Today I’m sharing the recipe of Bengali Vegetable Chop or Vegetable Cutlet. It has all the goodness of fresh winter veggies and all the sin of deep frying. It might be the perfect combo to balance your guilt of the evening which will be washed down with the cups of coffee or tea. Not only winter but also monsoon goes very well with this Beetroot chop/Cutlet. In-fact as it is one of the most popular street snacks of Calcutta it is enjoyed through out the year.
Winter is believed to be an old man who has lost his youth long back. He is dull; he is boring and he is LifeLess. But to me winter is always a fresh young man, full of energy and life. It is the season of colors and flavors. It is the only time in India when you actually understand the meaning to ‘comfort’ of nature. By writing this post I’m remembering my school days when we used to get assignments to write down essay on ‘Winter’. So it might be possible that I’m sounding a bit childish and cheesy. It’s perfectly okay for me as it’s reminding me my good old golden days.
To me winter means loads of colorful sweaters with odd color woolen balls knitted by mom/grand-mom or aunties not the fancy jackets of nowadays; winter means a sunny morning with basket full of colorful vegetables with their fresh smell; tall shiny mugs of piping hot coffee with just fried chop-cutlet on chilly dark evenings. I never understood why we should consider winter an old man when it has all the qualities of such freshness.
Okay no more essay on Winter and dive in straight to the Bengali Vegetable Chop or Vegetable Cutlet Recipe.
Preparation Time: 20 mins.
Cooking Time: 15 mins (filling) + 20 mins (frying)
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 12 medium sized chops/cutlets
Ingredients for the filling:
Beetroot: 2, medium
Carrot: 1, small
Potato: 1, large
Green chili: 3. large
Green peas: ½ cup
Finely chopped coconut: ¼ cup
Peanut: ¼ cup
Salt: 1 tsp
Sugar to balance (beetroots I used were sweet enough to skip this one)
Oil: 2 tbsp
Preparation for the filling:
Add 1 tsp of oil in the same pan and fry the peanuts and keep aside.
Cook with salt and sugar until veggies are half done. Add green peas and dry roasted spices or bhaja moshla and mix well.
Cook the veggies until done. Add roasted peanut and coconut and mix well. remove from flame and allow to cool a bit.
When the mixture is cold enough to handle but still warm take a small portion of the mixture in your palms. Try to give it an oval shape like chop or cutlet. Follow the same with rest of the mixture.
Ingredients for the coating and frying:
All-purpose flour: ¼ cup
Corn flour: 1 tbsp
Semolina: 2-3 tbsp
Water: 4-5 tbsp + few more
Or, egg: 1, well beaten
Breadcrumb: ½ cup
Oil to deep fry
Coating and frying:
Take shallow bowl and mix semolina, all-purpose flour and corn flour in it. Add water little by little to make smooth batter. The batter should be able to coat the back of a spoon. Take another shallow bowl and pour breadcrumb in it.
If you are opting for the egg wash, beat egg, and corn flour together and dip cutlets in it before you roll them in breadcrumb. In that case you don’t need the flour-semolina mixture. Egg wash is important if you are planning to carry the cutlets for a long journey. It will make the surface bit tough but definitely not harden.
Now take one chop/cutlet at a time dip in the flour batter to coat well and then directly roll in the breadcrumbs. Make sure cutlet is coated well from all the sides.
Do the same with all the pieces of cutlets/chops. Line them on parchment paper or any grease free paper and refrigerate for 1 hr. to set. You can even freeze them for later use. Make sure to either maintain a single line or use parchment paper in between two lines. But try to use within 3-4 days.
Heat enough oil in a wok (preferable 1/3 of the wok) to deep fry them. Remove the cutlets from refrigerate and fry on medium flame until cutlets are golden brown in color.
Keep them on paper towel to get rid of those excess unwanted fat.
Serve hot with ketchup or Bengali’s favorite ‘Kasundi’ and salad.