food talk
Spicy treat

This alu chop tastes best when crushed and mixed with puffed rice

Licking on chops’ is a phrase that has intrigued and lured for many years. Does the smug satisfaction, almost blissful, result from a sated appetite or from anticipation of a tempting kill that can be savoured long after the last delicious morsel has been polished off? The real riddle is: has all this got any relationship with chops as in a cut of meat? For many foodies, the real Mc Coy is the pork chop while the health conscious have created the chicken chop, lamb chops too have a die-hard following.

What we offer is a mutant of the classic Bengali alu chop in which the comparatively bland potato mash envelopes the piquant mince, or at times a flattened marinated chop with a single bone protruding to serve as a handle. It has nice crisp coating of crumbs. Very spicy to taste, mince is dipped in besan batter, then deep fried like a pakora. It tastes best when crushed and mixed with moori (puffed rice). A trace of raw mustard oil works magic.

Alu  chop

Potatoes (boiled and mashed,

should be firm, not mushy) 500 gm

White pepper powder ˝ tsp

Coriander leaves (chopped) 1 tbsp

A pinch of nutmeg powder

Salt to taste

For the filling
Minced lamb 450 gm

Cheese (grated) 60 gm

Butter (melted) 2 tbsp

Onions (chopped fine) 60 gm

Garlic cloves (chopped fine) eight

Ginger (chopped fine) 1inch piece

Oil 2 tbsp

Green chillies (chopped fine) four

Tabasco sauce 1 tsp

Lemon juice 2 tsp

Black pepper (freshly roast/ ground) 1 tsp

A large pinch of basil leaves (chopped fine)

A pinch of green cardamom powder

A small pinch of clove powder

A small pinch of cinnamon powder

Salt to taste

To fry
Eggs beaten two

Breadcrumbs 2 cups

Oil to shallow fry

Mix the first five ingredients in a bowl and divide into 16 equal portions. Make into balls. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. For the filling, heat oil and butter in a frying pan. Stir onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add ginger and green chillies, and stir-fry until onions are golden. Add mince and salt, and stir-fry until cooked (approx 7-8 minutes).

Sprinkle a little water, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Stir in the remaining ingredients for filling (except cheese and Tabasco). Remove from heat. After it has cooled slightly, add cheese and Tabasco and adjust seasoning. Mix well and divide into 16 equal portions. Flatten each potato ball between the palms to make round patties. Place a portion of the filling in the middle of each and seal. Flatten into `BE" thick oval patties, making sure that the filling does not ooze out. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove the patties from the refrigerator, dip in beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs to coat evenly.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add patties in convenient batches and shallow fry over medium heat until golden. Remove and place on absorbent paper to drain the excess fat. Serve with ketchup.