There’s nothing like street food in India, but you can recreate the famed fried potato cakes, aloo tikki, filled with spices and paneer.
By Manali Singh
No week is complete without some mouth-watering street food and so today I bring you one of my all time favorites – Aloo Tikki [Aloo=Potato, Tikki=Patties]. Indian street food is huge, it really is. Small carts selling roadside food is one thing which you will see all across India, in every city/town whether big or small.
When I go home I go crazy eating chaat from my favorite stalls.
Like most countries in the world, India is also obsessed with potatoes. Aloo tikki is one of the most popular chaat items in India, it’s like there can’t be a chaat stall without aloo tikki on the menu. It’s basically boiled potatoes mixed with spices and then fried. Sometimes the tikkis are also stuffed with things like spicy lentil mix or nuts etc. In this recipe, I have stuffed the tikkis with paneer. Fill your tikkis with homemade panner, find my easy recipe here.
I like my aloo tikki really crisp on outside. Now I always had a complain with homemade aloo tikki, they never turned out crispy like the outside ones but not anymore! You can make really crispy aloo tikki at home by following these 3 simple steps.
By the way I made these big tikkis using a cookie cutter.
1. Do not add salt to the potato mix. When you add salt, the potatoes release moisture and that not only makes it difficult to handle the mixture but also effects the crispiness.
2. Use a combination of flattened rice flakes (poha) and corn starch in the potato mix. They act as the perfect binder and make the tikki crispy.
3. Fry the tikki twice. I noticed this at my favorite chaat stall during my last trip to India. You first fry the tikki at a lower temperature. The first frying softens the potatoes and forms a crust. You don’t want it get any color at this stage. Let the tikkis cool down then increase the temperature of the oil and fry them again till brown and crisp from outside.
You can eat the aloo tikki as such with tomato ketchup or some hot & sweet sauce. But the most common way Indians eat aloo tikki is by topping it with lots of yogurt, cilantro mint chutney, some sweet chutney, onions and some spices.
- 3 potatoes [around 500 gms]
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1-2 green chili, finely chopped
- 1.5 tablespoons corn starch
- ¾ cup poha soaked in 2-3 tablespoons of water
- 1 cup crumbled paneer [see the link above for a fresh recipe]
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1.5 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder [or to taste]
- ¼ teaspoon amchur powder [dry mango powder]
- ½ teaspoon chaat masala
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons cashews, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons raisins, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon kala namak [black salt]
- salt, to taste [around ½ teaspoon]
- 2 teaspoon oil
- Oil, for deep frying [I used canola oil]
- yogurt, to taste
- cilantro mint chutney, to taste [see the link above for recipe]
- tamarind sweet chutney, to taste
- chaat masala, to sprinkle
- red chili powder, to sprinkle
- chopped onion, to garnish
- chopped cilantro, to garnish
- In a bowl add flattened rice flakes and then add little water to it. Leave for 5 minutes.
- Boil the potatoes, let cool completely and then mash them using a potato masher.
- Add chopped green chili, ginger, corn starch and the flattened rice flake which we had soaked in little water.
- Mix everything together till well combined. Set aside for 15 minutes and in the meanwhile make the stuffing.
- For the stuffing heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add fennel seed, cumin seeds. Let them sizzle and then add chopped ginger. Saute for few seconds.
- Add the crumbled paneer and all the dry spices - red chili powder, amchur powder, garam masala powder, chaat masala and black salt. Also add the salt at mix.
- Cook for 2 minutes and then add chopped cilantro, raisins, cashews. Give a final mix and set aside. Stuffing is now ready.
- Divide the mixture into equal parts and make balls out of it. I used cookie cutter to make few tikkis. I made the next batch without using any cookie cutter so you can do it either way.
- Press the potato balls in the center to make a dent.
- Take the mixture [around 2 tablespoons for the big tikkis and 1 tablespoon for the smaller ones] and press inside the potato mix using a spoon.
- Pinch and seal the edges to form your aloo tikkis. The stuffing should be completely sealed inside. Repeat till the entire potato mixture is finished.
- Heat oil on medium heat in a pan.[around 275 F degrees]. Once the oil is hot, carefully drop the aloo tikki in it.
- Fry the tikki for 4-5 minutes till it forms a crust but doesn't have any color. Once all tikkis are fried, let them cool down.
- Once the tikkis have cooled down, heat the oil again, this time on high [around 350 F degrees]. Fry for 2-3 minutes or till the tikki becomes nice golden brown and crisp from the outside.
- Drain on a kitchen towel.
- To serve arrange the aloo tikki on plate and top it with some yogurt, cilantro chutney and some sweet chutney. Sprinkle some chaat masala , red chili powder on top.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and onions and serve immediately.