Aloo Tikkis (Potato Cutlets) Recipe:
As the car gracefully paces up and down the streets, I can’t help but be amazed by the deluge of food this city has to offer. Here I am in the city that embraces cultural diversity at its best, welcoming you with open arms into a gustatory fiesta, Bengaluru. This surely isn’t the first time that I have stepped into Bangalore (as I prefer to call it) with a list of things to do; topping the charts is pestering my uncle to drive me down to the best places to eat.
But this was the first time I wanted to embrace this city for creative inspiration. I was looking forward to be inspired by the raw, yet magnificent, history and elegant modernity of the food here, all at the same time.
But sometimes all it takes is two cups of Chai and a few of stories to share. As I listen to my uncle speak about his post retirement plans over a cup of Chai, by the kitchen window, we somehow decided to have a ‘cook-off’. Not because we were bored or hungry, only because I remember spending long hours of my childhood with him in the kitchen. Maybe it was just a brilliant opportunity to add another memory to the amazing cooking we have done over the years.
So despite the gallivanting with food that I did, to capture a few aspects of the food in this city, I decided to pen this down, because ultimately, food is all about love and how you relate to it, more than anything else.
Coming back to the ‘cook-off’, we picked an evening snack with the main ingredient being potatoes. My brain dived into a confused string of recipes that I could recollect, while my uncle was busy turning up the volume to some Swiss orchestra. He walks into the kitchen, makes this brilliant something, well a potato snack that was quite close to the masala aalo side dish served across North India. I on the other side sat there trying to perfect my aloo tikkis.
The result of the ‘cook –off’ was two tasty dishes and a quite satisfied duo of hungry people. It was never judged though, the dishes were swopped clean even before the “judge” (my aunt) could arrive. All the “judge” got was a bunch of pictures and…well, a cup of Chai.
I share these recipes with you. They weren’t meant to be perfect or exquisite, just inspired cooking for the ones you love.
Do not forget your cup of Chai!
Aloo Tikki Recipe
Ingredients(Makes 4-5 tikkis):
- 3-4 medium sized potatoes, boiled and peeled.
- ½ cup of frozen peas
- ¼ cup of finely chopped and par boiled French beans
- 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped (only the greens)
- A handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
- ½ inch piece of ginger, very finely chopped or grated
- 2 tsp. aamchoor powder
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. Red chilli powder, or to taste
- Salt, to taste
- A pinch of pepper
- Oil, for frying
- Grate the peeled and boiled potatoes. This is to prevent any lumps and results in tikkis which are fluffy on the inside. Add a pinch of pepper and some salt and mix it to dough like consistency.
- Mash the peas, leaving a few aside for later. Mix the peas and beans into the potato mixture.
- Add the coriander leaves, spring onion, chillies and ginger, along with the dry spices
- Combine well into loose dough like consistency. You should be able to give it a shape but it must not be too firm.. Adjust the salt.
- Add some cornflour to adjust the consistency.
- Divide the mixture into 4-5 equal parts and shape them into ½ cm thick discs. Create a small well in the centre, place 2-3 peas and cover it up and reshape it. Dust them lightly with corn flour and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan enough to cover the tikkis up to half their thickness.
- Once the oil is heated up, gently place the tikkis and fry them till golden brown. About 2-3 minutes on both sides.
- The tikkis would be crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
- Serve hot with chutney, ketchup or just on its own.
Masala Aloo, Uncle’s potato snack
Ingredients (Serves 2-3):
- 3 medium sized potatoes, boiled and cut into chunks
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ½ tsp. Caraway seeds
- ½ tsp. Turmeric powder
- Red chilli powder, to taste
- ½ tsp. Garam masala
- 2 tbsp. Tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp. soya sauce
- A dash of mixed herb seasoning
- 1-2 tbsp. Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
- Coriander leaves, for garnish
- Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the caraway seeds and let them crackle.
- Add the garlic and stir for a while. Add the turmeric, red chilli and Garam masala powders and let the spices cook for a few seconds.
- Add the potatoes and stir well to coat all the chunks in the spice mixture. Add salt and fry them for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the Tomato ketchup, Soya sauce and lemon juice and stir well.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.