Vegetable Cutlet also called as veg cutlet are crisp, savory, tender patties made with a mix of hearty veggies, savory spices, fresh herbs and crispy breadcrumbs. Cutlet recipe is a popular snack in Indian cuisine and there are so many ways to make them. These vegan vegetable cutlet are pan fried to keep them healthy, but as you prefer you can deep fry or shallow fry.
About Veg Cutlet
While there are many explanations to what a cutlet is, lets stick to the Indian version of a cutlet. There are both non-vegetarian versions and a vegan plant based version of cutlets in the Indian cuisine. In either ways, the cutlet is breaded and fried.
My recipe is a veggie cutlet that is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. A veggie cutlet is basically a veggie patty. It consists of a mix of various steamed vegetables like carrots, potatoes, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, corn and more.
I make these veg cutlet recipe often. Most of the times I have carrots, potatoes, peas and french beans in the fridge. So its easy for me to make these cutlet for an evening snack.
The patty dough is completely customizable with the veggies you want to add. Only remember not to include watery or mushy vegetables like okra, zucchini, various gourds, pumpkin, eggplant etc.
You have the option to use veggies like carrots, potatoes, green peas, cauliflower, broccoli, french beans, corn and capsicum (bell pepper).
Veggie cutlets are crumb coated or breaded so that they become crispy. To crumb coat a batter is made of all-purpose flour (maida). For a healthier option instead of all-purpose flour, opt to use gram flour (besan) or maize flour (cornmeal or makki ka atta). You can skip breading the veg cutlet if you want.
I suggest to pan fry these. For deep frying the temperature of oil has to be correct. Otherwise these cutlets may absorb too much oil or fall apart in the oil.
You can even bake them but the texture will be different. For baking them, pre heat the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degree celsius. Then bake cutlet at the same temperature till the top side has become crisp and golden. You can brush some oil on them before baking. Also place them on a greased baking tray.
These crispy and tasty vegan cutlet can be made as an evening snack and best to serve them hot with tomato ketchup and green chutney. They are a good tea-time snack and can also be made during monsoons.
How to make Veg Cutlet
Cooking Mix Vegetables
1. Rinse, peel and chop 1 medium carrot, 2 medium-sized potatoes. Also rinse and chop 7 to 8 french beans. Rinse ½ cup of green peas. Remember to chop the vegetables in small sizes so that they cook faster.
In cup measures, you will need the following ingredients:
- ½ cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped potatoes
- ¼ cup chopped french beans
- ½ cup green peas
Take these chopped veggies in a pan or a steamer pan. Sprinkle 2 pinches salt over the chopped veggies.
2. Now you have the option of cooking the vegetables in a pan, stove-top pressure cooker or instant pot.
Cooking in Instant Pot: Add 2 cups water in the steel insert of a 6 quart Instant Pot. Place a trivet having a shorter height in the pot. Further read the next step 3 for cooking in the IP.
Cooking in stove-top Pressure cooker: Either boil the whole peeled veggies with without chopping them for 3 to 4 whistles. Here just add about water covering the vegetables. Or you can choose to steam the chopped vegetables in the cooker. Add 1.5 to 2 cups water in the pressure cooker. Place a trivet and place the pan with chopped vegetables on the trivet. Pressure cook for 6 to 7 whistles on medium heat. When the pressure falls naturally, then open the lid.
Cooking in a pan: Add the chopped vegetables and water just enough to cover them in a pan. Simmer on medium heat until the vegetables are softened and fork tender.
Whichever method you have chosen to cook your veggies, remember to drain all the water from the cooked vegetables.
3. Now place the pan/steamer pan with the vegetables on the trivet in the instant pot.
Seal the lid and position the valve to sealing. Pressure cook for 10 to 15 minutes on high pressure. I live on a altitude so cooking takes more time.
I had to steam the veggies for 15 minutes. Reduce the cooking time if you leave in the plains or at low altitudes.
4. Wait for 5 minutes after you hear the beep sound when the cooking is complete. Lift and release the pressure valve carefully. Open the lid.
Remove the pan with the help of tongs. Check the cooking on the vegetables with a knife or fork. They should be fork tender.
