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Iranians love their Kotlet and you will just have to try them to see the reason for this national affection. 

This is a recipe for the famous Persian Kotlet:


1 ¼ pound ground turkey (93% lean). You may use lean ground beef instead.

1 large potato, parboiled with skin

1 small onion grated (packed ⅓ cup)

1 large egg

1 tsp salt

½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

2 tsp meat spice or your favorite curry powder

⅛ tsp saffron (optional)

⅔ cup fine cracker crumbs

⅔ cup vegetable oil for frying

For the sandwich:

Sliced red onions

Sliced ripe but firm tomatoes

Sliced dill pickles

Fresh parsley sprigs coarsely chopped


Italian ciabatta or French baguettes for sandwiches


- Place the unpeeled potato in a small saucepan and add about 1½ inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. The potato will be hard in the center when poked with a fork. Remove the potato from the pan and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel the potato and grate it into a large bowl.

- Add the rest of the ingredients, with the exception of the vegetable oil and cracker crumbs, to the bowl. Mix all the ingredients well with a spatula or use your fingers to knead the mixture as you would with bread dough, until the batter resembles a thick batter.

- Add ⅔ cup fine cracker crumbs to a flat plate.

- Use a ¼ measuring cup to scoop the batter. Place the batter in the palm of your hands and squeeze it a few times before rolling it into a 3 ½- inch long roll. You may roll it into a ball instead.

- Place the roll in the cracker crumbs and gently roll it from side to side to coat all over. Repeat this step with the rest of the batter. Arrange the coated rolls in a single layer on a shallow sheet pan or tray. Reserve the leftover crumbs, you will need it again when you make the patties.

- Line a large platter with a couple of paper towels. Set aside.

- Heat ⅔ cup oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. It should be very hot but not smoking

- Place a coated role in the reserved cracker crumbs and flatten it into a ½ -inch thick patty. Turn it over and press again to coat the other side. Gently brush off the excess crumbs with your fingertips.

- Use your hand or a flat spatula to carefully slip the patty into the hot oil.

- Keep making more patties and adding them to the skillet. Do not overcrowd, leave some room between the patties so you can easily flip them when browned.

- Brown each patty undisturbed on one side for 7-10 minutes. Do not move the patty too soon after you have placed it in hot oil; this will make it stick to the skillet and fall apart. After about 7 minutes you will see the edges starting to brown. Lift the patty slightly on one side, if browned, use the spatula to flip the other side and brown it for another 7-10 minutes. You want the patties to brown uniformly.

- Use the spatula to transfer the browned patties onto the paper towel-lined platter to absorb the excess oil.

- For every patty that you remove from the skillet add an uncooked one to prevent the oil from getting too hot and splattering.

- Continue until all the patties are browned.

- Prepare a platter with thinly sliced red onions, dill pickles, tomatoes, and coarsely chopped fresh parsley sprigs. Serve the patties on Italian ciabatta or French baguettes. Top each kotlet with some ketchup and your choice of toppings.


Read more:

Iranian Food: Persian Haleem (Wheat and Meat Porridge)

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