Many Parsis enjoy cutlets on a regular basis and will often serve them as an accompaniment to the main course. I found that coming down the food line, the kotlet has become cutlace to us! We may be referring to the frilly kind that Bohras are known for making: thin beef cutlets that are dipped in gobs of egg and deep-fried to give them frilly edges. or to the kotlet-e mahi, the fish cutlet that is part of the Persian cuisine. While there are two popular ways of commonly preparing these,with and without boiled potatoes, the basic idea is the same. What amazes and delights me is that my mother always made hers in the distinctive pearl drop shape that the Persian kotlet is, and that this tradition has been carried down through the generations!
Since few home chefs enjoy frying items in their kitchen, you can easily bake these to minimise the mess and fuss. Preparing, breading, and frying each individually is tough, messy, or simply time-consuming. The easy solution is to simply bake them and serve them whole in a flat baking dish. Cut the leftovers into squares if you want to eat them as a sandwich. The only warning is that the vinegar smell can linger throughout the cooking process!
Poach the fish with salt until just cooked. After removing the liquid, allow it to cool.
In a food processor, turn it on and drop in
8 green chillies
Stop the machine, open it, and add the tomato pieces and coriander leaves.
Give it a pulse or two until it breaks down.
Add in and pulse again, till you have "just mixed" the bread pieces, eggs, vinegar, sugar, and salt to taste. Finally, add and pulse a couple of times until just mixed. Then, finally, drop in the cooked fish flakes and the fried onions. Don't overprocess it into mush. It should be textured, not smooth.
Preheat the oven to 170 C| 350 F.
Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish that has been greased with butter or oil. A 14-inch-by-10-inch-by-25-cm-square. Bake this until set and slightly browned, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Serve it warm with a crisp salad and warm, crusty bread and butter.
Overbaking will result in a very dry crust around the edges. Keeping it "moist" is critical.
If you're making it ahead of time, keep it half-cooked.
Once half baked, it freezes well. Allow to cool completely before freezing.
Kids enjoy this as a fish burger with ketchup.
It is better to have a slightly smaller dish to bake in than a larger one for this quantity.
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on Amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.