Me and P have a funny habit of watching movies & tellyshows with subtitles on…regardless of the language of the program and to the extent that we even watch english movies with english subtitles!Initially it was him who used to watch movies on DVDs like this but slowly I also started watching in the same way. And I tell you that it so so hilarious that sometimes our eyes are more on the subtitles & the translations than the actual picture!! We have had few really funny instances when we laughed till our stomach ached!
The other day there was an english soap in which two of the main characters were arguing with each other..midway between the altercation the female character said “You are sick!” …the hindi subtitle on the screen flashed..”Tum bimaar ho“..me and P looked at each other and we could not stop laughing! Sometimes the literal translations change the meaning and sense in a total opposite way ! Second instant was once while watching a hindi film a mother was telling her daughter in hindi that to win her husband’s heart, she has to cook good food …the english subtitle read something like this ” If you have to reach your husband’s heart, you’ve to enter his stomach with good food”…I pity , really pity the translators.
Okay, coming to the recipe now..its a very popular snack and has lots of versions floating around.What I am posting is the bengali way of doing it…and I really hope that if my MIL reads my post and becomes sad at my translation/subtitle discussion..then she will have something to be happy about …after all this is her version of beet chops which I learned last year during Durga Puja visit. Not to mention that I have found out after two years of marriage that it is the only way to get beets inside P’s system else he’s really nasty (I mean selective ) with vegetables :) Normally, I would have baked them or cooked them like a kebab but since it rained after 4 months in Vegas last Sunday,I shallow fried mine ! These were tasty and brought back many memories.
The Indian chop differs from the International chop in the sense that its not a cut or piece of meat but a deep fried bread/potato tea time snack.Okay..for me the difference between chop’ and ‘cutlet’ in bengali cusine is still very intriguing..infact never cared to know the difference…what I know for sure is that both taste equally good ..be it chops for evening snack or cutlets with afternoon meals.
What I need:
For the chop:
- 3 russet potatoes, boiled and grated
- 1 tbsp corn starch [or more for binding the potato dough]
- 1 tsp salt
- Oil for shallow frying
For the coating
- 1 tbsp fine semolina (suji)
- 2 tsp white poppy seeds (posto/khus-khus)
- 2 small red beets , peeled and finely grated
- 2 tbsp chopped carrot
- 2 tbsp chopped green beans
- 2 tbsp green peas [fresh or frozen]
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp poppy seeds [posto/khus-khus]
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- a pinch of cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
- 1/2 tsp white sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds powder [buna jeera]
- 1.5 tsp red chili powder [adjust to taste]
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
How I did it :
- In a small pan, on medium heat,let the oil heat.Once heated, temper the oil with cumin, nigella, ,poppy seeds,mustard ,sesame and coriander seeds.
- Once the seeds start crackling, add the green beans and carrots to the pan and saute till the beans are slightly tender.About 3-4 minutes.
- Next, add the grated beets and the peas.To this add the red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, cinnamon powder, and salt.Cook the mixture for 5 minute till everything comes together.Remove the filling from pan and let it cool.
- In a plate, mix the semolina and poppy seeds and keep aside for rolling the chops before frying.
- To the grated potatoes, add the salt and cornstarch and knead together to form a soft dough.
- To make the chops: Take a fistful of potato dough on your palm and spread it to make room for the filing.Take 1 tbsp of the prepared filling and put it on the potato dough and close to make elongated balls.[In a similar manner, the dough is filled for making stuffed parathas]
- Heat the required amount of oil for shallow or deep-frying to medium high.Roll the elongated balls in the coating mixture of semolina & poppy seeds and fry on medium high heat till golden brown.
- Serve warm with cilantro chutney & ketchup alongside a hot cup of tea.
- It is in best interest to check a small sample of potato dough first in hot oil to confirm that it dosent spread all over in th ehot oil.If it does add more corn starch for binding.
- Avoid using a starchy and sticky variety of potato, the one suitable for baking is the perfect choice.
Sending this to event Beyond five days of Durga Puja at Pree’s blog