February 14, 2012

Indian-spiced Pea and Potato Cutlets

The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

I love Daring Cooks' Challenges where I read the challenge and know exactly what variation I want to make.

That was the case in the this month's challenge — flipping fried patties. Patties, as defined by this month's DC hosts, are flattened disks of ingredients held together by a binder, usually coated by breadcrumbs, and then fried.

Well it just so happens that last Thanksgiving, my mom made Indian-spiced pea and potato patties (we call them cutlets) to serve as an appetizer.

Cutlets are one of my all-time favorite Indian appetizers. They can be made with vegetables, as my mom did, or with meat (usually some type of kheema), which are also delicious. The veggies or meat are mixed with mashed potatoes, dipped in egg, then breadcrumbs, and then shallow fried.

The trick with these pea and potato cutlets is to spice the pea mixture more heavily than you would if you were going to eat it on its own. That's because the peas also have to flavor the potatoes when the two are combined. Adding a bit of salt and cayenne to the egg and breadcrumbs ensures that no part of the cutlet is bland.

Crispy coating, tender potatoes, savory peas.

Are you hungry yet?

To make the pea mixture, add mustard seeds to hot oil. Once they begin to pop, add cumin seeds and asafetida powder.

Add onions and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in turmeric.

Add peas, then chili powder, cumin and coriander powders, salt, sugar, and 1 tsp garam masala.

Stir and cook until peas are tender.

In a separate saucepan, cover unpeeled potatoes with cold water, bring to a boil, then simmer until tender.

Peel, then mash the potatoes while still warm.

Stir in salt and cornstarch.

To make the cutlets, add the potatoes, a little at a time, to the pea mixture, until there is just enough potato to bind the peas together. Taste for salt and chili powder and add more if needed.

Shape small handfuls of pea/potato mixture into flat rounds or ovals.

Set up eggs and breadcrumbs.

Dip each cutlet into egg, then breadcrumbs, and place in a skillet. Cook over low heat until dark golden brown, then flip.

Cook second side until dark golden brown, then place on a paper-towel lined plate.

Serve with ketchup or my favorite, masala chili sauce.

Indian-spiced Pea and Potato Cutlets

Recipe by The Garlic Press

2 16-oz bags of petite green peas
6 medium white potatoes
4 medium onions, chopped
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp black mustard
½ tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp asafetida powder
¼ tsp turmeric
2 ½ tsp chili powder
2 ½ tsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
salt, to taste
sugar, a pinch
1 ½ tsp garam masala, divided
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp corn starch, divided
3 eggs
1 cup plain bread crumbs
canola oil, for shallow frying

Peas mixture:

1.      Add oil to pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add mustard seeds. About the time they stop popping, add cumin seed and then asafetida powder. Immediately add chopped onion. Sauté onion until soft/translucent on low to medium heat. Add turmeric powder and mix. Add green peas and sauté for a minute or two. Add chili powder, cumin and coriander powders, salt, sugar, and 1 tsp garam masala. Stir well.
2.      Cover and let it cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the peas are cooked. Do not add water. Off the heat, add ½ teaspoon garam masala. (Can be made ahead of time. Bring to room temperature before using.)


1.      Put unpeeled potatoes in saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
2.      Peel and mash boiled potatoes when they are still warm. Add salt to taste. Add 1 Tbsp corn starch and mix well. (Potatoes can be made ahead of time. Bring to room temperature slowly, without using microwave.)


1.      Place pea mixture in a large bowl. Add potato mixture in small portions to the peas, mixing it lightly so that the peas won’t get mushy. Add enough potatoes to bind the peas, without masking the flavor of the peas. (You may not need all the mashed potato.)
2.      Make small flat round or oval patties. Place them on a clean plate.
3.      Beat eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt and chili powder. Spread breadcrumbs on a separate plate. Add a pinch of salt and chili powder and ½ tsp corn starch. Mix well.
4.      Preheat large, shallow skillet over low heat. Add enough oil to generously coat the bottom of the skillet.
5.      For each patty, dip quickly in egg mixture (let excess egg drip off), then roll in bread crumbs. Place in skillet and fry over very low heat, for about 10 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the pan.
6.      Serve cutlets with masala chili sauce or ketchup.

Note: Cutlets can be prepared ahead of time. Rewarm slowly in a low oven.

Makes about 50 cutlets.



  1. Mmmm! These potato and pea cutlets sound delicious! Sort of like the filling for a samosa but easier to make? Thanks for sharing this! I can't wait to try them here

  2. They look yummy! thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. I can almost smell the aromas coming off that photo with the onion and tumeric. Yep, I'm hungry!

  4. They look great - do you make or buy that sauce?

    1. Todd - I buy it at an Indian grocery store. It's Maggi brand Masala Chilli sauce.

  5. Well done on the challenge! These cutlets sound so delicious and love the golden crust on it!

  6. I'm absolutely drooling over your patties! Great job with the challenge.

  7. What lovely looking patties you made they sound so exotic I love all the spices well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia

  8. Thank you for this recipe. Exactly what I was looking for to use up a few potatoes and extra bag of frozen peas. I omitted the cornstarch and sugar because I didn't have any and it turned out perfect. This was really yummy and super easy to make. I have a lot leftover since it's just me, so and I'm going to separate the remaining pea/potato mixture into ziplock bags for freezing. Hoping they'll freeze well and with a little nuking, maybe I'll be able to form patties out of them at a later time :)


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