Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Spinach and Paneer Cutlets - Bring a Zing to your table!

Cutlets, also known as "Croquettes" or "Aloo Tikkis" are a top choice for delicious snacks, coctail parties or finger-food appetizers. They are easy to make, and if you add some paneer to these to make Paneer Cutlets, you can expect some serious compliments for your cooking! Potatoes, by default are a preferred ingredient in most vegetable cutlets, but this time I chose to add something else that could give my cutlets a unique taste and texture. So I chose the next best thing in the Indian cooking glossary - Paneer, and added a bunch of peas, spinach and spices to make these delicious Vegetable Cutlets. You can serve them with any dipping sauce or enjoy these by themselves at tea-time!

1 cup paneer (cottage cheese) - shredded
2 cups spinach - blanched and chopped
1 big potato - boiled and mashed
1/2 cup peas - boiled and mashed
1/2 cup coriander - chopped
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1/2 cup onions - chopped finely
1/2 cup corn flour or maida
3 slices of bread - crumbled
2 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric powder
salt, lemon juice, sugar - to taste
2 tbsp green chilli-ginger paste
1 cup rava (semolina) - to roll the cutlets in before frying
Oil for frying

Boil and mash the potatoes and mix the paneer, spinach, peas and all the dry masala together. Then add the crumbled bread slices, followed by corn flour, garlic, green chilli paste and mix everything together with your hand. Do not add any water; also remove the water from the blanched spinach. The dough should be hard and non-sticky so that it can be easily rolled into desired shape.

Frying - Now grease your palms with some oil, take small portion of the dough and roll into egg-shaped cutlets, or any shape you like. Heat the oil on medium flame, and when it gets hot enough to start giving out vapors, roll the tikkis into the semolina and gently dip them into the oil. Shallow fry 4-5 at a time by turning on both sides to get a golden color.

Baking - Alternately, you can also preheat oven to 350 degrees, then bake the cutlets by placing them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 mins, then flip the cutlets on the other side and bake for another 10-15 mins. Make sure to check they are cooked from inside; once done you can set the oven to broil for 5 mins to get the nice goledn hue on the top of the croquettes.

You can store these overnight or for a few hours. Do not leave the dough for a long time after making it as it the boiled veggies would give out water which could break the cutlets while frying. Do reheat them in the oven before serving. Serve piping hot with Chutneys or your favourite dipping sauces!

Related Recipes:
Vegetable Potato Cutlets
Achari Paneer-Tikka Wraps

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