Keralan Chicken Cutlets

Keralan Chicken Cutlets

Cutlets are generally deep fried in oil and served as teatime treats or as appetiser snacks with a salad made of onions. This recipe lightly fries the cutlets in a bit of oil. To make the dish even lighter, I’ve cooked the chicken breasts in advance.

Makes about 12-15 cutlets


500g boneless and skinless chicken pieces, cooked and shredded (see below)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-2 fluffy potatoes, such as King Edward or Maris Piper (approximately 250g in weight)
3 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
a few fresh curry leaves, shredded (optional)
1 or 2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp peeled and grated root ginger
3-4 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp curry powder (any brand will do – supermarket bought)
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
6 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten


Boil the potatoes in water till tender. Mash them and set aside.

Heat a pan on a medium heat and add 2 tbsp of the oil. Tip in the onion and fry for 5-7 minutes till lightly browned. Add the curry leaves, if using and allow them to fry for a minute. Tip in the green chillies, ginger and garlic. Add the chilli powder, ground coriander and curry powder and saute for 2 minutes. Add the shredded chicken along with the salt, if using, and mix everything well. Saute for around 5-7 minutes and then add the lemon juice. Set aside and allow the mixture to cool.
Add the mashed potatoes to the seasoned chicken and mix until well combined.
Wet your hands slightly and make lemon sized balls using your palms. Flatten them slightly.
Place the beaten egg in a bowl and put the breadcrumbs on a plate.
Take one cutlet at a time and first dip it in the egg and then roll it in the breadcrumbs until it’s fully coated. Repeat the process with the remaining cutlets.
Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the remaining 1 tbsp of the oil. Place the cutlets carefully in the pan and fry each side on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
Drain them on kitchen paper.
Serve hot with tomato ketchup or a red onion salad. The cutlets can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days and then heated in an oven for 10 minutes at 140C.

How to make shredded chicken

Shredded chicken is an even healthier way of eating chicken. It is also used in various international dishes such as tacos and barbecue chicken and also makes a great sandwich filler. The method below is for chicken breasts.

Place the chicken in a saucepan and cover it with cold water. You can add a few herbs or spices such as a bay leaf, 3 to 4 black peppercorns or tarragon for a little flavour. I’ve added a quarter teaspoon of turmeric to the mix. Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a medium to low flame and allow the chicken to simmer for 7 to 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked all the way through. You can check that the chicken is cooked by cutting a piece in half. If the chicken is white on the inside, then it is cooked. If you can see pink colouring, the chicken needs to be cooked longer. If the water evaporates too quickly, you can add more water about a 1/4 cup or 60ml.
With some tongs, carefully remove the chicken from the broth (water) and place it in a shallow pan to cool. It’s best to let the chicken cool thoroughly before you shred it as it will be too hot to handle.
Use one fork to hold the chicken steady. With the other fork, scrape and tear the chicken apart. Using forks will make the pieces thinner. You could also use a food processor.
Put the chicken pieces in a bowl, to use in your recipe. The shredded chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. If you don’t plan to use it in that time, freeze the chicken and then defrost it later when you need it.

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