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Potato chops

The cuisine of Goa: It's the great, undiscovered regional Indian cooking -- because it's not a restaurant cuisine. Maybe your curiosity has been piqued by references to "Goan spices" popping up on menus in trendy restaurants. Or maybe you've seen ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Serves 4 to 6 (makes 18-24 chops)
  • 6 pounds russet potatoes
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus one dash turmeric, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs

Step 1Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt and the potatoes. Cook until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel and mash the potatoes until smooth. Season with one-half teaspoon of salt and a dash each of pepper and turmeric. Set aside.

Step 2Cook the onion in 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan until soft, about 10 minutes. While the onion is cooking, use the side of a knife to mash first the chopped garlic and then the chopped ginger into paste by pressing against a cutting board until soft. Add the garlic and ginger pastes to the pan and cook for 1 minute.

Step 3Season the ground beef with salt, add it to the pan and cook until browned and crumbled. Add one-fourth teaspoon of pepper, one-fourth teaspoon of turmeric, the cumin, cloves and cinnamon. Stir until the spices are well blended with the meat. Add the vinegar, chile, cilantro and mint and stir. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes; drain excess fat. Stir in the lime juice and additional salt to taste.

Step 4Shape the potatoes into 3-inch balls. Form each ball into a cup. Place 1 tablespoon of the beef mixture in each cup and enclose completely with potato. Flatten to form round cakes or "chops." Brush each potato chop with egg and lightly coat with bread crumbs.

Step 5Heat one-half cup of oil in a shallow skillet. Add the potato chops and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels to drain and then arrange on a serving platter.

Note: At a Goan party, you're likely to be served potato chops as an appetizer. This version is from Margaret De Sa of Huntington Beach.
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