Monday, August 05, 2013

Mince Cutlets

There are many blessings that life bestows on all of us. Making and choosing friends is one of them. 

The genesis of this post goes back about a decade and half, when I got admission to St. Andrew’s College, Bandra. On the first day of college, I was a nervous wreck. New institute, new places and the fact that I would be interacting with strangers gave me nightmares. But then, along the way, I met the three most diverse, mad and yet strangely, the most funniest people in my life. These are the friends I made in college and today, a decade and half later, careers and commitments have taken us to separate corners of the globe but thanks to innovations in social media, we are always an email, call or if need be a flight away from each other. Ironically, if you would put together the initials of our names it would be ‘BEER’; one of the E’s representing me of course.

So, why am I telling you about my friends and college days? Firstly, it was friendships day celebrated earlier this week and secondly the dish for today is one that we almost spent our entire college life on. Mince cutlets. For those you who know and have been to Bandra (where my college was), you would know that it’s one of the few areas in Mumbai that is heady concoction of the new and old worlds. One of the best things of Bandra is the large number of schools and an equally large number of small bakeries that (still, I guess) churn out all sorts of baked goodies both sweet and savory. The good thing was that the products were reasonably cheap and thankfully the portions large enough to satiate the growling stomachs of young college students. Now, each group in college had its own preferred bakery and so did ours. A few furlongs away from college was an Iranian bakery that the ‘BEER’ group would frequent; run by an uncle who resembled the biblical character Noah and just like Noah didn’t seem to age. We visited the place more out of compulsion and need to look good eating joints that wouldn’t deplete the pocket money our parents gave us. One of the things we loved having from this place was the mince cutlets. Half a dozen medium sized cutlets at about 10 odd rupees was a steal. As time passed uncle almost instinctively knew that along with other stuff an unsaid order was for the plateful of cutlets, at times he would even sneak an extra one much to our delight. We would pack the cutlets and rush off to the sea shore close by and sit there and munch on the cutlets while planning on how to take on the world after we graduate. Those were times when we didn’t have to depend on facebook for our friends birthday reminders and TV meant Doordarshan. I was chatting with a friend a few days ago and we both spent hours recollecting those awesome times, mischief done and of course, the cutlets

As you would have realised by now, this is a friendships day post. Needless to say, one post would not be enough to chronicle the warmth of friendship; I tried and put down as much as I can.  And to get as close as I could to relive those memories, I felt there was nothing better than the Mince Cutlets. I have keeping it as close to uncle’s recipe as I could, the taste was more or less there, as they say originals are originals and can’t be replicated.

Serve them with the main course or as an entrĂ©e, they fit anywhere into the menu. Better still, have them with ‘BEER’.

Cheers folks!!! And a happy friendship day to each of you. Love well, eat well!!! 

Mince Cutlets

  • 400 grams Chicken Mince
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 large (or 2 small) potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • 2 tablespoon chaat masala powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for frying
  • Oil for frying
  • Breadcrumbs for coating
  • salt to taste
  • Wash the mince well and add the grated onion, chillies, potatoes, garlic and ginger pastes, red chilli, turmeric & garam masala powders. Mix well.
  • Refrigerate for an hour. This is to ensure that  there is no moisture in the mince.
  • After an hour, add the rice flour and the chaat masala powder, salt and give it a thorough mix.
  • Lay out two plates separately with  bread crumbs and beaten eggs.
  • Now wet your hands a little and take a little of the mixture and shape into quinelles, patties or into a shape of your choice.
  • Dip each into the egg, and then roll well in the breadcrumbs.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry till golden brown. Once done, take out on an absorbent paper
  • Serve hot with chutney or sauce.

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