Drain any water logged in the veggies using a strainer. Set aside for the steamed veggies to become warm at room temperature.
5. When warm mash the vegetables with a potato masher. Make sure the veggies are drained well before you mash them.
Don’t make a smooth and pasty mixture. It should be a slightly chunky mixture.
More Prep To Make Cutlet Recipe
6. In this cutlet recipe, I have used panko breadcrumbs to get a crispy texture. Regular breadcrumbs also work wonderfully.
To make your own breadcrumbs, blitz 5 to 6 slices of bread in a food processor or blender till fine to get bread crumbs.
You can use any bread – white bread, brown bread or whole wheat bread. A few days old bread can also be used. Keep the bread crumbs aside in a plate or tray.
7. In another small bowl, take 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 3 to 4 tablespoons water.
For a healthier option instead of all purpose flour, you can use gram flour (besan) or maize flour (fine cornmeal or makki ka atta). Add water as required then to make a medium flowing paste.
8. Stir and mix this mixture to get a smooth paste without any lumps. This step of making the all purpose flour paste is optional and you can skip it.
Generally cutlet is dipped in beaten eggs. Here, all purpose flour paste substitutes the beaten eggs.
9. Crush 2 medium-sized garlic cloves, 1 green chilli and 1 inch ginger in a mortar-pestle.
Be careful when crushing the chilli. It is better to chop the chillies and then crush them so that the seeds do not fly from the mortar.
Skip garlic if you don’t use it.
Make Vegetable Cutlet Mixture
10. To the mashed veggies add the following ingredients:
- Crushed ginger+garlic+green chili paste
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander) – optional
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves or parsley
- salt as required
11. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons bread crumbs. I have added 4 tablespoons panko bread crumbs which is equal to ¼ cup.
12. As an alternative to bread crumbs you can add 2 to 3 slices of bread dipped in water and then squeezed completely of the water.
This helps in binding the cutlet mixture.
13. Combine and mix everything thoroughly to make the cutlet mixture dough. Check the taste and add more salt or the the ground spice powders if required.
If the dough feels moist and sticky, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons more of the bread crumbs and mix again.
Note that for some added protein, you can choose to add grated tofu or paneer (Indian cottage cheese), grated cheddar cheese or soya granules. Before adding the soya granules prep them as mentioned on the package.
14. Take some portions of the cutlet dough mixture and shape them into patties. You can also use a cutlet mould to make various shapes of cutlet.
You can make small or medium-sized cutlets.
Crumb Coat Veg Cutlet
15. Take a cutlet and dip in the all-purpose flour paste gently. Coat the paste evenly all over the cutlet.
16. Then dredge the cutlet in breadcrumbs. If you do not have breadcrumbs, then you can also use rava (sooji or cream of wheat). Coat it evenly with rava.
17. Dredge the cutlet evenly with the breadcrumbs and dust of any excess breadcrumbs.
18. Bread all the cutlets this way and set aside.
Pan Fry Cutlet
19. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil for shallow frying in a frying pan or skillet. Dust any excess bread crumbs and place the cutlets in the medium hot oil.
For pan frying use any neutral flavored oil. Keep the heat to medium.
20. Fry on medium heat. When one side is light-golden or golden, turn over gently with a spatula and fry the second side. Add more oil if needed while frying.
21. Flip again and continue to pan fry. Flip a couple of times more and fry all the cutlets till they are evenly golden and crisp from all sides.
22. Drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
23. Serve veg cutlet hot with mint chutney or coriander chutney or tamarind chutney or mayo or any dip of your choice.
You can also sandwich them between slices or make a Burger or wrap with your choice of toppings and spreads.
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Cutlet Recipe | Vegetable Cutlet
- ½ cup cup chopped carrot or 1 medium carrot
- ¼ cup chopped french beans or 7 to 8 beans
- 1 cup chopped potatoes or 2 medium-sized
- ½ cup fresh green peas – fresh or frozen
- 1 inch ginger – roughly chopped
- 1 green chili – about ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped
- 2 garlic cloves (medium-sized) – peeled and roughly chopped, optional
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne or paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder – optional
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 3 to 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs – panko or regular, or bread pulp from 2 to 3 bread slices
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves or parsley
- salt as required
For crumb coating
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 to 4 tablespoons water
- ⅓ cup breadcrumbs – panko or regular
For pan frying
- 2 to 3 tablespoons oil – any neutral oil, add as required
- Rinse, peel and chop the veggies like carrots, potatoes, french beans.
