Today I will share a mouthwatering street food of Kolkata called Vegetable Chop. The city of joy is known for its delicious street food like Jhal Muri (puffed rice mixed with other ingredients), Phuchka, Singara/Samosa and different kinds of deep fried cutlets. Vegetable chop belongs to the category of cutlets, a fusion of the British and Indian food styles. Many of the snacks that you get in cities in Kolkata like Cutlets and chops – crumbed and fried – are among the Anglo-Indian dishes that are now very much a part of our own cuisine.
Vegetable Chop is nothing but a vegetarian version of cutlet. The filling is a combination of mashed potato and some winter vegetables like, carrot, beetroot and peas. In Indian cuisine, a cutlet specifically refers to cooked meat or vegetable stuffing that is fried with a batter/covering. At first vegetable itself is cooked with spices and then it’s dipped in an egg mix and then in breadcrumbs and fried in vegetable oil.
The Kolkata street food crossed boundaries and entered into regular party menus, starting from wedding to birthday parties. In our childhood days, we used to see that when there was a small gathering at home, the most common snack that used to be served with tea was vegetable chop. We knew that we would get at least half piece of the same once others are done. Being a non-resident Bengali, I miss these street foods a lot and try to make as regular as possible for different pot-luck parties with our close friends. Some of our family friends are very fond of my vegetable chops and sometimes I have to make some extra for them. Tomorrow we are going to have snacks party for the grand super bowl event in one of our friend’s home and I thought this would be the perfect crowd-pleasing finger food from my side.
Recipe of Vegetable Chop ( Bengali Style Vegetable Cutlet ) for 16 to 18 pieces Chops
For Stuffing :
Carrot : 3 medium
Beetroot : 2 medium
Potato : 3 large
Peas (frozen or fresh ) : 1/2 cup
Onion : 1 medium size, finely chopped
Ginger : grated , 1 tablespoon
Cumin powder : 1 teaspoon.
Green chillies : 2 or 3 chopped
Roasted half peanuts : 2 tablespoon
Golden Raisins : 2 tablespoons ( optional )
Salt : to taste
For Roasted Spice powder ( Bhaja Masla ) :
Whole Cumin : 1 and half tablespoon
Whole Red chili : 1
For Coating :
Egg : one
Corn flour : 4 to 5 tablespoon (If you want to avoid egg use corn flour )
Breadcrumbs : 1 cup and more ( if needed )
Oil for deep frying
1. Peel and cut the potato and beetroot in halves. Peel the carrot too and Wash everything. Cook the vegetables till they are tender. I used pressure cooker. If you are using pressure cooker, add all the vegetables, add one cup of water and salt to the pressure cooker. Cook on medium heat and wait for 3 whistles. Let the pressure cooker cool down, open the lid and drain the water.
2. Mash the vegetables coarsely, add the peas to it and set it aside.
3. For roasted spice powder, dry roast the cumin seeds and the red chili. Once nice aroma comes up, turn off the heat. Let it cool down and grind it to a powder.
4. Take a pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat it up. Add chopped onion and fry it till the color changes to golden brown. Add salt and add grated ginger. Keep stirring for couple of minutes. Add green chillies, add cumin powder and cook.
5. Add the mashed vegetables. Stir and mix in everything. Add salt and saute the vegetable mixture till the excess water dries up and leaving the sides. If needed add one or two tablespoons of breadcrumbs for binding.
6. Add roasted spice powder, roasted half peanuts and raisins. Mix thoroughly.
7. When the mixture cools down, divide it into 16 to 18 equal portions. Now give them oblong or oval shape.
8. Make a thin batter with corn four and water. ( Or make egg wash. )
9. Dip the chop / croquette in above mix, roll it in breadcrumbs, until it gets a nice coat all over it.
10. Take a dip frying pan, add enough oil for frying. When the oil is smoking hot, lower the flame to medium high and fry them in small batches till they are golden brown on the both sides. Remove with slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
11. Sprinkle some black salt ( beet nun ) and serve hot with some ketchup and a salad ( sliced cucumber and onion) .
- If you want to bake your cutlet instead of deed frying, check the procedure here Baked Cutlet.
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