I have no idea of the origins of this lovely starter, but have very fond memories of being treated to cutlets during my growing years in Kenya regularly by my mother and occasionally by my maternal grandmother, who made them by pounding the potatoes in a pestle and mortar!
We only make them a few times a year in my home in London but they remain a popular favourite of my children and visitors.
The assembly is a bit of an intricate process, but full steps and video are below, so no excuses for not making them!
Potato Cutlets (in Kenya also known as bateta champs or cutlass)Print Recipe
- Potato mixture
- 1lb potatoes (if in the UK use Maris piper or baking potatoes if possible)
- enough water for boiling
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp crushed black pepper
- Mince mixture
- 2 tbs oil
- 1 tbs fresh crushed ginger
- 1lb chicken/lamb/beef mince
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 fresh green chillies crushed or finely chopped
- half cup fresh sliced green coriander
- 8oz finely chopped spring or white onions (use a mini chopper if you have one)
- 1 tbs garam masala
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground dry coriander
Potato mixture preparation
Boil the potatoes in plenty of water; keep on a rolling boil until potatoes are soft. Pierce potatoes with toothpick or knife to ensure they are cooked through.
Cool, remove skin, grate them into a bowl, add pepper and salt. Mix well and keep aside. Or
Use instant mash to make 1 lb of mash, use a little less water than guided by the recipe and add 1 tbs of Olive oil to the mixture, 1 tsp salt, half tsp crushed black pepper, mix well, cool and keep aside.
Add the oil to a saucepan, heat, add the ginger and sauté for a couple of minutes then add the mince, salt and green chillies.
Cook until mixture is dry, keep breaking any lumps that form in the mince during this process.
Remove from heat and cool for an hour or more.
Add the onions, fresh coriander, garam masala, dry coriander and cumin, mix well and remove into a bowl.
Take 2 tabs of potato mixture, dip into cold water, make a ball then flatten into a patty and keep aside, take another 2 tbs of potato mixture and do the same.
Line your hand with a little cold water, take one patty on the flat of your hand, place 2 tbs of the mince mixture on top of it, add a slice of boiled egg if using, place the second patty on top and press down gently until all sides are sealed.
Use both hands to press firmly to make into a round (similar to scotch eggs) or press top and bottom to make a flattened oval resembling a jam-filled doughnut.
Dip the cutlet in beaten egg until well coated.
Now roll the cutlet in breadcrumbs until fully coated and place in a flat plate, continue until all potato cutlets are made up.
Heat the oil to a medium heat in a deep karahi or wok.
Gently drop one cutlet into the hot oil, fry until golden on one side, turn over very carefully using a fork or fish slice, cook other side until golden then remove carefully and drain onto kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
You can fry 2 or 3 cutlets at a time depending on the size of the karahi or wok.
Place on a serving platter, serve piping hot with lashings of ketchup, tamarind sauce or green chutney.