The dish that evokes a bundle of fond memories in me. The dish that holds a special place in my heart, mainly because of the memories associated with them. I'm sure you might also have similar experience if you grew up having this spicy snack. Now coming to think of it, I cant remember a single time when I've had this snack alone, there was always somebody with me to share this. I've had these cutlets mostly from BTH hotel in Ernakulam and I've shared it most of the times with my amma.
BTH was one of our favourite eat outs. I used to go to Amma's office straight from college, wait there impatiently (most of the times) for her to leave. The only thought that made the waiting worthwhile was the promise of these cutlets and coffee from BTH. Both of us had a fixed choice, which remains the same even today. Amma always order Chole Bhatura and I order Veg Cutlets. The funny thing is, the moment our orders are placed before us, our hands will be in each others plate. After we wash down our food with a cup of coffee, we start looking around the place. After observing the people around for sometime, Amma would come up with life stories for every person there. She is very good at it :) Most of the times I silently listen to her stories and try to imagine those people's lives based on her stories. Sometimes I contradict her stories and share my version. Even today we continue this ritual. If we are going to the city , before reaching half way, Amma would ask me “ninakku kappi veno?” (do you want coffee?) That's the cue for our trip to BTH ;)
Fast forward to present days and still I'm sharing a plateful of this wonderful snack with somebody. Sometimes during weekends, we crave for a spicy fried snack. On such days, Jose and myself end up in Swagat Hotel inside the Bahrain Souk. It's a kutti (small) hotel, but it's packed all the time. The whole scene there reminds me of Indian Coffee House. We both try to get a seat in the corner and have the hot cutlets, all the while sharing our nostalgic memories of times when we used to have it with our parents. For Jose, each trip to Sagar Hotel is nostalgic. Growing up in Bahrain, this hotel reminds him of his childhood days, when he used to visit the place with his parents as part of their weekend outing.
So here's to reliving old memories as well as creating new ones for the coming days. I've tried to make this cutlet similar to the ones that we get in restaurants/bakeries in Kerala. You can use this as a base and customise it to suit your taste requirements or shall I say memories :)? You can have this as an evening snack or as a veggie appetizer. One thing I like about the cutlets is that, you can make it in advance and it comes in handy, when you are short of time.