I’ve decided to come up with a range of healthy cutlets and fritters. This falls second in the list after the potato and cottage cheese fritters. Cutlets are perfect for the rainy weather and best had in the evening as a snack. When I think of cutlet or tikki the first thing that comes to my mind is aloo or potato tikki. I think many people can relate to it. Why not beetroot? Beetroot is one such vegetable which not many like but it is very good for you. Many kids are not fond of it as well.
But from childhood, I have liked beetroot a lot for it’s sweet slightly earthy flavour. Getting beets into your child’s mouth and convincing them that it’s tasty might be a task for so many mothers. These cutlets are tasty, healthy, low on oil, high in fiber and at the same time not very complicated to make. I think the most appealing part of these fritters is the colour. For a vegan version, just leave out the paneer or add a vegan cottage cheese. I like to serve this with a spicy chilli, ginger and tomato chutney but if you don’t have the time to make it, just serve it with some ketchup or if you wish you can also serve it with some green chutney made out of coriander and mint.
I used cooked oats for binding and I feel that it provides a newer dimension but you can also use the same amount of mashed cooked potato. For making the cooked oats, just add 2 1/2 tablespoons of the oats to 1/4 cup of water and cook it for 2 minutes or so until it thickens and softens. That’s it!
Ingredients: (Yields 8 cutlets)
For the cutlet–
- Medium beetroots- 2 or about 250 grams; peeled and grated (Or 1 1/2 cups of grated beetroot)
- Paneer or cottage cheese- 80 grams; crumbled
- Onion- 1 medium; finely chopped
- Chopped ginger- 1 teaspoon
- Chopped garlic- 1 teaspoon
- Chopped green chilli (with seeds)- 1 teaspoon
- Chopped coriander leaves- 2 teaspoons
- Cinnamon powder- ¼ teaspoon
- Cumin powder- ½ teaspoon; optional
- Red chilli powder- 1 ½ teaspoon (reduce it if you like it mild)
- Garam masala- 2 teaspoons
- Cooked oats- ¼ cup (If you do not want to use cooked oats you can use ¼ cup of mashed cooked potato)
- Plain flour/ All-purpose flour/ Maida- 1 tablespoon
- Lime juice- ¼ teaspoon
- Breadcrumbs- ½ cup
- Salt- to taste
- Sunflower oil- 3 teaspoon
- Cornflour- 3 tablespoons
For chilli, ginger and tomato chutney–
- Tomatoes- 2 medium; chopped roughly
- Dried red chillies- 4
- Ginger- 1 inch piece
- Sunflower oil- ½ tablespoon
- Sugar- 1 teaspoon Salt- to taste
- Water- 1 tablespoon
For chilli, ginger and tomato chutney–
Soak the dried chillies in hot water for minimum 15-20 minutes. This process will soften the chillies and will help to achieve a smooth paste. After soaking, drain the chillies and add to a blender. To it add the ginger, chopped tomato and a tablespoon of water. Grind it to a smooth paste. If you are not getting a smooth paste add a little more water.Do not use a food processor because you will not get a smooth paste if you process it. Add the oil to a pan and allow it to become warm. Once warm, add the ground paste, sugar and a pinch of salt and cook over a low flame for 6-7 minutes until the raw smell has gone, the water content has almost evaporated and the chutney has thickened and turned deep red in colour. Remove from the heat and empty it into a small bowl. Taste a small amount and adjust the salt accordingly. Set aside.
For beetroot and paneer cutlets–
Squeeze out as much water as you can from the grated beetroot and set the grated beetroot aside. (you should end up with about one 240 ml cup of grated beetroot) Also keep half of the beetroot juice aside as that will be needed for coating the cutlet before covering with breadcrumbs.
Heat a saucepan with 1 teaspoon of oil and allow it to become hot. To it, add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and green chilli and sauté for 2-3 minutes over a low flame until the onion starts to turn golden in colour. Add the grated beetroot and cook for 4-5 minutes over a medium-high flame or until it has softened, the water from the beetroot has evaporated and the raw smell has gone.
Make sure you keep stirring the mixture. Then add 1 ¼ teaspoon of salt, the chilli powder, cumin powder, cinnamon powder, garam masala powder, mix well and cook for further 1 minute. Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool for 8-10 minutes. Add the crumbled paneer, chopped coriander leaves, lime juice, cooked oats and plain flour and mix until it comes together. Taste a small amount of the cutlet to check for salt and adjust it accordingly.
Add cornflour to the reserved beetroot juice to make a loose mixture that coats the back of the spoon without falling off.
Divide the cutlet mixture into 8 parts. Roll each part into balls and flatten it out a bit to form patties of somewhere around ½ inch thickness. Roll the sides lightly over a surface to oven the cracks. Give the cornflour mixture a quick stir and coat the cutlets on both sides in the beetroot juice mixture. Shake off the excess beetroot juice and place the patties over the breadcrumbs and coat it evenly on both sides. Refrigerate these patties for 10 minutes. This process will help to yield a perfectly shaped and crisp cutlet. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a shallow, flat pan and allow it to become hot. A good way to check if the pan is hot enough is to add a tiny amount of the cutlet mixture and if it sizzles, it is hot enough. Make sure you keep the flame at low.
When the oil hot enough place 4 of the cutlets making sure you leave space between them. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until it is golden brown and crisp. Use a flat spatula to flip it. Once you are done frying that batch, place the cutlets over a kitchen paper or kitchen towel to drain all the excess oil. Clean the pan with a tissue to remove the fallen bread crumbs, add the remaining one tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry the remaining 4 cutlets and place over kitchen paper.
Serve with the spicy chilli, ginger and tomato chutney or ketchup or green mint-coriander chutney. 🙂