This is a season of parties. Christmas party, Year End party, New Year party, BBQ party and one dish that will be a hit as a party appetiser, I promise, is the Meat Croquettes (or Meat Cutlets).
Although these are called Croquettes here and the rest of the world, growing up in South India, we have only known these as cutlets. They make a great tea time snack and my early memory of having these croquettes was at a beach. Cool sea breeze, soft swash of the waves and the scent of the sea in the air, chomping away on hot cutlets, playing catch and digging our feet into the grainy sand vividly stands out in my memory. Food always takes me down memory lane.
My kids love these meat croquettes. I make them in a batches and freeze them to use when they ask for it. The meat croquettes are easy like that. It can be made ahead, frozen and fried just before the party. Its just so crunchy to bite into, so lip smacking good, that they will disappear in no time! Ask my family and they will tell you. These are a huge hit every time I’ve made them!!
I really liked the texture of the meat I got as a result and haven’t gone back to the old one.
500 gms Lean Meat ( we get stew meat here, which is very handy)
3 medium potatoes
1 large onion (chopped finely)
1tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder*
1 tsp chilli powder (mild)*
1 tsp Garam Masala powder (you can buy Garam Masala from the Indian store to save time. I prefer Eastern Royal Garam Masala)
Curry leaves, a few (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Marinate the meat with the chilli powder, coriander powder, ginger garlic paste, salt and pepper, keep aside for half an hour.
Mix the meat and mashed potato well together.Keep aside.
Pour oil in a skillet and saute the finely chopped onion, when they turn limp add the finely chopped ginger and chopped chilli.Saute for a couple more minutes till the onions turn pink. Switch off stove. Allow to cool for a few minutes.Mix the sauteed onion mixture with the mashed potato meat mixture.Roll into balls.Flatten them to your desired shapeDip in the Egg mixtureRoll out in bread crumbsDeep fry in oil. When they turn golden brown, drain and remove on to paper towels.
Cook Book Scribbles :
- Make sure the meat/ potato mixture is dry and not too loose.
- The Oil needs to be almost smoking hot to prevent the croquettes from breaking
- Also make sure the oil covers the croquettes completely, again to prevent the cutlets from breaking.
- If you want to make it Gluten Free, you can dip the croquettes only in the egg mixture, skip dipping in the bread crumbs. You will not have a crispy outer cover but the taste does not differ much. OR use Gluten Free Bread Crumbs.
- I use the term Meat Croquette because you can either use beef , mutton, or chicken
- *The spice levels with the chilli powder, coriander powder and the pepper powder can be reduced to half (or increased) according to taste
- ** If you do not have a pressure cooker, use a thick bottomed pan, keep the heat on medium to medium high. Close and let it cook without adding any water for 20- 25 mins. The Meat will cook in its own juices.
- The croquettes freeze really well,so you can make a big batch of the bread crumb coated croquettes , days before a party or dinner or just so you have them handy for hungry kids and fry them straight out of the fridge without thawing…. in that case, take care not to burn the croquettes.