Potato-Cup Mince Cutlet

When each of her daughters got married, my mother gave them a notebook in which she had neatly written, in Tamil of course, the recipes she had collected; I consider it a treasure. Nevertheless, there were quite a number she did not prepare at home. Those were the ones that had eggs in the ingredients (she was allergic). It was in my Aunt Cynthia’s house that I became aware of these preparations and potato-cup mince cutlet was one of these. This is a high protein-high energy dish and it is not prepared very often because a lot of labour is required though preparation is not very difficult.

Potato-Cup Mince Cutlet

Potato-Cup Mince Cutlet

I engaged my daughter to help me in paring the potatoes and also to make the cups. The original recipe does not use breadcrumbs but I have introduced it to give a variation in the texture of the casing and result is, if I do say so myself, brilliant. I make it very often after Christmas using the force meat leftover after stuffing the chicken instead of the mince.

Ingredients

For the mince

  • ½ kg Mince (beef, mutton or chicken)
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 6 Green Chillies, de-seeded
  • 1-inch piece Ginger
  • 10 Garlic cloves
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Aniseed powder
  • 1 T Coriander powder
  • 2 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • 1 T Vegetable Oil

For the potato-cup

  • 3 kg large Potatoes
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper powder
  • 1 L boiling water
Potato-Cup Mince Cutlet – Flat disc (left), disc with stuffing (right), closed with another disc (rear)

Potato-Cup Mince Cutlet – Flat disc (left), disc with stuffing (right), closed with another disc (rear)

For deep frying

  • 2 C Vegetable Oil
  • 1 C dry Bread Crumbs
  • ½ C Maida (Plain Flour)
  • 3 Eggs (Hen’s), beaten
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper powder

Method

To cook the Mince

  1. Grind together the green chillies, ginger and garlic in a mixie or blender.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
  3. Add the onion and fry till it becomes translucent.
  4. Transfer the ground ingredients to the pan, adding 2 tablespoons of water, and fry on low heat.
  5. Add the turmeric, aniseed, and coriander powders and the salt. Mix well.
  6. Add the mince and blend well; close the vessel, and cook till the mince is dry. Add ¼ cup of water if it begins to stick.
  7. Remove from heat and cool.

To prepare the potato cup

  1. Pare and cut the potatoes into large chunks.
  2. Boil 1 litre of water, transfer the potatoes, and cook on low heat till soft.
  3. Remove the chunks, using a slotted spoon, draining the water. Transfer to a large bowl and mash the potatoes with a potato masher or a ladle while they are still steaming hot.
  4. Add salt and pepper and blend well.
  5. Divide the mix into medium-sized balls and flatten each one into a roughly 8-cm disc. Smear your palms with oil to prevent the mix from sticking to them.
  6. Place 2 tablespoons of mince on a disc and cover it with another one, pressing the sides together to make a rounded cutlet.

To deep fry the cutlets

  1. Heat the oil in a kadai or wok.
  2. Meanwhile beat the eggs with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange on the kitchen counter in the following order: a plate of flour, the bowl of beaten egg, and a plate of bread crumbs.
  4. Roll each cutlet in the flour, dip in the egg and coat with bread crumbs.
  5. Drop the cutlets carefully into the oil. Fry on low heat, turning them over once.
  6. Remove and drain on kitchen towel.

Notes

  1. To mash the potatoes with smooth and velvety texture, do not allow them to cool.
  2. The cutlets are quite heavy; turn them over very gently in the hot oil to avoid them breaking.
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