In my hometown Jalpaiguri, fish cutlets are often available in roadside telebhaja outlets. To tell you honestly, momo and chowmein are much more popular in North Bengal, in comparison to telebhajas. But there are a few shops which are a signature of such telebhajas. One of which I remember is mangsher singara from a popular shop named “chokher khide.”
But cutlets were mostly available in roadside thelas. Unlike Kolkata we hardly had cabin style restaurants. And to tell you the truth, we hardly had the money to visit such restaurants. But, soon at the age of 16 I moved out of home. Since then, I have been visiting home only as a guest. Therefore, I am not sure if we have such places in Jalpaiguri now. But the thele kaku near my home used to make amazing cutlets. This recipe is one of the type that my father used to buy from this thela. Served with kashundi and ketchup, it was pure bliss.
For the marinade
- 1 medium sized onion ground to paste
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- ½ inch ginger grated
- 2 green chilies made into paste
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper(powder)
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- salt as required
- 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves
- 1 teaspoon of Bengali garam masala powder
For breading (for double coating)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups of breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup of wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper powder
- ¼ cup of thin semai/vermicelli (optional)
- oil for frying
- Pat dry the fish fillet in a kitchen towel and keep them aside.
- Marinate the fish with salt, lemon juice, Bengali garam masala powder, onion paste, ginger paste, black pepper powder.
- Keep the fish aside for about at least 30 minutes.
Breading the fillet
- Crack 4 eggs in a tray big enough to fit the fillet. Add salt and black pepper powder and beat the eggs to a smooth mixture.
- In another tray, spread the wheat flour.
- In the third tray, spread the breadcrumbs. To the breadcrumbs add the vermicelli. Mix everything properly and keep it aside.
- with your right hand take a fillet of fish along with the marinade and roll it in the wheat flour.
- Now, place the fish in the beaten egg mixture with your right hand. (wet hand)
- Lift the fish fillet with your right hand and let all the extra egg batter drop.
- With your left hand (dry hand), roll the fish cutlet in breadcrumbs.
- I love my cutlet extra crunchy. Repeat the rolling of cutlet in egg wash and breadcrumbs again. Remember not to mix wet and dry hands.
- Remove all the extra breadcrumbs from the cutlet and keep them aside.
- Shape the cutlets into square by pushing the edges with a knife. This gives the cutlets a perfect shape.
- The cutlets are ready for frying. Repeat the procedure above with all the fillets to prepare all the cutlets
- In a pan, take oil and heat it. To the hot oil, gently drop one fish cutlet and fry it on medium low flame.
- Fry the fish cutlet on both the sides to brown color. Strain the cutlet from oil.
- Serve the cutlet with kashundi and tomato ketchup and with a steaming cup of tea.
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