Calcutta-style Chicken Cutlet

Why is it that all those things laden with calories and sinfully deep-fried are the stuff that we crave most often? Do you know of anybody who craves cucumbers? Why are chocolates more crave-able than muesli? Why do I long for peyaaji (onion fritters), fish fry or chicken cutlet when it rains and not for boiled vegetables? Mysteries of life, I tell you!
One good thing this Eat Like a Bong is doing is making sure my kitchen has ample supply of Bong delicacies for whenever I might feel the greed pangs. It's pretty much awesome actually. I've never been bombarded with Bhetki Paturi, Chitol Maachher Muithya, Fish Fry, Maachher Chop, Chicken Roll, Roshomalai day after day for a considerable stretch of time. On the flip side, this absolutely is making sure that instead of losing those extra few kilos right before Pujo, I put on more! But that's quite all right because if you have things like Chicken Cutlet on offer, who cares about weight really?
My jyethi (Rika as I call her) is a brilliant cook in her own rights. She is a tall and slim lady whose physical structure completely puts to shame her love of food. Rika is like a mother to me, who has smilingly borne the brunt of all my oppression as a kid (case in point: She has a cascade of thick curly hair going way beyond her knees. I think I tried to cut that off once while she was asleep!). She loves to cook and more importantly, she loves to feed. Whenever we have guests over, two-three days before that she can be seen loitering in the kitchen, her standard dialogue then being, "Ei ektu egiye rakhchhi (I'm just getting ahead with my work)". This has over the years become a standing joke in the family. She loves to jot down recipes from TV shows and experiment with them in her kitchen. It's a pity that she is not introduced to the world of food bloggers, otherwise she would have gone completely berserk! Anyway, this Chicken Cutlet is something she excels in. But she's in Delhi for the last few months and I had been missing them. Also, I badly needed to make them for my Durga Pujo speacial Bong food series. So I gave her a call, heard out the recipe, added a few twists of my own and voila! The next day these crispy, crumbly brilliance adorned my table. Too bad she's not here to taste. :(
Makes 14 cutlets

Chicken keema/mince: 1 kg
Vegetable oil: for deep-frying
Breadcrumbs: 300 gm (or as required)
Egg: 1
Bread slices: 4

For marination:
Garlic paste: 4 tsp
Ginger paste: 3 tsp
Onion, finely chopped: 1.5
Lime juice: of 2 limes
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Chaat Masala: 2.5 tsp
Pepper powder: 1.5 tsp
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Salt, to taste
Coriander leaves, finely chopped: 3/4 cup


1. Marinade the chicken keema with all the items listed under marination (except the onion and coriander) and refrigerate for 4-5 hours or overnight for best results.

2. 1 hour before you start cooking add the chopped onions and coriander and mix well. Soak the bread slices in water and squeeze the water out of them. Add them to the mince. Whisk an egg and add that as well. Mix the keema well and refrigerate again for an hour.

3. Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate. Oil your hands, take a big handful of the mince and shape it in the form of a patty. Press the sides to give it a more distinct shape. Once you finish making all the pattys, wash your hands and dry them. Now take each one and dredge it in breadcrumbs to coat uniformly. Keep them on another plate sprinkled with breadcrumbs.

4. Heat oil till almost smoking. Slide a patty at a time and cook on medium high heat on both sides till its crispy and golden brown. Repeat with all the pattys. Drain them on kitchen towel.

5. Serve hot with ketchup, kashundi and onion rings.
Eat Like a Bong: Day 19
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