Indian cuisine consists of a diverse mixture of flavors and tastes that reflects a variety of cultures, racial structures, geography and climate. India never ceases to amaze me. There are 28 states and 7 union territories and each state is completely different in its own right with an array of dishes exclusive to them; even the language, attire, and culture is unlike from the next state over. Hard to comprehend how one country can offer, let alone sustain such an amalgam of cultures. The flavors of India are vibrant and bold ranging from spicy meat pickles to delicate saffron rice pudding.
I was born and raised in Delhi (capital of India) yet I haven’t even scratched the surface in terms of tasting the various offerings of this colorful country, my heart considers home. India’s range of cuisines can be best seen through the amazing array of street foods. Eating on the street is a way of life for Indians. Street vendors hawk a variety of freshly cooked food to hungry passers-by at all times of the day and the mouth-watering sight and smell of crispy hot samosas, gol gappas, chaat, aloo tikkis, flaky khasta kaschoris, and sweets surrounds you at all times. With Aloo tikki and chole bature popular in Delhi, bhel puri and pav bhaji rule in Bombay.
Today’s #SpicyChat inspiration is extra close to my heart as it is reminiscent of nostalgic childhood memories of enjoying life through the eyes of a child. I remember sneaking in a few rupees to buy my favorite street food at school. Moong Dal Salad – a tangy and spicy salad made with lentil sprouts. Waiting eagerly for the cotton candy stand by ringing its bell which echoed through the streets announcing its much awaited arrival. Oh! Those were the days, unbiased by prejudice and assumptions.
Monica Sawhney, the 24-year-old creator of The Spice Club Manchester is sharing her delicious Aloo Tikki Chaat recipe for #SpicyChat readers and is also our co-host for today’s Twitter Chat. The Spice Club is Manchester’s (U.K.) first secret supper club serving authentic Indian home cooked food. The Spice Club is run by Monica and her Indian cooking guru, her mom – Anita. With rave reviews from the press, The Spice Club has won the hearts of Northern U.K. ‘curry lovers’ and adventurous eaters. So next time you are in England or are lucky enough to reside there, make sure to book your reservations for an evening of egalitarian dining.
Without further adieu, I present to you – Aloo Tikki Chaat (crispy potato cutlet served with a sweet and spicy tamarind chutney).
Aloo Tikki Chaat/Crispy Potato Cutlet W Sweet & Spicy Chutney
The best way I can describe Chaat is “party in your mouth”, with an explosion of flavors made with fresh herbs and spices; super tangy, spicy, with a hint of sweetness in each bite. Monica’s aloo tikki chaat is an authentic Indian street food interpretation of the beloved potato. A true vegetarian delight, one bite of Monica’s chaat will transport you to exotic lands and tantalizing flavors, leaving you addicted to these sweet, spicy, and savory flavors, Indian cuisine is most recognized for.
For Aloo Tikki Chaat:-
Makes 4 Tikkis:
3 medium potatoes (boiled, peeled & cooled)
1/2 slice bread crumbs
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 finely chopped green chilli
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
1/4 tsp paprika powder
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp salt or according to taste
1/2 tsp dried pomegranate seed powder (anardana)
Handful green peas (if frozen, ensure they are defrosted, washed & drained)
Vegetable/Sunflower oil for frying
- Grate the cooked potatoes into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly until it all binds together. Using a circular cookie cutter (approx 3″), cut out a patty from the potato mixture that is approximately 1/2″ thick. Note: You can dust or oil the cutter to avoid sticking.
- Heat a non stick pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Once hot place the patties on the pan. Once it is golden brown on one side, turn it over and cook until golden brown on the other side.
- Top with yoghurt sauce, tamarind chutney and cilantro chutney. Then sprinkle on some chopped red onions, tomatoes and some crunchy sev!
To make the Tamarind Chutney
1/2 block tamarind
1/2 cup jaggery (crumbled or grated)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 chilli powder
1/2 ginger powder
1tsp roasted ground cumin powder
1/4 tsp black salt
- Break the tamarind into small pieces and soak in hot boiling water for 1-2 hours.
- Mash it into a pulp and strain pressing the tamarind into the strainer so that all the solids separate and you are only left with the water and pulp.
- Pour the pulp with its water in a pan and add bring to boil. Once it comes to boil, add the jaggery and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Reduce to medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of ketchup. It usually takes about 10 minutes.
- Let it cool and place into an airtight jar. Refrigerate.
To make the Coriander (Cilantro) & Mint Chutney
Handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
1/2 cup of fresh mint
2 green chillies
1/2 medium onion
1″ fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 whole raw mango (If you don’t have this you can add 1 tsp mango powder instead)
- Place all of the ingredients into a food processor. Add 3-4 tbsp of water and blend into a paste. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
To make the Yoghurt Sauce
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin powder
1/4 tsp sugar
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and you’re done.
You MUST try this vegetarian snack. It will transform your view of plain old mashed potatoes!! Thank you so much Monica for joining our #SpicyChat foodie group. Connect with The Spice Club Manchester on Twitter and Facebook for more spicylicious inspirations.
Who doesn’t relish street food? What are some of your favorite street food dishes or child memories associated with them? Join us today at 8 PM EDT on Twitter to share our common passion for exceptional recipes and good food.