When I think of my school lunch box, the snack I loved most as a child was Aloo Tikki. The tragedy was that some of my friends loved it even more than I did so they would eat most of my lunch whenever I took the yummy potato cutlet!
This very simple recipe is as versatile as is the vegetable it is cooked with – potatoes. It is a lunchbox staple, a much loved tea snack and a very popular street food in the Indian subcontinent. The roadside vendors sell it served over a naan directly, topped with fresh salad and mint yogurt – the naan in this case serves as a plate.
From my lunchbox to my kids’ lunchbox, the Tikki has travelled successfully. Here I’m passing on the recipe to many more lunch boxes to enjoy!
For Aloo Tikki, Potato Cutlet :
1 kg potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 green chilli peppers, seeds removed, chopped
A handful of coriander leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes ( or to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1+1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 large egg beaten
2 tablespoons corn flour diluted in water for egg free version
1/4 cup vegetable oil for shallow frying
This Is What You Do :
Completely drain water from the boiled potatoes or the cutlets will fall apart. Mash them with a fork.
Add salt, red chilli flakes, black pepper and cumin seeds, mix thoroughly.
Add chopped onions, green chillies and coriander leaves, mix again to combine all the ingredients.
Taste a little bit for the balance of seasoning, adjust now if required.
Beat an egg in a bowl, or for vegetarian version, dilute corn flour in a little water to make thin paste ( almost the consistency of beaten egg).
Heat oil in a non stick frying pan on medium heat.
Wet your hands slightly so that the potatoes don’t stick to your hands, make round or oval patties shapes.
Coat the patties lightly with egg or corn flour before frying, using your fingers.
Fry for a few seconds on each side, till golden and crisp on outside.
Fry in small batches, do not overcrowd the pan.
Serve hot with mint yogurt Raita and onion rings.
Makes 12 – 14 aloo tikki