- Boil or steam the veggies until fork tender in a steamer or pressure cooker.
- Drain all the water from the cooked veggies very well using a strainer. Set the cooked vegetables aside to become warm.
- When the veggies are cooling, blitz 4 to 5 slices of bread in a food processor or blender till fine to get bread crumbs.
- Set aside the bread crumbs in a plate or tray.
Making cutlet mixture
- When warm, transfer the cooked vegetables in a bowl.
- Mash them with a potato masher. Do not make a fine paste but keep it slightly chunkier with tiny bits of veggies. Set aside.
- Crush roughly chopped ginger, green chillies and garlic (optional) in a mortar to a semi-fine paste.
- Add the crushed ginger+green chili paste, red chili powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, chopped coriander leaves, bread crumbs and salt as required to the mashed vegetables.
- Instead of bread crumbs you can also add 2 to 3 slices of bread dipped in water and then squeezed completely of the water.
- Mix everything very well. Check the taste and add more salt or the ground spice powders if needed to the mix vegetable cutlet dough.
- In another small bowl, take all-purpose flour and water.
- Stir and mix this mixture to get a smooth paste or slurry without any lumps.
- Now take the cutlet mixture in a plate and using a cutlet mould, shape it or make small to medium-sized round cutlets by rolling and flattening the mixture in your palms.
- Take a cutlet and dip in the all-purpose paste gently so that the paste gets coated all over the cutlet.
- Then dredge the cutlet in breadcrumbs evenly and all over. Dust off any extra breadcrumbs. Crumb coat and bread each cutlet this way and set aside.
- If you do not have breadcrumbs, then you can also use rava (sooji or cream of wheat).
Pan Frying Veg Cutlet
- Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil for shallow frying in a skillet or frying pan. Dust the excess bread crumbs from the veggie cutlets sand place them in the medium hot oil.
- When one side is light golden or golden, flip and fry the other side. Add more oil if needed.
- Flip a couple of time more and fry all the vegetable cutlet till they are evenly golden and crisp from all sides.
- Drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil. Fry the remaining cutlets this way add add more oil if required.
- Serve the cutlet hot or warm with mint chutney or coriander chutney or tamarind chutney or tomato ketchup. You can also make burgers, wraps or sandwiches with them.
- You can alter and use your own combination of spices in the veg cutlet, e.g you can add black pepper powder. You can make them spicy by increasing the number of green chilies.
- To make a coarse paste, you can just crush the garlic, ginger and green chilly coarsely with a pestle and mortar.
- As I have mentioned in the post, you can use rava (cream of wheat) to coat the veg cutlet instead of bread crumbs.
- Adding soaked bread or bread crumbs to the mixture binds the veg cutlet and prevents them from breaking while frying.
- You can also shallow fry them instead of pan-frying. Deep frying these can be tricky.
- The veggies you can add are carrots, potatoes, green peas, french beans, cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper and corn. Avoid using watery or mushy vegetables like pumpkin, various gourds, eggplant, okra etc.
- For some protein, you can add grated paneer or tofu, grated cheddar cheese or soya granules. Prep the soya granules as mentioned on the pack before you add them to the mashed vegetable mixture.
- If you have burger buns, you can easily make veg burgers. Just apply butter and slightly roast the buns. Apply mayonnaise on the bun. Place the veg cutlet in the center. Cover it with shredded or grated cheese or a cheese slice. Top it with shredded veggies like cabbage, carrots, and lettuce or thinly sliced veggies like onion, tomatoes, cucumber. Cover with the other half of the bun and serve with tomato or mustard sauce.
- The recipe can be scaled to make a large batch for parties.
- Note that the approximate nutrition info is for 1 vegetable cutlet.
Nutrition Info Approximate values
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This Veg Cutlet recipe post from the blog archives (first published in August 2009) has been updated and republished on 26 June 2021.