Isn’t ‘cutlass‘ the funniest word? But that’s what cutlets are called in Urdu, and they usually refer to potato cutlets. I learnt to make amazing potato cutlets from my mother, and while they are great as far as potato cutlets go, I just think that everything is better with some kind of meat! Therefore, I will start with chicken cutlets, that I also learnt from my mother, and these will literally disappear in seconds right before your eyes, they are so good!
I never thought about it before I started this blog, but looking back, I have realized that I always had an interest in cooking. The first thing that my mother taught me to make on my own was a fried egg, sunny side up. I was really young, although I don’t remember how old I was, exactly, but I would say around 9-10. So, everyday, in the late afternoon, when everyone was taking a nap, I would go into the kitchen and set out everything that I needed. Then, of course, I would pretend that I was a cooking show host and outline the steps, talking out loud, making the perfect sunny side up egg, and proceed to eat it with toast.
I was also always excited about trying recipes that I learnt in school, or from some magazine or other. But, unfortunately, they were all very random. That was way before the time of the internet, reviews, step by step videos and pictures, and I was no expert, so after some banging around in the kitchen, when things would start going downhill, I would call my mother and causally slip outside to play with my cousins, leaving my mother behind to take care of the mess.
But thinking about it now, I realize that my mother never, ever got bothered by my endless kitchen experiments, which were 50/50 either hit or miss. She always, always, without exception, would come in, take over, and fix everything, and clean up all the mess with the cook’s help. She never discouraged me from anything that I wanted to make, no matter how ambitious it might sound, and placed everything at my disposal. She gave me her own recipes to try… I guess what I’m trying to say is that she didn’t get bogged down by the thought of the aftermath of my projects. She was always up for it and facilitated it in every possible way.
I only hope that I can be that kind of mother too! One of the things that really helped her to succeed was not being a control freak (like me). She could hand things over and trust people to do a good job with them, but be there for them if they needed help. I feel like I would be constantly hovering and worrying, being a hindrance in the learning process in case something went wrong!
This was my epiphany of the day. So, thank you Mama, for the wonderful things you taught me, both in and out of the kitchen!
Coming back to these chicken cutlets- they have a 100% rate of success. My mother in law, before she went on a special diet, used to love having a chicken cutlet sandwich for lunch when she came to visit us, so I made sure to have a batch in the freezer beforehand. They are a huge hit with everyone who has tried them.
I feel like everyone is doing pink desserts for Mother’s Day. Which is lovely. But dessert should always follow something savory, and I wouldn’t want you to be clueless about what to make!
The only thing about making cutlets and shami kababs is that it is a somewhat long and tiresome process, but if you spend a couple of hours on it, then you can reap the benefits for some time at least.
*For the gluten free version, leave out the breadcrumbs.
- 1 chicken
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 large red potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
- Handful fresh cilantro
- A few sprigs of fresh mint
- 2-3 green chilies
- 4-5 green onions
- tsp black pepper
- tsp red chillies
- 1 heaped tsp corriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- tsp oregano
- 1 egg
- 2 eggs, beaten, for dipping
- Breadcrumbs, fresh or dried, for coating
First, cook the chicken. Put the chicken, ginger, garlic and salt in a pot.
Fry the chicken on medium high heat until lightly browned. Add about cup of water and cover and cook for about 12-15 minutes on medium low heat until the chicken is completely cooked through. Uncover and stir fry on medium high until all the water has evaporated.
Drain on paper towels. The chicken will release its own oil. Give the chicken an all over dab with the paper towels to remove as much of the oil as possible. Oily cutlets are very unappetizing.
Remove the meat from the bones.
Put the chicken, cilantro, mint, green chilies and green onion in a food processor and mix until combined.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add all the spices, 1 egg and the mashed potato. Mix it all together with your hand.
Wetting your hands a little, make equal sized balls and shape them into cutlets.
Dip the cutlets in the egg, then roll them in breadcrumbs. Place on a flat dish and freeze. After a few hours, transfer the cutlets to a ziplock bag for easy storage and put them back in the freezer.
Thaw the cutlets a little in the microwave. They should not be too soft, though.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the cutlets on both sides until golden brown and heated through.
- I never use ground chicken for this recipe. The keema gets very oily and the texture is all wrong.
- It would be easier to use boneless chicken- it will cut out a step. But I also prefer a mix of white and dark meat. It’s up to you.
- The ratio of chicken to potato can be adjusted according to your preference. I personally consider it cheating to put in too much potato with just a touch of chicken in the cutlet. But again, up to you.
- I make my own breadcrumbs. I think I didn’t grind them up too fine in the batch I used in the pictures (certain time constraints) but breadcrumbs are key for a beautiful, crunchy, golden crust.
- For breadcrumbs, I put any leftover bread in an open bag in the fridge for a few days. That causes it to dry out quite a bit. Then, I take those pieces and grind them into breadcrumbs in a food processor.
- If I specifically need very dry breadcrumbs, then I place the slices of leftover bread on a cookie sheet and put them in a 200 degrees oven for an hour or so, turning them over a couple of times. Then into the food processor. You can add seasonings to make seasoned breadcrumbs too, like garlic powder and herbs.
- Again, like in my Shami Kabab Post, if you have trouble measuring out exact sized cutlets, then you can use an ice cream scoop or use a cookie cutter to cut out the shapes.
Try them out! Everyone and their mother will love them!
Also check out my Shami Kabab Post!
For all the latest updates, please like Zabiha Bites on Facebook by clicking here!