Chaanp na cutless

Chaanp na cutless

Lamb cutlets with potatoes

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

Parsee-style lamb cutlets! Succulent little chops, covered with spiced mashed potato, rolled in semolina, fried and served with onion and tomato gravy. If you only have coarse semolina, whiz it in a food processor or clean coffee grinder to refine. Breadcrumbs can also be used.


Quantity Ingredient
4-5 large, fairly floury all-purpose potatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste, (or 6 garlic cloves, crushed, and 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger)
8-12 french trimmed lamb cutlets
3 long, thin green chillies
vegetable or rapeseed oil, for frying
2 x 5 cm pieces cinnamon stick
1 onion, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons coriander, chopped
4-5 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 level teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
100-150g plain flour
3-4 eggs, beaten
100-150g fine semolina or breadcrumbs

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
sliced tomato
onion gravy


  1. Peel and slice the potatoes and boil until really tender (up to 10 minutes depending on thickness). Drain and return to the same pan over a medium heat.
  2. Stir continuously, scraping from the bottom with a wooden spatula until the potatoes are totally dry. Now mash or pass through a ricer and set aside in a wide dish to cool. Refrigerate when at room temperature but do not cover (if you place them in a small bowl the sides will sweat and make your mash wet again).
  3. Blend the ground spices with a little salt and the ginger and garlic paste and rub all over the cutlets. Leave in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Split 2 of the green chillies in quarters lengthways. Heat about 1 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the cinnamon and the split chillies. When the cinnamon darkens and the chillies change colour scrape all excess marinade off the lamb cutlets and brown the meat on both sides, taking care not to keep the oil too hot as this will cause the marinade to burn. Take care not to agitate the pan too much either. By doing so the pan will cool down and the chops will begin to stew rather than sauté.
  5. When the chops are coloured and sealed remove them and add the onions to the pan along with the marinade that was scraped off the chops. Add a little water to deglaze the pan, Stir and scrape up any sediment. The water will evaporate as the onions sauté.
  6. When the onion is soft, about 5 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes and cook until both the onion and the tomato are thoroughly cooked. Add a bit more water from time to time so as to get a sauce of pouring consistency. Check seasoning and discard the cinnamon sticks and the green chillies. Set aside and reheat just before serving.
  7. Stir half the chopped coriander into the mashed potatoes, the rest into the sauce.
  8. Mince or finely chop the remaining green chilli with the toasted cumin seeds and mix into the mashed potato. Season to taste.
  9. Now divide the potato into the same number of portions as there are chops. Press a portion of potato around the meat end only of the cutlets, leaving the bone ends free. Coat each chop in flour, then in beaten egg and then into the semolina.
  10. Heat about 2.5 cm oil in a large, deep frying pan and fry the chops until golden and crisp, about 6 minutes, turning once. Serve with some salad if you like and the tomato and onion gravy.
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