This is the second time that I am participating in the Ssshhh… Cooking Secretly Challenge. The first time, my partner was Ramya and with her ingredients, I had made Bappa Doi . This time, my partner was Prachi, who blogs at Prachi’s Veg Kitchen. The ingredients that she challenged me with was soya nuggets and paneer. Now, already I have mentioned on this blog before that both these ingredients are not favorites at home, in fact we hardly buy them or prepare them. That is well explained with the lack of recipes featuring both these ingredients. I was in a fix, but still I did not want to change the ingredients she gave me just because of this reason. Of course, I knew I could make it work in some way and so went ahead with it.
And what did I make? Cutlets nicely concealing both these ingredients!!! I made it one day for Iftar. Umma was really apprehensive how it would turn out to be. I would say it was not a 100% successful attempt, you will see it from the notes that I mention below, thought not even a single cutlet was leftover. They were really soft and melt in the mouth so to say, not considering the amount of calories that the paneer puts into it!!! Since Prachi is a pure vegetarian I ensured that I did not use egg in my recipe, respecting her sentiments, though I know she wouldn’t have really bothered about it! Off to the way I made it…
- 1 cup soya chunks
- 2 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
- 200 gm cubed paneer (cottage cheese), thawed
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- 3 green chillies
- 1 meduim onion, minced
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ¾ tsp garam masala powder
- 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- Salt to taste
- Corn flour as required
- Bread crumbs as required
- Oil for deep frying
- Wash the soya chunks and cook them in lots of water in a pressure cooker for one whistle. Switch off and allow the pressure to go by itself. Drain into a colander and wash in cold water till its smell is gone. Squeeze to release all excess water. Reserve.
- Grind the soya, paneer cubes, ginger and green chillies till crumbled.
- Add this to the mashed potatoes along with all other ingredients from onion to salt and mix well till combined.
- Add bread crumbs to tighten the mixture, in case you find it soggy.
- Dilute cornflour with little water to make a slurry. Keep bread crumbs ready in another plate.
- Take a small portion of the mixture, make into patties shape. Carefully dip into the cornflour slurry and then coat completely with bread crumbs. Keep on another plate.
- Continue this process till the cutlet mixture is completed.
- Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry cutlets in batches on both the sides till golden brown. Drain on kitchen towels.
- Serve warm with some ketchup or hot sauce and a cup of hot chai!!
Ensure to squeeze the soya so much that there is no water at all. Soya, paneer and potatoes can make the mixture soggy.
If there is too much moisture in the mixture, add sufficient bread crumbs. The end taste would differ but we wouldn't want a soggy mixture which would disintegrate into hot oil!
Dipping in the cornflour slurry was a challenge! We are so used to using egg as a binder, this was the first time I was doing it. My umma was really not happy. Ensure to dip the cutlets completely in the cornflour slurry and coat sufficiently with bread crumbs. The cutlets which were well coated managed well in the deep frying while some did break on one side, which I am sure was due to non-sufficient (or impatient!!!) dipping in the cornflour. For ease, you can easily replace the cornflour slurry with a couple of well beaten eggs!