Appetizers,  Beef,  International Cuisine,  Soups/Sides/Salads

Beef Cutlets

These cutlets are on a standing order with my family during holidays or special occasions. It does take some time to make, and as they say, everything good is worth working for. These are served as appetizers but honestly if you make them, they will be gone as soon as they are fried. No one ever waits to eat them. They are typical in Kerala homes and usually made with beef. My mother and grandmother have used chicken, veal or sometimes a combination of them. They all taste great!

Preparation Time – 1 Hour

Cook Time – 30 Minutes

Yields between 25 to 30 Cutlets


Ground Beef – 2 1/2 Lbs

Onions – 2 Medium, finely chopped

Garlic – 6 cloves, minced

Ginger – 2 Inches, minced

Green Chillies – 2, minced

Curry leaves – 10 approx. leaves, minced

Pepper – 1 Teaspoon

Salt – 2 Teaspoons

Garam Masala – 1 Teaspoon

Baking Potatoes – 2 medium, boiled, peeled and mashed

Breadcrumbs – 2 cups

Egg whites – 3, beaten

Vegetable Oil – enough to deep fry the cutlets


In a processor, add your onions, garlic, ginger, chillies, curry leaves and pulse till finely chopped.DO NOT BLEND. Alternatively, you can chop these by hand.


Heat a saucepan to medium heat and add your ground beef, salt, pepper and the above chopped mixture. Cook on medium high till all the water has evaporated. Make sure you do not leave any water content behind because these will cause the cutlets to break apart when you fry them. Add the garam masala and stir well.


You should have already boiled and mashed your potatoes. I boil them whole with skin on and then peel them before mashing them. To check the doneness of the potato I stick a knife in it and if it goes in with no resistance, it is ready.


Once the beef mixture has cooled, combine the potatoes and incorporate well. I suggest you use your hand to mix this well. It helps to break any large lumps. Taste for salt as well and add as you need.


Rinse and dry your hands, then take a small amount of the mixture and roll into a ball. You will then need to flatten it. Make them about two inches in diameter and about 3/4 of an inch thick. Keep them aside.


On a plate spread your breadcrumbs and in a bowl beat your egg whites. You will then dip each of these cutlets first in the egg whites then in the bread crumbs. My mom says not to use the yolk as it will cause the oil to froth, which is so true!


Heat your oil (enough to cover the cutlets, this will depend on the size of your pan) on medium heat and then add two or three cutlets at a time.


Fry till golden brown, flipping once. Do not overcrowd your pan as that will drop the temperature and then the cutlets will absorb more oil. Remove them and put on a paper towel lined plate to absorb the excess oil. Serve hot!


This is a hit with kids and adults alike. You can reduce the chillies to one if you don’t like it spicy or I would suggest deseeding them. The chillies add a nice flavor aside from the heat. We serve this with an onion salad but it can be eaten alone or with ketchup too.

When you are shaping the cutlets, if you feel that the mixture is too wet and sticks to your palms easily, add a tablespoon or two of breadcrumbs. This will absorb any excess liquid. The type of potatoes used also makes a difference in water content. My mom swears by the big baking potatoes.

If you are hoping to use this as a meal versus an appetizer, you could put two of these cutlets in a pita with onions, tomatoes, lettuce and mayonaise. In the end, just enjoy your hard work!

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