Potato chops are an institution in Anglo Indian cooking. They are basically crumbed and fried patties with a surprise centre of spicy mince coated in soft mashed potato, and definitely take the made-for-each-other combination of meat and potato to a whole new level of deliciousness.
In my family of course everyone has their own version of the recipe which they will fight in the trenches to claim as the best. To maintain my relationship with my mother I had to overlook my Nana's and her old cook Hira's recipe and go with hers, and I have to admit they were pretty amazing.
Potato chops are a bit fiddly to make but they are worth the effort. You can always make the potato and mince filing a day ahead so you're not in the kitchen for hours doing them all at once. Or more efficiently, make your mum do it for you.
Eat them with curry and rice or just plain as a burger or in a sandwich... however you do you'll be converted.. especially if you're my Irish husband, who's enthusiasm was so great it stretched to the inadvertent consumption of eggplant.
To make 12 potato chops you will need:
For the mince:
2 tablespoons of oil
300 grams of good quality lamb mince (we used organic)
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 small Japanese eggplant (or substitute with regular eggplant or another veg)
½ a green capsicum
1 heaped tablespoon of Bombay Bottle Masala (or substitute with a good curry powder)
3 finely chopped spring onions
2 finely chopped green chillies
handful of finely chopped coriander
For the potato chops:
8 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
1.5 cups of breadcrumbs – make your own if you can
½ cup of oil to fry
Prepare the potatoes and leave aside to cool.
To cook the mince, heat oil in a large heavy frying pan and brown the finely chopped onion slowly. Add the garlic and then the tomato and stir fry for a minute, then add the bottle masala. Next add the finely chopped vegetables – eggplant and capsicum, and when everything is looking well cooked add the mince. Stir fry to break up lumps and ensure everything is well mixed, add a splash of water if you need to and a teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. When it is done, stir through fresh spring onions, green chilli and the juice of half a lemon, and check for salt. Set aside to cool.
To make the potato chops, have your bowls of mashed potato and mince ready, spread the breadcrumbs over a large tray, whisk the egg in a small bowl and roll up your sleeves.
Use a 1/3 cup measure or similar to take a scoop of mashed potato in your hand, flatten it into a round patty and then shape it like you are making a small bowl. Place a tablespoon of mince into the middle of this, and work with your hands to fold over the potato so the mince becomes enclosed (see pic below).
It takes a bit of practice, but after a few you should get the hang of it and end up with 12 evenly sized flat potato cakes (it is definitely worth persisting).
When you are done, dip these one by one in the beaten egg and coat them in breadcrumbs.
Heat a good layer of oil in a frying pan, and shallow fry the potato chops until they are golden on all sides. Drain on kitchen towels and if you need, place them in a warm oven to stay crispy until you serve them.