Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ek Plate Alu Tikki Chaat

Nobody has the right to mess with my Alu Tikki Chaat, not even the fat lady at the famous chaat shop in Little India. All I wanted was a plate of warm tikki chaat which would remind me of home. What I got instead was a plate of hardboiled chickpeas floating along ONE small, soggy potato pattie. Yes just one. And a tag of a whopping $8 for that plate of *beep*.

The desi chokri (that’s my husband’s nick for me) that I am, I wanted value for money. And all the love and care that goes into making a plate of chaat back home. This is not acceptable. I decided then to take matters in my own hands, and in my own kitchen.

Here is how I transformed potatoes and chickpeas into a mouth watering plate of heavenly, homemade Alu Tikki Chaat.

The ingredients are:

For the chickpea/ chhole:
2 cups chickpeas soaked overnight
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Boil the chickpeas in enough water with all the ingredients. Let them get mushy before you stop cooking. Breaking the chickpeas down with a ladle is also a good idea.
For the patties:
4-5 boiled potatoes
Half tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoon chopped coriander
2 teaspoon chopped green chilies
Vegetable oil
Peel the boiled potatoes, mash and add all the ingredients and mix well. Make balls (golf ball-size), flatten to make patties. Heat a non stick skillet/ frying pan and place the patties on it. Let both sides get nicely browned. I like my patties crispy, so I brown for a few more minutes. Add a few drops of oil around the patties. Let it brown nicely on low-medium heat. Keep aside.
IMG_5926 IMG_5928
For the garnish:
Half cup beaten plain yogurt
1 small red onion very finely chopped
2-3 green chilies finely chopped
2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
Few drops of lemon juice
Tamarind-jaggery chutney (I make it at home)
2 teaspoon Bhaja Moshla (equal quantities of cumin and coriander seeds dry roasted and coarsely ground)
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/4 teaspoon chaat masala
1/4 teaspoon black salt

For plating:
First go the potato patties on a small dish. Drench them with the boiled chickpeas. Drizzle some beaten yogurt and the tamarind-jaggery chutney. Add the chopped coriander, onions, and green chilies. Top the chaat with all the dry spices and a few drops of lemon juice.
IMG_5930 IMG_5931IMG_5934If you can handle all the spices and the heat, do not be skimpy with the garnish.

Serve the Alu Tikki Chaat, literally translated as Potato Patties Chaat, while its warm!
IMG_5936You will be surprised how you can completely turn some plain potatoes and chickpeas into a happy hour of homemade heartiness. (Strange fit of alliteration that!)