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Snacks, Vegetarian Dishes

Vegetable Cutlets – Carrot and Beetroot Cutlets – Awaiting a New Dawn


A few years ago,I used to drop my grandson at school. Everyday, as he and the other children walked  to the classroom with their huge schoolbags swinging from side to side, I used to feel a twinge of pain. Such heavy burden for such small kids!

Every child has a right to be a child, to frolic with abandon, to dream, to imagine, to discover, to make lifelong friends and most of all to savour the innocence and purity of childhood. Our system puts a premium only on studying by rote. It makes no allowance nor gives space for different aptitudes, skills and strengths. Peer pressure and parental expectation bring  tuitions and structured extra curricular activities; eating into their free time and suppressing their natural spontaneity and gaiety. Should we not as caretakers of these children – voiceless, powerless and dependent – usher them into a world, full of promise and hope? Where his or her unique personality and talent is nurtured with care and allowed to fully bloom?

Children need to develop strong roots to be able to soar high with healthy wings. We await a new dawn!!

My grandson loves burgers. A great way to get him to eat his vegetables is to put a cutlet in a buttered bun, with a splash of ketchup and a cheese slice.  Cutlets are an all-time favourite snack, especially  at tea-time and when guests are expected. It can be made with almost anything – beans & carrot, chicken, fish… My husband used to go to Indian Coffee House only to eat his favourite spicy and crisp beetroot cutlet. This is a beetroot & carrot cutlet, from my friend’s recipe collection.

Vegetable Cutlets


Preparation Time – 30 mins                 Cook time – 30 mins            Serves – 4

Ingredients:

  1. Potatoes – 2 large
  2. Carrots – 3 medium
  3. Beetroot – 1 medium
  4. Onions – 2 large ,minced fine
  5. Garlic – 10 cloves,minced fine (optional )
  6. Ginger – 1 small ,minced
  7. Green Chillies – 2 (cut small)
  8. Curry Leaves – 1 stalk (leaves cut fine)
  9. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  10. Garam Masala – 1/4 tsp
  11. Pepper – 1/4 tsp (freshly ground)
  12. Egg* – 1
  13. Coriander Leaves – 1 stalk (cut fine)
  14. Oil – 3 tsp
  15. Bread Crumbs – as may be necessary
  16. Salt – to Taste
  17. Oil – to deep fry(as required)

*  Vegetarians can use a mix of corn flour & maida diluted in water instead of  egg to dip the cutlet before coating in breadcrumbs.

Method of Preparation:

  • Pressure cook whole potatoes, whole beetroot and whole carrots . I keep it for two whistles
  • When it cools down, separate the vegetables from the water.
  • De-skin & mash the potatoes, carrots and beetroot
  • In a heavy kadai, heat oil, add garlic and saute. Add the onions, ginger, curry leaves, green chillies and continue to saute for another 5 mins
  • When onions become transparent & light-brown, add powders and coriander leaves
  • Add  mashed vegetables, salt and stir continuously  and mix well. Saute till  mixture is dry. Keep aside to cool.
  • Divide the mixture into balls, each the size of a lime; pat and shape them into cutlets (approx.16 in no.) and dip in beaten egg. Coat with bread crumbs & deep-fry in hot oil till golden brown.

Serve hot with ketchup, bread and onion rings.

  • Note -Instead of pressure cooking the beetroot and carrots, another method is to peel and grate them and saute it with the onions.If needed add a little water and cook till dry.Now add mashed potatoes and proceed as above.
  • Pan – frying  the cutlets is a healthier option with less oil.

Quick Sweet – Boil together in a heavy bottomed pan, besan ( gram flour) – 1 cup,coconut- 1 cup, ghee – 1 cup, milk- 1 cup and three cups sugar. When the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan, transfer it to a butter or ghee coated vessel. Cut into squares while still hot. This sweet is better  known as Seven Cups.

Quick Tip – As soon as you buy fish or chicken for use in the following days, clean it, rub in  salt, turmeric and masala (if needed) on it. Divide it into portions to be taken each day. Mark it and label it . Store in Ziploc bags. Keep in freezer.

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About Paddy

When I married and came to Bangalore, it was a real ‘Pensioners’ Paradise.’ The climate was as today’s generation would say – ‘Awesome’. It was cool and pleasant throughout the year. My parents cautioned me to keep warm and have given me the loveliest Kashmir shawls, which I treasure to this day. Since I could not distinguish between rice and dal, cooking was an uphill task. I had a cook from Kerala, but the cold weather did not suit her and in a month’s time, she went back. Looking back, I have come a long way now… Cooking for me has metamorphosed from a daily routine of making edible and nutritious food for my family to an exciting journey of creativity by experimenting with different flavors and ingredients. To me, food is not only for nourishment and sustenance. Its taste and flavors take us back to our good times too. Food is nostalgia and comfort. It brings home our culture. Food is a treat and nourishment for the soul too. I dedicate this blog to my parents, who instilled in me a strong sense of ethics and discipline, and whose affection, love and support gives me strength in this journey of life. I feel the need of today’s generation, who come away from their homes and crave for home cooked food. To you too, I dedicate this blog, where I will share the recipes that I have learnt and grown to love over the years.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Vegetable Cutlets – Carrot and Beetroot Cutlets – Awaiting a New Dawn

  1. Tks for the cutlet recipe, it sounds delicious! However, I beg to differ re the ‘Tip”. While one should do so with chicken, for the fish: for fish to be really tasty we have always been advised by our grandmothers to clean only the part of fish that we intend to use for the day and keep the rest of the fish unwashed until it is used…I do wash and apply masala for ‘fish fry’ and keep individually packed potions, however, for convenience.

    Posted by Amita | April 5, 2012, 8:40 AM
  2. Dear Amita,
    Earlier when there was ample time and help, daily cleaning of fresh fish would be possible and also ideal.Now that the families are increasingly nuclear and the responsibilities are manifold,it is convenient for the homemaker to clean, cut and pack in one go.Thanks a lot for your interest and comment.
    Regards,
    Padmini

    Posted by Paddy | April 7, 2012, 5:32 AM

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