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Vegetable cutlets

April 2, 2008

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Serves 4

In this classic Indian dish, a little finely chopped cooked beet gives the filling a rich red color. You can use canned beets. Many of the unusual ingredients are available at Indian markets or from patelbrothersusa.com or indianfoodsco.com. Serve the cutlets on their own as a traditional tiffin or offer them as mini vegetable burgers on buns or Kaiser rolls, with tomato, onion, and pickles; pass relish, chutney, or ketchup.

4 medium boiling potatoes, cooked
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup frozen green peas
5 green beans, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage
4 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped cooked beet
2 teaspoons broken cashews
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of sugar, or to taste
Vegetable oil (for rolling and frying)
White bread crumbs (for coating)

1. In a bowl, mash the cooked potatoes.

2. In a steamer over boiling water, combine the onion, peas, green beans, carrot, and cabbage. Cover and steam over high heat for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

3. Meanwhile, on a cutting board, combine the chilies, ginger, and garlic. Chop them until they turn into a paste.

4. With a slotted spoon, lift the vegetables from the steamer and when they cool, squeeze them gently to remove the excess water. Transfer them to a bowl. Add the beet, potatoes, chili mixture, cashews, cilantro, salt, garam masala, lemon juice, flour, and sugar. Mix well.

5. Rub some oil into your palms. Make small balls of the mixture, then press them on your palms to flatten them. Shape them into rounds or ovals about 1/2-inch thick. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate. Dip each cutlet into the crumbs.

6. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Fry the cutlets for a few minutes or until the bottoms are brown. Turn and cook the other side until golden. Visi Tilak