Mamta's Kitchen

Alu Tikki or Potato Chop or Cutlet or Veggie Burger (Street Food) - 1, Mamta's

Aloo Tikki - 1

Mamta Gupta

Aloo Tikki is one of the most popular of a group of hot and spicy snacks that are collectively known as Chaat Selection in India. You can see the Chaat wallahs or street hawkers, on the pavements of any busy shopping street on most evenings. They fry their fresh Aloo Tikkies on a hot griddle on a portable charcoal cooker known as 'Angeethi'. The wonderfully tempting aroma pulls hungry shoppers from far and wide. You can often see a queue of customers waiting patiently for their turn. If a chaat-wallah is any good, people travel fair distances to eat his chaat.

The word chaat comes from a Hindi word chaatna that mean to lick. The chaat dishes are so good that people lick their plates, traditionally made of leaves held together with small sticks or twigs, used like paper pins, clean. Even now, disposable chaat plates and bowls are sometimes made from pressed Banyan leaves. Banana leaves are also used for this purpose in some parts of India. These days however, most chaat wallahs use disposable paper plates and bowl. Makes 10-12.

Edited and pictures changed November 2022

Ingredients

  • 500 gm. potatoes

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered

  • 2-3 green chillies, stalk removed

  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled

  • A small bunch of green coriander leaves finely chopped

  • 1 level tbsp. arrowroot powder or sago powder. This gives crispness.

  • Salt to taste

  • 1/2 tsp. Garam Masala

  • 1 tsp. roast cumin powder

  • 1 cup of oil for shallow frying

Instructions

  1. Boil potatoes in their skin, until soft. I cook them in pressure cooker for 4-5 minutes or microwave in a steamer with 2-3 tbsp. water for 8 minutes. Check, if not soft, give another 2-3 minutes.

  2. Cool, peel and mash potatoes. You can grate them coarsely or mash them in a potato ricer.

  3. Chop finely onions, ginger, green chillies.

  4. Add chopped coriander leaves, ginger, green chillies, arrowroot powder, salt, garam masala and roast cumin powder to the boiled potatoes.

  5. With oiled hands, divide it into 10-12 equal portions, roll them into balls and then flatten them into 'tikki' or burger shapes. Potato chops can be made up to this stage and frozen. Just make sure that they are separated by wax paper or foil.

  6. To Cook:: Heat 2-3 tbsp. of oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan or an Indian Tava/griddle. I often use a non-stick frying pan.

  7. Place 3-4 tikkies at a time on the heated pan .

  8. Pan-fry on medium heat, until lightly brown and crisp on both sides. You may need to add more oil for subsequent batches. They can be cooked up to this stage in advance and kept in the fridge.

  9. When ready to serve, press each tikki with a flat spatula, squashing it a little.

  10. Cook a little more on and oiled pan, on medium heat, until both sides get crisp. A finished and properly squashed tikki does not have smooth edge.

  11. Take out and place on absorbent paper.

  12. Serve hot, with Imli Chutney and Green Mango Chutney.

  13. Another serving suggestionYou can make small tikkies, place them on a platter, top each with a tiny amount of finely chopped onions and tomatoes, then spoon 1 tsp. of Tamarind chutney on top and serve as finger food at a party.

  14. Also see Semolina Puffs with Fire Water or Gole Gappa and Jal Jeera, another extremely popular chaat dish and Chat Selection.

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