I have a new found enjoyment of Persian food. The rice, the stews, the liberal use of turmeric…it all culminates in a beautifully delicious end product that speaks of decades of recipe refinement.
There is one particular recipe that ingeniously uses potatoes, mince, onion and spices to make little patties that are delicious over rice, with a fresh tangy side salad. Kotlets – which to me sound like cutlets – seem like a great way to stretch out the meat supply. I can’t actually find any history on these delicious morsels, but most Persians that I speak to recall these as their childhood favourite.
I’m no Persian housewife, so this might not be an authentic recipe, but I think that it’s delicious nonetheless. You’d usually have Kotlet over Persian cooked rice, but I think that these patties just call to be sandwiched between soft burger buns with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and plenty of condiments!!
Here’s what I used:
500g beef mince
500g mashed potatoes
1 medium brown onion, grated
1 small garlic clove, grated
Salt and pepper to season
Dash of turmeric
Dash of paprika
5 tbsp of plain flour (optional)
Mix the mince, mashed potatoes, grated onion, grated garlic, egg, tumeric, paprika, and salt and pepper. The mix was really wet for me, so I mixed in just enough plain flour to make it mouldable, but not stiff.
Then bread it as you would a cutlet – dust with flour, then egg wash, then coat with breadcrumbs.
Then just fry as you would a schnitzel – I shallow fried them in a pan till golden brown, then popped them in a 180C oven. These patties are usually the size of your palm – well, my palm anyway – but I also made some giant ones to fit the massive burger buns that I had.
Then top with your favourite condiments and burger fillings and you’re good to go!
Oh, and what are burgers without potato wedges on the side? I just sprinkled cut potato with some curry powder, salt and a bit of oil, then roasted them in a hot oven till golden brown and crispy.
Burger night, anyone?