Bread cutlet was one dish that our Day Activity Centre’s (DAC) training officer Pooja Gupta always enjoyed as a child growing up in Delhi, India. Mothers would make this as a treat for children during festive periods, and her mother was no different.
“My mother used to make us bread cutlets during Deepavali when we were little. It was a treat because bread, which is the main ingredient, was not so common in our household in India during those days,” said Pooja who has been in Singapore for nearly 10 years.
Pooja has also learnt to make this popular snack and she makes it quite often for her family and friends. She believes food binds people together and that family should eat together regularly. This is why she rises early every morning to prepare breakfast and lunch for her husband and two teenage daughters, then rushing home after work to do the same for dinner.
For Pooja, she picked up cooking due to necessity. You see, when she asked her mother for an afternoon snack, her mother would ask her to make it herself.
“This was how our mothers forced us to learn cooking,” said Pooja.
SPD was the first and only place that Pooja has worked in Singapore. She, and her two young children then, followed her husband to Singapore for work in May 2010. She joined us as a volunteer three months after coming to Singapore, and came to help out regularly for 2.5 years. In January 2013, Pooja decided to join us as a full-time staff at the DAC where she continues to train our clients to be more independent in their activities of daily living.
For this year’s Deepavali which falls on 28 October, Pooja shares with us two bread-based recipes which you could try at home.
Bread Cheese Cutlet
Bread Cutlet is everyone’s favourite in North India. Just add cheese in it and kids would love it.
- 4 potatoes, boiled & mashed
- 6-8 slices of bread
- ½ cup of grated cheese
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 green chilli, chopped
- 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
- 1 tsp dry mango powder
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep frying
- Trim away the crust of the bread.
- In a mixing bowl, prepare the filling by adding potatoes, grated cheese, chopped onion, chopped green chilli, chopped coriander, dry mango powder, red chilli powder, salt and mix well.
- Divide the potato mixture into equal portions, and with your palm, shape them into rectangular shape.
- Lightly dip the slice of bread completely in water to moisten it. Press it with both hands to remove the excess water.
- Place the potato mixture in the centre of the bread (optional: add small cheese cube in the potato to get melted cheese) and seal the sides of the bread to make a rectangle.
- In a pan, add a generous amount of oil. Place the bread cutlet into the heated oil and fry them over medium heat until they become a nice golden brown.
- Serve the bread cutlet with ketchup or mint chutney.
Shahi means royal and tukda means piece. It is made by deep frying the bread slices in ghee and then soaking them in flavoured sugar syrup.
- 8 slices of bread
- Ghee for deep-frying
- 2 tbsp chopped dried fruits for garnishing
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- Trim the crust and cut each slice of bread into triangles.
- Heat pure ghee in a pan and shallow-fry the bread pieces for about a minute, turn over and fry about a minute more or until light brown and crisp.
- Drain on absorbent paper.
- Mix ½ cup sugar with ¼ cup water in a pan, heat and simmer for ten minutes, stirring continuously till bubbles appear and syrup thickens. (In place of sugar syrup, you can also use condensed milk as sweetener and then garnish with dry fruits).
- Place bread pieces on a serving dish, pour sugar syrup on top, garnish with dry fruits (pistachio and almonds).
- Serve it hot.