Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oatmeal crusted veggie masala cutlets with Anardana

I have always been around great cooks - first my mom and then my husband. My mom cooks with fixed recipes, (of course, she knows her recipes like the back of her hand) making her very consistent. My husband on the other hand is a big time experimenter... He cooks without recipes and throws in whatever he thinks would work well together. Even the same dishes never taste the same, twice. They turn out good most of the time... But there are times when things go wrong.... very wrong!!  
I draw my inspiration from both of them - the result? tada - these cutlets / patties. My mom's cutlets are very popular among my friends. She learnt to prepare them from my aunt and I learnt it from her. She deep fries the cutlets, so they are crispy and yummy. I pan fried mine to reduce the oil usage. Crusting with oatmeal is something I see a lot in 'Chopped' (My fav foodie reality show) on Food Network. When chefs find oatmeal in their mystery basket, they use it in crusting!!! I experimented (safely), and it was a success!!

This recipe is similar to my Ragada patties. Cutlets contain mainly potatoes, which is just startch.  I like to add some form of proteins and vegetables to them, so that they are not only comforting, but healthy too.

I have never been a big fan of soy nuggets... They have always tasted bland to me. Recently, I tried the soy granules and fell in love with them. Unlike nuggets, these are small pieces of soy and absorb flavors well and does not have a very meaty texture either.

Potatoes - 5 medium sized, steamed, peeled and mashed
Peas - 3/4 cup
Onion - 1 large finely chopped
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Soy granules (uncooked) - 1 cup
Bay leaves - 2
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Red chili powder - 1 tsp (or to taste)
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Anardana (Dried and ground pomegranate seeds) - 1/2 tsp
Oatmeal - 2 cups
salt and pepper to taste

Cook soy granules as per directions in the box.

Mix salt, turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp of chili powder with the mashed potatoes and set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet, add bay leaves and cinnamon. When they turn brown, add onion and fry until transparent. You can add a little salt at this time and let the onions sweat out. Add ginger paste and garlic paste and fry until the raw smell disappears. Add peas and stir for a minute or two. Add the remaining chili powder, garam masala, anardana, prepared soy granules and potato mixture and mix thoroughly. This might take some effort as the mixture is thick and sticky. When combined well, remove from heat and let it cool.

Grind oatmeal in the food processor. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves from the potato mixture. Form the mixture into patties and crust with the oatmeal flour. In a hot skillet with little oil pan fry the cutlets until golden brown on both sides. Remove onto a paper towel and enjoy warm.

Variation: Since, there is no binding agent, the oatmeal just dusts the cutlet and does not give a thick crust. if you want one, you can dip the cutlets into buttermilk or egg whites or a thin paste of all purpose flour and water (like my mom does), before crusting with oatmeal. In this case, you need to deep fry the cutlets and the result is crispy on the outside and soft and delectable on the inside. May be, baking/ broiling would work too... - worth experimenting...

I served these cutlets with Pomegranate chutney and POMyo! sauce. This was our main course-1 during the POM dinner party I recently hosted and it was a huge hit. Check out the recap here.

1 comment: