Kaera na cutless

Kaera na cutless

Banana cutlets

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

This happens to be quite a classical dish in Parsee cuisine, though not cooked as often these days. These are simple yet tasty banana or plantain cakes, an ideal snack, starter or accompaniment to a main course.


Quantity Ingredient
6 green bananas or plantains
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch salt
3 floury potatoes, scrubbed
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 onions, very finely chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, very finely chopped or minced
2 green chillies, very finely chopped or minced
1 heaped tablespoo fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped
1 lime, juiced
150g plain flour
2-3 eggs
100g fresh breadcrumbs
oil, for frying

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
tomato sauce
or a mayonnaise-based dip


  1. Boil the bananas or plantains in their skins in water with the turmeric and the salt added for 15–20 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and cool thoroughly before peeling.
  2. Boil or steam the potatoes in their jackets, cool thoroughly then peel.
  3. Gently roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant and slightly coloured.
  4. Crush the seeds in a mortar with a pestle (or in a small bowl with the end of a rolling pin) to a coarse powder but ensure that no whole bits remain.
  5. Mash the bananas with the potato and blend in the crushed seeds, onions, garlic, chillies, ginger, coriander and lime juice.
  6. Work well to form a soft, yet dryish dough. Do not over-work as the potato may turn glue-like. Taste and re-season if necessary.
  7. Divide into even-sized balls depending on the size you prefer. Make oblong or round shapes, dust with the flour, dip in beaten egg and then roll in breadcrumbs to coat completely.
  8. Heat about 5 mm oil in a large frying pan or wok. Shallow-fry the cutlets turning once until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Serve with tomato sauce or a mayonnaise-based dip.
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