Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kheema Pattice

Long before Tendulkar and somewhere between Azhar making his debut and Ravi Shastri being declared 'Champion of Champions' India decided that the time was to introduce some Western ishtyle fast food. The result — Big Bite, a culinary hodge-podge that was a cross between a burger and a pita. A small, oblong, lightly-spiced meat or vegetable patty microwaved and stuffed inside a half egg-shaped bun along with onion slices and a generous squirt of Kissan tomato sauce. It tasted every bit as bad as it sounds. The Big Bite logo, too, was a winner. It consisted of the words Big Bite in Times Roman sandwiched between two luscious red lips with a giant highlight. It looked more like an X-rated venture more than anything to do with food. In Pune, the most forward thinking and modern of all politicians, one 'honourable' Mr. Suresh Kalmadi, in all his bearded wisdom, tried to cash in on this 'thing' all the youngsters seemed to be into. He immediately carved a piece out of his Poona Coffee House restaurant and converted it into the cool place where supposedly all the kids influenced by the Break Dance movies would then hang out. Big Bite was a national chain supported by a strong media presence and a good advertising campaign. But the old advertising slogan "Nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising" held true and Big Bite lost steam faster than it took to microwave the lame meat patties. I guess the answer to the question posed at the end of every Big Bite ad "Don't you feel like a Big Bite now?" was pretty evident. About 50 ft down the same block from Big Bite in Pune, our friends at Borawke's completely ignorant of the competition were doing what they did best — grilling and frying meats. The mutton pattice they served was one of best foods I have ever tasted, and had Big-Bite served that instead, maybe they would still be around.


For filling:
  • 1 lb lamb extra-lean kheema (minced)
  • 2 large onions finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic crushed or 1 tsp paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 4 tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp garam-masala
  • Salt (or according to taste)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup oil

For Shell:
  • 4 Potatoes boiled and mashed
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs


  1. In a large pot heat oil on high and add ginger and garlic.
  2. When the garlic starts to splatter add chopped onion
  3. Once the onion browns on the edges, add tomato and stir
  4. Allow it to cook for 5 min
  5. Then add chili, turmeric and garam masala
  6. Allow it to cook for a few minutes
  7. Add one cup of water to make it loose and reduce flame to medium heat
  8. Add the lamb gently and separate it making sure it is completely mixed with the spices
  9. Gently stir and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes till the meatballs are firm
  10. Add rest of the water and stir mixing thoroughly
  11. Turn up heat between medium and high
  12. Allow to cook till it water is completely reduced and only a thick mass of kheema remains
  13. Place aside for 6-8 hours so the spices are absorbed well in the meat

To make Patties
  1. Take a lemon-sized ball of the potato and flatten it
  2. Place a tablespoon of Kheem at the center and fold the potato over it making sure that the filling is completely sealed
  3. Pat is slightly to make shaped like a patty
  4. Beat the eggs in a bowl
  5. Dip the patty making sure all of it is coated with the egg
  6. Then dredge the patty in the bread crumbs

  1. In a wok, heat enough oil for frying 2-3 patties at a time
  2. When oil is hot turn the flame between medium and high
  3. Fry the patties gently (remember these are very delicate and tend to break in the oil if not careful. Also this is another reason to make sure all the water from the kheema is gone)
  4. When the patties are golden brown, remove from the wok

Serve with tamarind or mint chutney