These Indian styled chicken cutlets/croquettes are crispy on the outside and deliciously spiced and creamy on the inside. They are a great make-ahead and freezable appetizer, snack or meal to have on hand for a rainy day.
I’ve been on a real Indian Food kick lately. I think part of it is the pregnancy and craving the home comfort food I grew up on, and another part of it is not wanting to loose touch with my cultural heritage which is all the more important to me now that I will have a tiny human here soon I want to share that with and make a part of their lives as they grow up. All that… or cos its just freakin’ delicious and even if I wasn’t Indian I’d be a huge fan of the food and the flavors! Let’s go with the later shall we….it’s why I’d want you to try this recipe I’m about to share.
Indian cutlets (which are essentially croquettes) are delicious little crispy breaded patties of creamy mashed potato filling and often feature a medley of mashed vegetables or minced meat in them. What makes them different from your average croquettes, is the fact that the filling isn’t your simply seasoned meat and potatoes. It’s flavored with onions, ginger and flavorful Indian spices which gives these croquettes a burst of flavors that you wouldn’t expect when you bite into this golden delicious nuggets….and once you try one can’t stop eating!
Now, usually we just use regular potatoes for these cutlets/croquettes, but I happened to have a sweet potato on hand and thought it would be yummy to pair it with the spiced chicken (or you can use ground beef or any meat of your choice really) filling to have a slightly sweetened Yam flavor…and it was great! Plus it added some extra nutritional value to the cutlets, not that these deep fried breaded bites are meant to be particularly healthy to begin with. And before you ask, yes you can possibly make them a little healthier by baking them ….just spray them with some oil and bake at 400 deg.F for 10-15 minutes or till coating is browned. You can also alternatively just pan fry them with a little oil in a frying pan, but I just have to go on record and say they really are the best deep fried!
Making these cutlets/ croquettes are a little time and labor intensive, but the best part is you can make a bigger double batch of them on a weekend or a day off and freeze them for an quick snack, or meal for a later day. It’s usually what ends up happening in Indian households. Cutlets in India are fried up as a comfort snack and are often served up at tea time in India or if you happen to have guests pop by unannounced. You can also totally sandwich these as sliders in dinner rolls and pack them as lunch or to have as dinner with a side slaw or salad. However you eat them…they are yummy and a must try!
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- 1 Russet Potato, boiled & mashed
- 1 Sweet Potato, boiled & mashed
- 1 Lb ground chicken
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 cup onion, finely diced
- 2-3 Thai chili peppers/ 1/2 Jalapeno, finely chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp Ginger, minced
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1/3 Cup Corn Starch
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- Oil for deep frying
- - Heat a little olive oil in a pan on medium-high, add the finely diced onion and sauté it for 3-4 minutes until the onion turns soft and translucent.
- - Add the minced ginger and thai chili peppers (you can use a finely diced jalapeno instead) and sauté them with the onions for another minute or two until fragrant.
- - Add the ground chicken and the powdered spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander and salt) to the pan and stir the meat to brown it. Try to break up the meat into very fine pieces and make sure there are no big clumps. Put a lid on and turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
- - Take the lid off and stir until all the juices in the pan are evaporated then switch off the heat and let the meat mixture cool uncovered.
- - In the meantime take the boiled potato and sweet potato in a bowl and mash them well. Add the cooled spiced chicken mix to the potato and add in the finely chopped cilantro leaves.
- - Mix the potato and meat mixture well with your hands and form about 20 medium sized balls and flatten them slightly to form patties or whatever shape you like.
- - Create a breading station with the cornstarch in one plate, two eggs beaten in another and the bread crumbs in a third plate. Lightly dust cutlet/croquette first in the cornstartch then dip in the egg and coat in bread crumbs until evenly coated.
- - Place the formed cutlets/croquettes on a parchment lined sheetpan in a single layer and cover them. You can now refrigerate them for a few days if you plan on eating them soon, or freeze them for later. Once they are frozen up on a tray, you can transfer them to a zip-lock bag or container without them sticking to each other.
- - When you are ready to eat them, simply take as many cutlets/croquettes as you want out and let them thaw in a plate for about 10-20 minutes. Then deep fry them until golden and crispy on the outside and heated through.
- - Serve them up hot with some ketchup or green chutney as an appetizer or a snack. You can also eat them as a main meal or as a slider, sandwiched between lightly toasted dinner rolls.
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