Saturday, October 1, 2011

Recipe of the month: Vegetable Cutlets

You know how there are particular favourite foods that your mother made that you grew up eating? The kinds that you crave for when you have moved away from home and the ones you look forward to eating as soon as you arrive on your doorstep? I have several of those such as akki rotti, ragi rotti, avarekayi usli, patrode, vangi bhath, pongal, masala vada, masala tea, kaju masala and the list goes on! 

This recipe post is for a snack/appetizer that traces its origins way back to my husband's childhood and is one of those foods that evokes nostalgia for him. This recipe is one I have borrowed from my atthe (MIL) and has become our go-to recipe whenever we are in the mood for a spicy Indian snack (which is quite frequently!). 

Vegetable cutlets are usually a staple on any kind of party/get-together menu in my family. They are very versatile in that they can be made in many different ways using a wide array of ingredients. 

This particular recipe uses beetroot along with potatoes and carrots which gives the cutlets a beautiful blushing pink color. You could use sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes or even a combination if you want to amp up the nutrition. If you don't care for beetroots, you can always substitute it with more potatoes or carrots. These cutlets are subtly spiced, coated in a mixture of beaten eggs (you can substitute with a slurry of plain flour and water), breaded with breadcrumbs or panko and shallow-fried until golden and crispy. You can play around with different vegetables and spices and tweak the recipe based on your preferences. These cutlets can be served with coconut chutney, a yoghurt-based mint chutney, date-tamarind chutney, tomato sauce or any other homemade or bottled sauce of your choice. 

Here is the recipe. I hope you like this version!

Vegetable Cutlets

Preparation time: 45 min to 1 hour
Makes: 20-25 cutlets; Serves: 4-5
Recipe category: Snack/North Indian
Recipe Level: Easy
Recipe Source: My MIL


4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 beetroot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 big red onion, finely chopped
3-4 pods garlic, finely minced
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped (adjust according to spice level)
8-10 black peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tbsp. coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 eggs beaten together/ 1 tbsp refined flour or maida dissolved in water for dipping the cutlets
1-2 cups bread crumbs (either store bought panko or homemade)
Oil (olive/vegetable) for shallow frying


1. Boil/steam potatoes, carrots and beetroot together until tender. I use a pressure cooker for this purpose as it saves time. Strain the vegetables and make sure they are as free of moisture as possible. 

2. In a skillet, fry the onions till translucent. Add the minced garlic and green chillies and fry for a few mins. Add the cooked vegetables, crushed peppercorns, salt, lemon juice and garam masala and mix well. Use the end of a spoon or a potato masher to mash all the vegetables. Add in the chopped coriander leaves and mix well. The mixture should be as dry as possible. If you feel the mixture is soggy, add in a handful or two of breadcrumbs and mix well. 

3. Make small balls of the mixture and shape into round flat patties with a greased hand. You can also try out more interesting shapes such as oval or heart.

4. Dip the cutlets in the dipping mixture (beaten egg or 1 tbsp refined flour/maida dissolved in water. You may season the dipping mixture with salt and pepper if desired.

5. Roll the coated cutlets in breadcrumbs.

6. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add 1 tbsp oil. When hot, place few cutlets on it and shallow fry until golden brown. Turn them carefully, add an additional 1 tbsp oil around the cutlets and fry the other side until golden brown and crisp.

7. Serve hot with tomato ketchup or any chutney of your choice. 

  • To make breadcrumbs at home, make dry toast (without any butter/oil), cool it down and then blitz in a blender until medium to fine consistency. 
  • Beetroot can easily stain your chopping board and palms. Cover your chopping board with cling film to prevent the staining. To get the pink off your palms, gently wash your hands under running water with a pinch of baking soda. 
  • You can reserve the cooking water that was used to cook the beets, carrots and potatoes. This water can be used to make vegetable stock or make chapati/roti dough. 
  • You can also use cornflour instead of refined flour for making the thin dipping batter prior to breading the cutlets
  • Try not to fiddle with the cutlets as they fry in the skillet as they tend to break. Wait till they are golden brown before flipping it over.



  1. ur presentation skills r really good :) thnx for posting the recipe, made me nostalgic :D

  2. For this one and the ragda patties, preparation by me....presentation by hubby dearest :D

  3. hey i made 'spicy cutlets' (mallika badrinath) today. super banthu! heart shaped cutlets maadide, really tasty. very similar to this recipie but that 'dipping mixture' irlilla & i used cabbage, beans n peas instead of beetroot.

  4. Good for you! Make it for me next time :)


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