Cutlets for any time of the day


The ingredients to make vegetable cutlets. — Photos: YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

GETTING a good, balanced and nutritious meal can be challenging when many of us struggle with time management.

It does not help that there are fast food options within reach and while these are daily choices for some people on the go, the long-term effects of unnecessary calories and preservatives take a toll on our bodies.

Having enough fibre in one’s diet is also essential to ensure good gut health and reduce risks of lifestyle diseases, and that is why reducing meat intake is another way to achieve these results.

Cutlets are excellent appetisers that you can make ahead of time and keep in the freezer for weeks.

While meat and fish cutlets are my favourite go-to options for a quick, satisfying meal, I find vegetable cutlets, which are packed with beans and herbs, great too.

Vegetable cutlets are suitable for vegetarians and those who are gluten-intolerant.

It does, however, require an egg as a binding agent.

Adding breadcrumbs is another option. This is my mother’s recipe and I have previously used boiled chickpeas instead of black-eyed peas.

The chickpeas add a different flavour profile, but some people feel bloated after eating chickpeas and it is quite tedious to peel the skin off once they are boiled.

Either way, everyone has their own preference, but I find that the black-eyed peas offer a pleasant, gnarly texture and a less heavy feeling.

These cutlets can be savoured at any time of the day. They go well with either tomato or chilli sauce.

Vegetable Cutlets

(Makes 18 cutlets)


Ingredients

1 cup black-eyed peas (soaked overnight)

1/2 cup channa dhal (soaked overnight)

1 russet potato – peeled, sliced and lightly fried.

1 medium red onion, roughly chopped

1 inch ginger, skinned and sliced

3 cloves garlic, diced

2 fresh chillies, diced

1 cili padi, deseeded and diced

1 sprig coriander leaves, chopped

4 sprigs curry leaves, chopped

Seasoning

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon meat curry powder

1 tablespoon chickpea flour

1 tablespoon cornflour

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 egg, lightly beaten

Method

1) Drain beans and dhal and set aside.

2) Peel and slice potatoes and fry until light golden. Allow to cool.

3) Add chillies, coriander, curry leaves, beans and dhal into a food processor and blitz until grainy. Remove from food processor.

4) Add in potatoes, blend until smooth. Remove from food processor.5) In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until well combined. Add seasoning and mix.

6) Add in egg and mix together.

7) Form small cutlets with hands and deep-fry.

8) Remove from oil when the cutlets turn golden brown.

Note: Another option to replace black-eyed peas is to use chickpeas.If using chickpeas, the skin should be removed before blending.
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