Aloo Matar Tikki

Aloo tikki -- or potato patties -- were a staple at my house growing up and my mother's favorite snack. Stuffed with peas on festive occasions, these patties are best eaten hot, straight from the skillet to the plate. We loved eating these crispy and deliciously savory treats with a piquant cilantro chutney. On the streets in Delhi they are deep fried in oil and served on a plate made of dried leaves. Dredged in breadcrumbs, the patties in this recipe are as crispy as the ones from the streets, and way healthier. Since I can never get enough of the pea filling in the patties, I decided to add peas to the cilantro chutney, which is completely inauthentic but is even better than the real thing! Recipe by Nidhi Jalan for Food Network Kitchen
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 12 patties
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Ingredients

Chaat Masala (see Cook's Note):

Potato Patties:

Directions

  1. For the chaat masala: Combine the cumin, amchoor, kala namak, chile powder, black pepper and salt in a storage container with a tight-fitting lid. Store at room temperature for up 6 months.
  2. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Add the peas to the same water and cook until bright green and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, remove the potatoes to a plate to cool and transfer the peas to the bowl of a food processor.   
  3. For the filling: Add the ginger, sugar, 1 green chili, 1/2 cup cilantro, juice from half the lime, 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the peas in the food processor and process in spurts until a rather coarse paste. Adjust with salt to taste. Remove half the paste for the filling (about 1/2 cup). Then make the chutney for serving: Add 2 tablespoons water, the remaining chilies, cilantro and lime juice to the food processor and pulse until it has the consistency of a fine pesto. Adjust seasoning with lime juice and salt to taste. Set aside.  
  4. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the peels and transfer to a large bowl. Mash the potatoes. (I find it easier to coarsely grate the potatoes on a box grater and then mash.) There shouldn't be any large pieces but it shouldn't to be super smooth either. Add 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons chaat masala and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well and adjust seasoning to taste with salt.  
  5. Divide the potato mixture into approximately 12 equal-sized pieces (about 1/4 cup each). Rub a little bit of oil on cleaned and dried hands (it helps forming the patties) and roll into balls and then make an indentation in the center with your thumb. Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon of the reserved pea mixture into the indent and gently close the edges together to seal. Roll into a ball again and flatten into a patty about 1/2-inch-thick. (If a little pea mixture gets mixed with the potato part of the patty do not worry.) Repeat with rest of the balls and filling. If you have filling left, you can add it to the chutney. 
  6. Add the remaining breadcrumbs on a plate or shallow bowl. Press both sides of each patty into the breadcrumbs to coat. 
  7. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties in single layer batch, evenly spaced out. Fry until you get a nice golden crust, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Wipe out the skillet with a couple paper towels. Repeat with more oil and the remaining patties. Serve hot with chutney. 

Cook’s Note

Premade chaat masala is readily available in Indian stores and online, though I prefer making my own. It's a great zesty seasoning salt that is used in all chaats. It's also great for making raita, in Indian salads and as a seasoning in other foods, such as avocado toast and guacamole. Breadcrumbs are not traditionally used in aloo tikki, but when added to the potatoes it is much easier to form the patties. Dredging in the crumbs also gives them a nice crunch with pan frying.

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