Monday, June 20, 2011

Tuna Cutlets.

My father is a fantastic cook. So were a majority of the men on his side of the family. I guess I have inherited that gene from the “XL” family. That was the name of the hotel my family used to own and run for many a years pre & post independent India in Fort Cochin, Kerala, however after the passing of my grandfather it was all downhill from then. That’s another story.

Growing up in the Middle East, Kuwait to be precise in the late 70’s was so different. The people, the place even the food. We were then a very small community with origins from the north Malabar living in Kuwait and we used to have some fabulous parties at either our house or some one else from within the close-knit group. The fish cutlets that we used to take or serve were always a big hit, despite the preparation being combined effort between Amma & Achan, he used to end  up getting all the credit.

This is my rendition of those cutlets and yes my wife & I still do it the same way I’ve seen it being made in an assembly line.


·      3 cans White meat Tuna in Brine.
·      1 Medium sized onion finely chopped.
·      2-3 large Potatoes
·      2 Green Chillies.
·      2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
·      1 ½ tbsp Red chilly powder.
·      1 tsp Garam Masala.
·      ½ cup Chopped coriander leaves.
·      ½ cup Chopped Spring onions
·      2 egg whites
·      100 gms Bread crumbs
·      Salt to taste
·      Oil for shallow fry and cooking

How we make it:

1.   Pressure-cook the potatoes until tender. When cool enough to touch, peel and mash potato delicately. (Do not get till the mashed potato consistency).
2.    Heat oil in a large non-stick fry pan; add chopped onions, chopped green chillies, ginger garlic paste and fry for min.
3.    Now add chilly powder and fry for another minute.
4.    Add the canned tuna, garam masala powder, and sauté for 2 min.
5.    Finally add the mashed potatoes, chopped spring onions and coriander leaves, salt and take off the flame. Mix well.
6.   Form an Assembly line with 2 somewhat shallow dishes. Whisk eggs into one dish. Pour Bread Crumbs into another and layout another plate for your finished cutlets.
7.   Make small balls then flatten them into the desired shape, usually disc shaped but it can be oval, round and even cylindrical.
8.   Now dip this in the egg white, and then roll over in the breadcrumbs. Ensuring that every part is evenly coated.
9.   Heat another large fry pan with the rest of the oil. Fry, turning once, until they turn a nice golden brown. Do not deep fry as the cutlet will disintegrate on deep-frying.
10.  Serve with chapatti & a fresh green salad.

You can prepare these in advance and store in the freezer in an air tight container, a slight thaw and the cutlets will be ready to fry at very short notice.

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