EAST AFRICA MINCED MEAT STUFFED POTATO CROQUETTES/POTATO CHOP/KATLESI ZA NYAMA
This delicious potato and meat snack that can be eaten any time of the day. Makes a delicious appetizer and fulfilling, every time. In East Africa, this dish is know as KATLESI.
FOR THE MEAT FILLING
PREPARING THE MEAT FILLING:
PREPARING THE POTATOES:
MAKING THE POTATO CHOPS WITH FILLING:
INFUSING THE POTATO CROQUETTES
Although the potato croquettes above are ready to be served, I have added this additional step of INFUSING/ ONION SMOKING the potato chops (KUFUKIZA kwa maganda ya vitunguu- in Swahili). This is an OPTIONAL and ADDITIONAL step that I usually saw my great grand mum do so I am passing it on to you too to keep the tradition alive! The smoke from the burning dry onion peels penetrates the potato chops giving them a very wonderful fragrant smokey flavour that lasts a long time. The aroma just kicks your nose and starts you salivating as soon as you smell the potato chop which I can bet can be smelled from a mile away once infused! You have to try it to believe me, its an additional step but worth the effort!
So here we go:
Arrange the potato chops in a large pan which has a tight fitting lid. Do not squeeze the potato chops as they need space all around them so that the smoke from the burning onion can fully penetrate them from all sides.
Once arranged, place a small heat proof bowl in the pan which will hold some red hot charcoal. Add some DRIED onion skins on top of the charcoal and immediately cover the pan with the lid (making sure no smoke escapes). The onion skin will burn and produce smoke. The smoke will infuse within the potato chops. Leave them to infuse for about 20-30 minutes or until you are ready to serve.
MORE INFORMATION &TIPS
1) To ensure that the potato chops do not break during cooking, make sure the oil is very hot. Do not turn until one side is fully cooked and browned.
2) The size and shape of the potato chop is entirely optional, some make them large/small, ball shaped or into disk shapes.
3) The meat can be spiced with any spices of your choice. Its all about personal preference.