Vegetable chops

The Kolkata-style chops are one of the most famous appetisers, particularly during monsoon or winter.  It is sold at almost every roadside snacks corners best known as Telebhajar Dokan in Bengali. Nowadays many sweet shops in Kolkata are also selling these mouth-watering savoury appetisers of different varieties. Among these, most famous is ‘Vegetable chop’ or ‘Beet chop’ or ‘Veg cutlet’.

Being from Kolkata, I have grown up with a constant fondness for chops and cutlets of different varieties.  Among which ‘Vegetable chop’ has always been my favourite.  While writing this blog, our childhood memories crossed my mind.  We had a strict regulation of no outside food at home.  However, when some sudden guests turned up at our home, gates were opened for chops and cutlets from outside for serving it with tea.  Needless to say, my sister and I also got the opportunity to savour these delicacies then.  So, my sister and I were the happiest persons on Earth when some sudden guests visited our place.  After I moved out of Kolkata I really longed for these Vegetable chops. But when for the first time I successfully attempted and served this mouth watering delicacy to my husband and his friends, I was really very happy at the thought that now I can enjoy these childhood goodies anywhere, anytime.

Beetroot being the main ingredient, these chops have a subtle sweet flavour in it. The crunchy crust outside and the soft sweet and spicy flavour inside is bound to make you crave for more. These go best with a sip of hot Masala Chai or Milk Tea.

Preparation time: 90 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

ingredients

  • 4 medium size Beet root, grated or boiled
  • 2 medium size Carrot, grated or boiled
  • 2 medium size Potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 2 to 3 Green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1to 2 tsp of grated Ginger
  • ¼ tsp Paanch phoron (optional)
  • ½ cup roasted Peanuts
  • 3 tsp Raisin
  • 3 tsp of Bhaja Moshla (given below)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 to 2 tsp Sugar (or as per requirement)
  • 1 to 2 tsp any edible oil, for tempering
  • 200 ml of any edible oil, for deep frying
  • 2 tsp white Flour or Maida
  • 2 tsp Rice flour
  • 2 tsp Besan
  • 2 cup Bread crumbs

Procedure:

This whole recipe consists of four different steps. First: prepare the Bhaja Moshla (Fried Masala), Second: prepare the vegetable mixture for filling, Third: coat the chops or cutlets with a crispy layer and Fourth: deep fry the chops.

First we prepare the Bhaja Moshla

Ingredients for Bhaja Moshla:

  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 4 to 5 green Cardamom
  • 5 to 6 Cloves
  • 1 to 2 sticks of Cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 Bay leaves
  • ½ tsp Peppercorns
  • 4 to 5 Red Chillies

Dry roast all the above ingredients on a skillet and let them cool. Grind all the roasted ingredients and store in an airtight container for future use.

Then we prepare the Vegetable mixture for filling

  1. Mix well the grated beet roots and carrots with the mashed potatoes. (Or you can boil all the vegetables until soft and mashable. Then mix those until coarsely mashed.)
  2. In a wok or kadhai add little oil; add paanch phoron, grated ginger and green chillies. Fry till all the aromas are strong.
  3. Add roasted peanuts, raisin, salt and sugar.
  4. Add the Bhaja Moshla and  mashed vegetables
  5. In low flames mix all the ingredients thoroughly till the mixture is dry and ready to bind.
  6. Remove the mixture from the flame and let it cool to room temperature.
  7. Divide the mixture into equal small proportions in a plate and shape them into cylindrical or make them into cutlets.

Then we coat the chops with a crispy layer

  1. In a bowl take white flour (Maida), rice flour, besan and 2 to 3 tbsp of water.  Mix well to make a smooth thick binding paste.
  2. Place the bread crumbs on a tray for easy binding.
  3. Take the unfried chops one at a time, dip in the binding paste and coat them from all sides.
  4. Then roll each of these chops on the bread crumbs to cover entirely and press gently to make the bread crumbs stick properly.
  5. Repeat the above coating process one more time to get that extra crispiness.
  6. Once done, place all the chops or cutlets inside a fridge container and freeze them for an hour. Now the chops are ready to be fried.
  7. These ready-to-fry chops can be stored in freezer for 15 to 20 days.

And finally.....the deep frying

  1. Pour oil in a kadhai and heat it in medium flames. Put the chops in the oil one by one and fry them until golden brown.
  2. Place them on a paper towel and serve hot with sliced onion-cucumber salad dressed in Kashundi (Bengali mustard sauce).  It also tastes awesome with homemade sweet and sour tamarind chutney or tomato ketchup.

TIPS:

  • While preparing the Bhaja Moshla, for an effective result roast each of the whole spices separately as each have different heat resisting capability. If fried together, there is a possibility that many may get burnt while the other may not be roasted properly.
  • You can also add chopped coriander leaves and finely chopped and fried coconut while preparing the vegetable mixture.
  • For an easy and quick solution you can grate the beet root and carrot in a mixer grinder with no or little water. It saves time and effort and believe me it tastes great too.
  • You can also use beaten eggs in place of the binding paste. I have avoided eggs to keep this a pure Veg recipe.
  • It is not required to defrost the chops before frying.
  • I always love quick recipes. But I am sure that the above procedure will leave you wondering about the time and effort you require to put in. Here is an easy solution to that:  Rather than preparing everything together on the same day, you may split the effort as per the steps mentioned. For example you can prepare the Bhaja Moshla on the day before, prepare the vegetable mixture and coat the chops in the morning and finally fry the chops when required. 

Feeling really happy to share this recipe with you all. A little effort will yield a very delicious snack, which I am sure will leave you craving for more!!!  I am sure you will love it!!  Waiting eagerly for your comments and feedbacks.

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