Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hearty and Healthy Whole Bean Cutlets

In all these years, I can hardly recall having made 'cutlets'. I am referring to the very Indian 'vegetable cutlets', which you would be hard pressed to find much in the mainstream outside India. When I think about it, there are several probable theories to it. The main reason is probably because they usually involve frying, and they invariably involve potatoes. The other is that they were seldom made at home. This was something we ate occasionally as part of a large buffet, at tea time at someone's place or as a snack or appetizer at casual restaurants. So then I suppose I never thought about making them myself either.

However, after I tasted these lightly fried bean cutlets made by Mints, I made them twice in just the last two months. They are full of proteins, do not need much fat, and the best part is that most of the work is done by the pressure cooker and food processor. The type of beans you can use is also flexible - I used whole moong, matki, garbanzo beans, and whole dried peas. If shaped into larger sizes these would be perfect bean burgers too. Just be sure to salt the batter well as most beans have a tendency to absorb quite a bit of salt.

With this post, I am defying two norms of my usual cooking. First is the making of 'cutlets' itself. The other thing is freezing. I hardly ever freeze food but I found that these are really freezer-friendly. I make a large batch, then pop some of the cutlets, without frying, into a freezer bag or box, such that they lay flat in the freezer. Then I saute a few as needed, to add heft to a salad, to increase the protein quotient of a meal, or just to add some zip to leftovers. These can also be baked on a lightly oiled baking sheet, at about 400 degrees for 20 minutes, 10 minutes on each side. There is no need to thaw them out either.

Dal Cutlets

Another good thing about this post is that the recipe posted by Mints is perfect as is, and so it is on its way to the first edition of Blog Bites.
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