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POTATO CROQUETTES

February 24, 2012 6:54 pm 0 comments

Potato is one vegetable gained popularity worldwide both as a delicacy and as a fast food. It is my family’s favorite item too. Potato croquettes is a small fried food roll containing ingredients such as mashed potatoes, ground meat (which can include veal, beef, chicken or turkey), shell fish, fish, vegetables and soaked white bread, egg, onion, spices and herbs. The filling is often encased in breadcrumbs making it crispy and crunchy exterior and soft and luscious interior.

Croquettes are generally cylindrical or dish in shape. It is something similar to popular and yummy Indian snack namely potato cutlets. Homemade potato croquettes are much better and fresh than the store bought. This recipe is easy and very special because of the spices it calls for. Potatoes as such has a sweet, milk earthy taste, the fresh spices like ground coriander seeds and ground nutmeg would give an incredible kick to the crunchy snack.

Most of the children or kids around the world dislike eating most of the vegetables and share a common interest and liking towards potato. Hence we find many of them munching on fast food snacks as French fries, potato chips, potato wedges, potato fritters and potato croquettes. The main ingredient in preparing all these above mentioned dishes is the magical potato. Eating these, you will hardly find anyone who really dislikes them. Croquettes are deep fried till golden brown and crispy. They look very appetizing and enticing to our eyes whiles its mouth watering too.

There are many variants of many this potato croquettes regional wise or country wise. In country like Bangladesh, the potato croquette or alu chop is traditionally filled with ground beef, peas or other savory fillings and often accompanied with a chutney or sauce. In Belgium Mashed potato filled ‘kroketten’ are often served as a side dish in winter holiday meals, such as Christmas. As fast food cuisine, varieties exist without potatoes but with cheese, beef or goulash, often in a filling based on béchamel sauce. The Dutch version of little balls, bitterballen, is also found in snack bars. A typical Belgian variety is filled with grey shrimp – ‘garnaalkroketten’. They are typically garnished with a slice of lemon and some deep fried parsley.

In China, sweet pumpkin-based croquettes are often served in conjunction with the Dragon Boat Festival. In India, potato croquettes are popularly known as Aloo tikki which is very famous in northern India and is often served with mint chutney or coriander chutney. They are mostly eaten as snacks at home and are also popularly sold by road-side vendors. In the Indian state of West Bengal it is called alu chop similar to Bangladesh. Sometimes it is called a “cutlet” and eaten plain or as a fast food variation that is served inside a hamburger bun (like a vegetarian burger). Meat croquettes called ‘kababs’ are made with minced goat meat. Lightly spiced beef croquettes are a popular snack and appetizer among Goan Catholics owing to their Portuguese influence, though consumption of beef is not common in India except for places like Goa and Kerala.

To prepare this yummy, crunchy and exceptional fast food snack, in a medium pan, cook potatoes in water to cover with ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to boil. Cover and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl mix mashed pototes, 1 egg and the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined together. Roll mixture into 16 bites, 2 inch logs with moistened hands. Beat remaining egg and keep aside. Take a log and dip each into egg and then roll in bread crumbs until well coated. Refrigerate about 1 hour. Heat oil in a kadai or pan for deep frying the croquettes. When the oil get oil (about 375 degrees), fry the croquettes a few at a time until golden in color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain over paper towels.

Tip: Potatoes can be prepared boiled or steamed, then mashed. Chicken can be substituted with beef or prawn. If you wish the croquettes to be crunchy and fluffed for longer period of time, coat them twice. Dip them in white egg, and then roll them in breadcrumbs. Dip one more time in white egg and apply breadcrumbs then fry.

Potatoes are excellent tubers having rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, and dietary fiber. Potato is the most efficient food for energy production. The energy produced through potato gets stored as glycogen in muscle and liver; it functions as a readily available energy during prolonged, strenuous exercise. That’s why; it is an important part of players’ diet. Potatoes help to improve resistance to heart attack and stroke. The potassium content, available in potatoes, helps in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body cells. Potatoes also help in normal functioning of heart and keeping a check on blood pressure.

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