Aloo Tikki is very basic Indian street food but is utterly delicious.It is one of the most popular snack foods in India, Indian MacDonald's even have a McAloo Tikki (God help us). It is basically a spiced up potato patty but is very versatile.
Indian Street vendors cook this and other chaat foods fresh to order on a griddle like we would buy hot dogs. Peas are a common ingredient but you can use other vegetables and you can vary the spices. I have cooked them both for a snack and to accompany a meal as a side dish or you could even use it as a starter with a big meal. You really can do all sorts of things with this; look at the recipe, but the most interesting bit is probably the options stuff at the end.
Notes on Ingredients
Peas. Frozen peas are easiest. If you use fresh peas then you have to cook them first.
Chilli powder. You can use fresh chilli if you like but I prefer powder for this. If I am making this as a side dish then I make this quite mild to act as a foil for the main dish about ½ teaspoon chilli powder is OK but you can change to suit your own tastes.
Garam Masala. ready made or home made are both OK - or any mix of spices you want to try.
Oil. Any oil is OK for this. Ghee is particularly indulgent and gives a wonderful buttery taste
Also see options at the end.
Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks, then boil, steam or microwave till soft.
While they are cooking, grate the onion and the ginger.
Heat the oil in a shallow pan.
Add the grated onion and ginger, then the chilli powder and cumin seeds.
Fry for a couple of minutes then add the peas and cook for a few minutes more.
When the potatoes are cooked mash them and mix in the fried onion, ginger, chilli and peas, and then the garam masala.
Grab small handfuls of the mash and roll out into balls then flatten
into a patties. There should be about a dozen or so.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan or tava and fry these cutlets on each side until golden brown.
Notes on Method
The potatoes don't have to be mashed really well - they can be a bit coarse if you like.
Likewise you can finely chop the onions and ginger instead of grating them.
Make the patties as thick or as thin as you like to suite your taste,
If you wanted to you could probably make aloo tikki differently every day for a year. Here are some of the main options
Different vegetables. For example, instead of peas use finely diced courgettes (zuccini)
Different spices. Try any mix of spices you think will work. Coriander leaves are a nice option too, chop up and add into the mash before frying.
Binding agent, I sometimes do this. Use breadcrumbs (1 large slice of bread grated into breadcrumbs) or flour or egg mixed into the mash to bind it together better. Another one I have seen is dipping the patties into a beaten egg before frying. All these are good if you are using the aloo tikki for a snack, not so important for a side dish.
Don't fry the onions and ginger first. This gives a much sharper, more raw taste.
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