Kerala-style chicken cutlets are fried patties made with boneless chicken cooked with freshly ground spices, curry leaves and mashed potatoes. Shaped, breaded and deep fried, these make a great appetizer or chai time snack with some ketchup. Does this sound similar to croquettes? Yes, an Indian version of croquettes! Bonus: Learn how to freeze chicken cutlets before frying.
Many of you have already made these cutlets via my Instagram Highlights. It gives me immense pleasure to see some of your creations and feedback. Makes me want to share more failproof recipes and make you face your fears of trying them.
Whenever I share chicken cutlets on Stories, I get DMs asking for the trick to retain the shape while frying. If you follow my method described here, you will not get disappointed! trust me. Even I had a bad batch of cutlets that tasted less chicken or too oily, etc. I came up with this recipe after a few testing. So, I can assure you, this cutlet recipe will hold its shape.
My favourite part about this chicken cutlet recipe is fennel seeds. Add some in warm coconut oil and let it sizzle and bleed flavour into the fat. Takes the cutlet taste up a notch!
HINT: I have included some tips that will help you save from too many dishes to wash.
Like in Shami Kebabs and all the patty-making recipes, moisture is our enemy. We don't need excess moisture in the mixture which would make it hard to keep the cutlets in shape. So please follow my steps when making it for the first time.
Can you freeze Kerala-style chicken cutlets?
Yes! You can freeze them before frying. Freezing chicken cutlets is so easy and convenient for a quick evening snack for unexpected guests. You don't even have to thaw the frozen cutlets. Deep fry or pan fry them without thawing.
What about already fried chicken cutlets? Can we freeze them? I have not tried it. But I would guess that frozen fried chicken cutlets need to be reheated in the oven or microwave without thawing. Considering there are potatoes in the cutlets it is better not to put them back in oil to reheat.
How to freeze Chicken Cutlets?
- Keep the breaded cutlets in a single layer on a sheet. Place it in the freezer until each of them is frozen completely.
- Transfer the individually frozen cutlets into a ziplock. You can freeze the cutlets for not more than a month for the best flavour.
How to fry frozen cutlets?
Do not thaw the frozen cutlets. This applies to anything that you need to fry and which is frozen. I learned the hard way and realized that most frozen snack packs have this caption for a reason. Thawing frozen cutlets will add back moisture making them hard to fry in hot oil. Yes, the oil may splutter when fry frozen cutlets but not as badly as it would if you had thawed. For perfectly fried cutlets, that are not oily fry them as soon as they are out of the freezer.
Make and freeze Chicken Cutlets
Pressure cook or boil
- 250 grams potatoes (2 medium-sized)
- enough water to boil
Pressure cook or cook
- 500 grams boneless chicken
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 dried red chillies
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons water
Saute and cook
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 200 grams red onions diced finely (2 medium-sized)
- 2 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 2 to 4 green chillies
- salt to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garam masala malabar
For dredging and frying
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 2 egg whites whisked
- oil to deep fry or shallow fry
Prepare the Potatoes
- Boil the potatoes with skin in a pressure cooker until soft for about 3 to 5 whistles.*
- Peel the skin off while warm, mash it with a fork, and keep aside.
Prepare the Chicken
- Add the chicken pieces and spice powders into the same cooker and cook for 3 whistles on medium flame. Boil-off any excess stock and let it cool. Using the same cooker to reduce the number of dishes to wash!
Prepare the Breadcrumbs and Chicken
- You may use store-bought breadcrumbs. To make your own, use 2 to 4 slices of any bread, preferably white or milk. You may toast the slices before pulsing them to crumbs. Ensure the mixie or grinder is completely dry before you add the bread pieces as you need the breadcrumbs completely dry. You can use the same grinder to grind the cooked chicken without having to wash it again. So once again reduce dishes to wash!
- Transfer the breadcrumbs to a wide bowl.
- Shred the cooled chicken and add to the same grinder to pulse it to crumbs.
Prepare the Chicken Cutlet mixture
- Heat coconut oil in a shallow pan or pot on medium flame.
- Add fennel seeds, onions, lots of curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and salt. Saute until wilted and aromatic.
- Add the ground chicken and mashed potatoes along with the ground black pepper and garam masala powder. Mix using a wooden spatula until combined. Taste test and adjust the salt and spices.
- Switch off and let the mixture cool so you can use your hands to thoroughly mix to bring the potato and chicken together.
Shape and bread the Chicken Cutlets
- Make desired shape and size patties and line them on a flat plate. I made two dozen cutlets with this recipe.
- Dip each cutlet in the whisked egg white and then use your other hand to roll it in the breadcrumbs - one hand for wet and the other for dry - this way you save the mess.
- Place them on a tray in a single layer and refrigerate until it is time to fry. At this point, you may freeze them too.
Fry the Chicken Cutlets
- Heat enough oil in a shallow pan for shallow fry or in a deep pan for deep fry.
- Drop a few frozen cutlets into the hot oil. Do not thaw the frozen cutlets. From the freezer into the hot oil on medium flame.
- Fry each batch for 5 minutes making sure to flip the cutlets to ensure even frying on both sides.
- Transfer to a plate and serve hot as a side with sambar rice or as a snack with chai along with ketchup.