These Persian beef cutlets (kotlet) with potatoes and cauliflower is updated to include some healthy cauliflower into this family friendly dish.
Every family has a different definition for comfort food, depending on their ethnic background, geography and general personal preferences. Both my husband and I grew up with Persian food, so it is not surprising that many of our comfort meals are Persian meals.
From our favorite Persian stew (hello gormeh sabzi) to our favorite kabob (mmmm… kabob koobideh), we just love Persian food. Today I am sharing another big family favorite: Persian Beef Cutlets, kotlet.
Why this recipe is so fabulous
Cutlets are derived from the French term, côtelette. It can mean a number of different dishes, but in this post it is an oval shaped patty made of ground meat. Similar to the Spanish croquette, meat is mixed with potatoes, coated with bread crumbs and fried.
Traditional Persian kotlet is a mixture of ground beef, shredded onions, mashed cooked potatoes, egg and seasonings. Once mixed together, patties are oval shaped and flat, coated with bread crumbs and then pan fried.
In an effort to eat less carbs, I have made beef cutlet with mashed cooked cauliflower. You can use half potato and half cauliflower, all cauliflower or all potato in your cutlet mixture. I have done all three varieties and they cook up beautifully.
Although ground beef is traditionally used to make kotlet, I have also used ground turkey and ground chicken.
It is a very versatile recipe and the kids just love it. I usually make a large batch and keep it in the fridge for them to grab and eat as a snack or full meal.
Ingredients you need
- Potatoes: Traditional kotlet is made with potatoes, specifically russet potatoes. You want the starchy potatoes and not waxy ones. You can make the cutlets with potatoes only or a combination with cauliflower.
- Cauliflower: If you would rather not use potatoes, the cauliflower works just as well. I have made kotlet with just cauliflower, cauliflower and potatoes and just potatoes.
- Onion: Regular brown onions work perfectly in this recipe. They are grated so they melt into the meat mixture. You can get away with finely dicing the onions, but grated is preferred.
- Ground Meat: Traditionally, cutlet is made with ground beef. You can use 80/20 or 90/10 ground beef. You can also use ground chicken or ground turkey.
- Egg: In this recipe, the egg is used as a binder.
- Spices: Turmeric, cumin, salt, pepper
- Oil: The kotlet are pan fried in shallow oil. I use extra virgin olive oil. Despite what you hear you CAN fry with extra virgin olive oil. You can also use vegetable oil.
- Pantry Staples: Baking soda, flour, bread crumbs
1. Cook the potatoes and cauliflower in boiling water until vegetables are fork tender. Drain water and mash the vegetables in the pot with a potato masher. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature.
2. Grate onion by hand or use a food processor with a grating attachment.
3. Add onions with the potatoes along with ground beef, baking soda, flour, egg and seasonings. My mother-in-law mixes everything in a food processor until she has a very smooth mixture, but I prefer mixing by hand. Either way, mix it up thoroughly.
6. Pour bread crumbs on a plate. I use regular or seasoned bread crumbs. You could use panko, but remember they are larger pieces.
7. Grab a 2 inch-ball of meat mixture and flatten to an oval shape about the size of your hand up to ½-inch thick.
8. Press both sides of cutlets into bread crumbs and reserve on a large platter or baking sheet.
9. Heat a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat add oil. Pan fry 4-6 cutlets for 3 minutes on one side, flip over and then brown the other side for 3 minutes.
10. Remove cutlets to plate covered with paper towels to soak up excess oil, then transfer to serving dish and cover with foil. You can also place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and let cutlets drain on that. Continue pan frying remaining cutlets, adding more oil, as needed.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQS
You don’t usually see a platter of kotlet at a fancy Persian dinner, but that doesn’t mean that this dish isn’t beloved by Iranians. It is typically a home cooked meal, perfect for weeknight dinners.
I have served beef cutlets at parties and potlucks, offering these up as an appetizer. My kids enjoy them as leftovers for lunch or an afternoon snack.
- Serve warm alongside your favorite rice dish or part of a full dinner spread.
- You can also wrap them up in lavash or pita bread, stuffed pickles, radishes and fresh herbs or sabzi khordan to make sandwiches.
- Kotlet can be served warm or cold
Kotlet can be prepared in the air fryer, too. I have made air fryer turkey cutlet with both ground turkey and ground beef (pictured below). Whichever meat you use, whichever cooking method you choose, this is a delicious and family friend meal.
To bake kotlet, lightly coat a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil. Place the breaded patties on the baking and bake in the oven at 375ºF for 30 minutes. Be sure to flip them over half way through the baking so they brown evenly. They will not be as crunchy as when they are first fried, but then again, kotlet doesn’t remain crunchy when you eat it the next day.
Traditionally kotlet is made with regular bread crumbs. I like the seasoned bread crumbs, for more flavor. I have made cutlet with panko crumbs and the result were some super crunchy cutlets. Totally fine, if that is what you are going for.
You can also crush saltine crackers and use that for your outer coating. Or you can also omit the bread crumbs altogether, to keep these beef cutlets low carb (and using only cauliflower). Any of these options are fine.
- ½ lb potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 medium onion
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 TBS all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon dried turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- In a medium-sized pot, add potatoes and cauliflower and cover with water.
- Bring to boil and cook until vegetables are fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain water out and mash soft vegetables in hot pot with a potato masher until mixed thoroughly.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes.
- Grate onion by hand or use a food processor with a grating attachment.
- Squeeze out excess juice and place grated onions with mashed potatoes.
- In the same mixing bowl, add ground beef, baking soda, flour, egg and seasonings.
- Mix by hand until fully incorporated.
- Pour breadcrumbs on a plate.
- Grab a 2 inch-ball of meat mixture and flatten to an oval shape about the size of your hand up to ½-inch thick.
- Press both sides of cutlets into bread crumbs and reserve on a large platter or baking sheet.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat add 2 TBS olive oil.
- Pan fry 4-6 cutlets for 3 minutes on one side, flip over and then brown the other side for 3 minutes.
- Remove cutlets to plate covered with paper towels to soak up excess oil, then transfer to serving dish and cover with foil. You can also place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and let cutlets drain on that.
- Continue pan frying remaining cutlets, adding more oil, as needed.
- Serve warm or room temperature.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with fresh herbs, radishes, pickles, tomatoes and lavash or pita bread.
Cooking Tips: You can also make this dish using ground chicken or turkey. If you prefer the original recipe, omit the cauliflower and use 1 lb of potatoes. You can also use 1 lb of cauliflower.
To bake kotlet, lightly coat a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil. Place the breaded patties on the baking and bake in the oven at 375ºF for 30 minutes. Be sure to flip them over half way through the baking so they brown evenly.
Serving Size:1 cutlet
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 614mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 19g
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