We Bengalis love deep-fried food and most of our street food is deep-fried. Chicken cutlet is popular street food from Kolkata. Kolkata-style chicken cutlet is usually made with minced chicken.
Kolkata style chicken cutlet
Bengali chicken cutlet is made with minced chicken. This is unlike a chicken schnitzel or an escalope, where the whole breast is breaded and deep-fried. In the case of the Bengali style chicken cutlet, the chances of the meat drying out are also minimal. It is typically found in most old Calcutta cabins. A cabin menu is literally incomplete without a chicken cutlet. And quite often, it is known as fowl cutlet.
This is also quite popular during Durga Pujo. Most of the Durga puja pandals have food stalls selling fish fry, chicken roll and chicken cutlet. At home, it is so easy to put together and also keep them ready in advance. Therefore, this makes it a great party starter and is definitely a crowd-pleaser. This is one Bengali snack that can’t go wrong.
Making fowl cutlets and storing them at home
All you need are minced chicken, Bengali garam masala, parsley, ginger-garlic paste, coriander, black pepper, salt, lemon juice, eggs, flour and bread crumbs. All of the above are commonly found and you can skip the parsley too. Having said that, if you cannot find minced chicken, take boneless chicken and grind in the mixer-grinder. Marinate minced chicken or chicken paste with lemon juice, salt, pepper, chopped coriander and parsley, ginger-garlic paste and Bengali gorom moshla. Place this in the refrigerator for ten to fifteen minutes. This also helps in binding it.
Then with three simple steps- shaping the minced chicken cutlets, dusting them in flour, dipping in egg and then coating with bread crumbs, you can place each ready-to-fry chicken cutlets on a plate. Keep these in the refrigerator till such time your guests arrive. Deep fry them straight away when you need them. You can also freeze the cutlets for two to three weeks and use them as needed. While deep frying, heat the oil and then once you have dropped the chicken cutlets in the oil, reduce the temperature to medium. This will not burn the outside and cook the chicken.
Here are a few Bengali snack options that are also very popular during winter as well as during Durga Pujo
- Chhana Koraishutir Cutlet (Paneer and Green Pea Cutlet)
- Cauliflower Cutlet
- Alur Chop with Chingri (Potato fritters with prawns)
- Kolkata style fish fry
- Peyaji (Bengali style onion fritters)
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Chicken Cutlet or Fowl Cutlet Kolkata Style
- 500 gms minced chicken you can also use boneless chicken and grind into a paste
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- ¼ tsp Bengali garam masala powder
- salt to taste
- 3 nos eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- salt to taste
- oil for deep-frying
- Marinate minced chicken with the ingredients mentioned above. Use your fingers to literally mash the chicken with the spices and make a dough out of the chicken mince.
- Cover and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile take flour on one plate, bread crumbs on another and the eggs in a wide-bottomed dish. Whisk the eggs with a little bit of salt and pepper.
- Keep a chopping board and knife ready.
- Take the chicken dough out of the fridge and make equal-sized balls. Then using wet hands, shape each ball into a diamond shape or heart shape.
- Dust each cutlet with flour, then dip in the egg and finally coat in bread crumbs. If you want, you can add salt to the bread crumbs too.
- Once you have coated, place the cutlet on a chopping board and using a knife, press on each side to properly shape the cutlet.
- Then dip that once again in the egg and then bread crumbs to give it a second coat. This helps in making the cutlet more crunchy.
- Heat oil in a frying pan or kadai. When the oil is hot, add the cutlets. Don't overcrowd the pan. Frying one or two at a time is enough.
- Reduce the temperature to medium so that the chicken cooks from inside and doesn't burn the outer crumb.
- Once the cutlet is golden brown, take it out of the oil and place it on a paper towel.
- Serve with salad and kashundi.