A snack that goes just as well with chai as it does a cocktail. These crispy, golden cutlets are made with ground meat, potatoes, and a blend of fragrant spices.
If you’re a Malayali, you know all about this crazy delicious snack. This is a really popular Keralite (Christian) recipe and is typically made with beef but you can use another type of ground meat (lamb is great!) if you’d like.
I remember the very first time I ate a Keralite cutlet. I was in my third year of college and Roby brought me some of his mom’s cutlets to try. I ate them, and they blew my mind – so much so that it’s still one of my most vivid food memories. I remember saying (in-between bites), “whoa… this is like a tikki… but with meat!”
I know, it’s not the most poetic description lol, but it still feels pretty accurate. Cutlets were my introduction to Keralite cuisine.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TIKKI AND A CUTLET?
There are some other differences between an aloo tikki and a meat cutlet, outside of the obvious (meat).
For starters, these two fried patties are spiced very differently. Keralite cutlets call for “meat masala” which is a south Indian garam masala that’s very different from the north Indian blend that you’ll find available in stores. Kerala cutlets also call for curry leaves, which add a really unique citrusy flavor to the patties.
Another major difference is the texture. Aloo tikki calls for yukon/yellow potatoes which are creamier than the russet potatoes used when making cutlets. Both patties melt-in-your-mouth, but I’d say cutlets are a bit heartier.
LET’S CHAT MORE ABOUT CUTLETS! HOW DOES THE INSTANT POT HELP?
Cutlets are made with spiced meat and potatoes which you mash together and then form into little oblong-shaped patties. You dip them into beaten egg, roll ’em around in breadcrumbs, and then fry them.
Typically, the meat and potatoes are cooked separately… but we’re cooking them together in 6 minutes! (But like all IP recipes, that doesn’t include the time it takes to reach pressure, of course).
Once that’s done cooking, we mash it all up! And make a bunch (25-30) of patties.
Then bread and fry them!
Once they’re done, you’re left with golden cutlets that are crispy on the outside with a melt-in-your-mouth middle. Kind of like french fry meets spiced ground meat. ❤️
CAN I MAKE THESE IN ADVANCE?
Yes, absolutely! These taste great several days after you make them but like all fried food, it’s going to be best soon after frying. That said, they’re still awesome when you reheat them in an oven or on a pan.
If you’re serving these cutlets as a snack or as an appetizer, make sure you serve them with ketchup and pickled onions (see how to make Kerala pickled onions in the recipe card below)!
You can also make a cutlet burger – just make a large patty, stick it in a sandwich bun and top with ketchup and pickled onions and chilies.
- 1 tablespoon oil I like avocado oil
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 Serrano pepper minced
- 1- inch ginger minced
- 1 pound ground meat beef/lamb
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped curry leaves
- 1 egg whisked well
- 1 cup fine bread crumbs not panko. I use schar gluten-free breadcrumbs but any fine bread crumbs will work
- 1 cup oil enough to shallow fry the cutlets
Pickled Onion Salad (Challas)
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 1-2 serrano peppers thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt to taste
To Make Cutlets:
- Press saute, add the oil and once it’s hot, add onion and serrano pepper and saute for 7-8 minutes, or until the onions start to caramelize a bit.
- Add the ginger and saute for a minute.
- Add the spices, stir, then add the ground meat and vinegar. Cook until the meat is no longer pink (break the meat up with a wooden spoon).
- Add the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of water and give this a stir.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
- Quick-release pressure.
- Open the lid, add the finely chopped curry leaves and use a potato masher to mash the potatoes into the meat until well combined.
- Allow the mixture to cool (russet potatoes will absorb any extra liquid). Once cool enough to handle, take a scoop of the mixture and roll it into an oblong-shaped patty and place the patty on a plate. Repeat until you’ve used all the mixture to form patties.
- Place the patties in the fridge overnight to firm up (this will prevent the patties from breaking when you fry them).
- Dip the patties into the whisked egg and then into the fine bread crumbs.
- To shallow fry the cutlets, add oil to a frying pan (or dutch oven) over medium heat and once the oil heats up, shallow fry the patties in batches until both sides are golden brown (don’t be surprised if you see that the oil turns a bit dark as you continue to fry the cutlets).
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the cutlets and place them onto a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat until done.
- Serve with ketchup and pickled onions.
To make Kerala Pickled Onions (Challas):
- Combine the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well - the onions will soften as it sits (I like to make mine the night before serving).
- Serve at room temperature with the cutlets.