatoes and mix well.
  10. Add salt to taste.
  11. Remove the potato mixture from the heat and add the shredded fish, coriander leaves and the lime juice to it. Mix all the ingredients together and ensure that the mixture has a sticky consistency.
  12. Make about 12 flat patties out of the mixture and set aside.
  13. Beat the egg in a separate bowl.
  14. Make the bread crumbs and set aside.
  15. Take each flat patty and apply a little egg on both side and then cover with the bread crumbs.
  16. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and place the cutlets in the frying pan.
  17. Fry the cutlets till brown on both sides.

This recipe takes about 30-40 minutes for preparation and another 10-15 mins for frying. These cutlets can be served with any kind of bread and some people also like some ketchup on the side. Some green chutney would also go well with the cutlets. I made these cutlets atleast 3 weeks back but then had a conference to go to so had to put an hold on the blog. But am back now and will be back to regular postings as before. You can easily substitute the fish with any other, it is not necessary to use tilapia. And the outer crust for the cutlets can be made using a lot of ingredients but I love the version with bread crumbs. You could also use corn meal or semolina. Hope you enjoy making these cutlets as much as my I did.

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The Dassera Special

Being a Keralite brought up in Bombay has given me the opportunity to see different festivals celebrated in so many different ways. For instance Dassera, the name itself, can be spelt in so many different ways. I have always associated Dassera with two things, one being Dandiya and another being books (lets say the lack of it). For me Dassera is synonymous with the music and dance that people enjoy for during the entire festival. It does get pretty loud but it is also so pleasing to the eye – the colorfully decorated ‘pandals’, the beautifully dressed up girls and of course the music… You start dancing to the music without much effort, you don’t need to know how to – in fact I am sure Amit (who, I am pretty sure, has two left feet) can also manage pretty well.  I so miss being in India for these festivals.

The other reason for me so looking forward to this particular festival is the way we traditionally celebrate it in Kerala. At home we celebrate it primarily as Saraswati Puja (worshipping the goddess of knowledge). Ashtami, Navami, and Vijaya Dashami the last three of the ten day festival are celebrated as Saraswati Puja in which books are worshiped. For me it had always been a three day festival at home. When you say worshipping the books, it literally means that, we used to set aside our school books for the puja on the 1st day and then on the 3rd day after the rituals are completed the books are given back to us. And during the three days we are not allowed to study!!! So now you know why, as a kid, this was indeed the most awesome three days.

In Kerala, the books are either kept at home for worshiping, or at the temple. The third day, Vijaya Dashami is also considered to be a very auspicious day to initiate children into the world of books (or rather into reading and writing). This ceremony is called Vidyarambham (which quite literally translates to Vidya – Knowledge, Arambham – beginning).

And then there was the Ayudha Puja (worship of tools, implements, weapons, automobiles, etc) which was also on the same day as the Saraswati puja. Our car used to get decked up in a garland. In fact any automobile you would see on the streets would have the garland.

In fact this festival is celebrated in different ways in different states in India. Since I am no expert, I won’t delve into the details. But it is celebrated with much grandeur in almost all the states.

So that being said, we celebrated Dassera this Sunday at home. And since I was a bit too busy celebration for us meant cooking and then eating some awesome food. I decided on a 3-course meal and I intend to share all three recipes right here. We started off with an appetizer, the main course and of course ended with a sweet dish.

This post is to share the Aloo Mutter recipe that I made thanks to the recipe I found online. The link is given at the end of the blog. The recipe I found was for Mutter Paneer (Indian Cheese with peas) but since the appetizer had paneer, I decided to adapt the recipe for Potatoes and Peas in a Tomato gravy. The recipe takes about 30-40 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 medium sized potatoes (cut into chunks and boiled)
  2. 1 cup green peas (cooked)
  3. 2 large tomatoes
  4. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  6. 1″ piece cinnamon
  7. 4-5 cloves
  8. 4-5 green cardamom
  9. 10-15 cashews
  10. 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  11. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  12. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  13. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  14. 1 cup plain yogurt (make sure the yogurt is not sour)
  15. 2 teaspoons cream (optional)
  16. 1 teaspoon oil
  17. Coriander leaves for garnish
  18. Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Soak the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cashews in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile cook the potatoes and peas separately.
  • Make a puree of the tomatoes in the blender.
  • Grind the whole spices and cashew to a fine paste.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat and add the paste to it.
  • Fry the paste for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in the tomato puree and cook for another 5 minutes (or till the sauce starts getting thick).
  • Add the chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder and turmeric powder and let the gravy cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Now add the yogurt and continue stirring on a low flame to a simmer.
  • Add the cooked peas and potatoes and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the cream and garnish with some coriander leaves and serve hot.

Since it was Dassera, I decided to indulge in some puris to go along with this dish. But you can serve this with any form of bread (indian or otherwise).  The ingredients listed above make about 4 servings. The original recipe is  available at http://www.tarladalal.com/Spicy-Mutter-Paneer-15657r. Hope you enjoy this version of Aloo Mutter. Sorry about the pictures, I took it a hurry, as I was worried that we would finish most of it and I won’t have any left to take pictures.