Instant Pot Kerala Ground Meat Cutlets


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.

Kerala Ground Meat Cutlets

What is a Cutlet?

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.

“Thank you! It turned out to be really yummy. So easy to make too. Thank you for the recipe. Will be definitely making it again.”


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.

How to Make Cutlets Easily

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).

kerala cutlets

Once that’s done cooking, we mash it all up! And make a bunch (25-30) of patties.

Then bread and fry them!

Kerala Ground Meat Cutlets

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. ❤️

Kerala Ground Meat Cutlets

Can I Make This 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.

Kerala Ground Meat Cutlets

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.

These cutlets would also be the perfect side to some Kerala stew (Veggie Stew or Chicken Stew). But if you do serve them as a side, just be prepared for them to steal the show.

Instant Pot Kerala Ground Meat Cutlets with Pickled Onions

Kerala Ground Meat Cutlets

Instant Pot Kerala Ground Meat Cutlets with Pickled Onions

5 from 10 reviews
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  • 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.


Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Julie says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley! I am so excited to try your recipes. I wanted to use ground turkey instead of ground beef. Do you have any recommendations for the pressure cook time of the ground turkey (93/7)

  2. Mercy says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley – love your blog!! I should be knowing how to do these by now since I’m an older generation mom😄- but I haven’t made them for years – anyway I thought the instapot would simplify the steps… but I had a technical difficulty… either the quantity was too much (3lbs of meat) or i should have looked for lean meat… but the pot was brimming with oil ; even after draining out the oil (got 1 small plastic container full) there was a lot of moisture, even after mashing the potatoes. So the patties didn’t hold up firm even after adding half a cup of breadcrumbs… wonder whether you have faced this situation?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Mercy, I haven’t had this issue but now that you mention it, I do always buy grass fed meat and it could be that meat is leaner. My photographer used regular ground meat here though, so I’m not sure… did you put the patties in the fridge to firm up before adding the bread crumbs?

  3. Jessie says

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. After I prep them, I put them in the freezer instead of frying them. Then, when I am ready for a snack, I take a few out, lightly mist it with oil and put it in the air fryer. Crispy, but a lot less oil and fat.

  4. Ashwin says

    An excellent recipe! mine tuned out well, except maybe the outer “crust” didn’t keep it together as well is I’d have liked. Memories of home, thanks for this,Ashley!

  5. Sandy says

    Thank u! I was asking though about lemon juice INSTEAD of white vinegar. He went to the store and bought everything else BUT that. 🤦🏽‍♀️. First time using an instant pot for beef cutlets. Never knew that could work!! I have the instant pot duo plus. Hope all comes together nicely! 🤞🏽

  6. Sandy says

    Will these still be ok if I’m not able to refrigerate them 24 hours overnight? My husband is hoping it’ll be done today. 😂. Also, I do not have white vinegar, can I use lemon juice instead? Also I have two pounds of ground beef. Does that mean doubling up on ingredients and/or cook time?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Sandy, lol! Yes, I think it’ll be fine just keep them in the fridge as long as you can – it’ll help keep them together when you fry them. And yes, vinegar is fine. For two pounds, I would double the recipe ingredients but keep the cook time the same. Let me know what you guys think!

  7. Priya says

    5 stars
    Your recipes never disappoint! I made three different ones today and they all turned out great. These cutlets were delicious! My first time making meat cutlets rather than tuna… Thank you!

  8. Brandy says

    I thought I added regular breadcrumbs to my grocery order just for this recipe, but somehow I didn’t get them. Now it’s Christmas Eve-eve and all I have are panko crumbs 😬

    Is the reason you specify not-panko-crumbs because they aren’t as fine or is it something else? I was thinking of pulsing them in the food processor for a second if they only need to be finer.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Brandy, that’s okay! The only reason I wrote not to use panko is because they’re sometimes seasoned and also a bit larger, but use them if that’s what you’ve got! It’ll still be great 🙂

      • Brandy says

        Whew, thank you for your reply at this busy time 😅 I’m using your plan to make a nice dinner for my live-with family– I haven’t made these before, but I follow your recipes to the letter and they always turn out. I’ve been looking forward to these!
        Happy holidays ❤️☃️

  9. Nikita says

    Hii! This recipe sounds awesome. I was wondering if how much time I need to pressure cook if I replace ground beef with ground lamb. I am big fan of lamb!
    Thank you in advance 🙂

  10. Jiji says

    Hi Ashley! Just wanted to mention that I make these with chicken (rotisserie or even canned) and they turn out amazing too! Also, they can definitely be air fried but of course don’t come out quite as crispy as when you fry them but delicious and healthier too. Thanks for all your amazing recipes! I love so many of them!

  11. Joe Varghese says

    5 stars
    This was great … memories of my mom making this .. of course my wife makes it now with stew beef chunks cooked in the IP and then shredded in the blender. I think it has a better texture than using ground meat. Thanks for posting this recipe Ash!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Joe! I have yet to try cutlets with shredded beef (I’ve only watched my MIL use ground meat, though I’m sure she has used stew meat in the past and I just haven’t tried it). That’s good to know about the texture – I’ll have to give that a try soon!

  12. Maneesha says

    Woww! So cool! i Can’t wait to try these! Do you think they can be made in the air fryer? Just wondering hmmmm

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Maneesha! That’s a good idea! I’m sure you can fry them in the air-fryer though they may not taste the same? Let me know what you think if you try 🙂

  13. Jenita says

    Oh no you didnt!! I can’t wait to try these… I grew up on these., cutlets with chapati were a staple school lunch… even today as a grown woman, I ask my mom to make these for me (well she really does it for her grand daughters) whenever she visits and she stocks up my fridge with these…. Ashley you made me miss my mom and I miss kerala!! Will post a review soon … but I’m sure these are fantastic

  14. Rose says

    This was one of my favorite treats growing up. I am so happy you make an easy instant pot recipe. I will have to try this soon.

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