They make the best ever Aloo Tikki at a local Indian restaurant…at least that’s what I thought before making a homemade version. One lazy Sunday morning I found myself with two leftover baked potatoes, thinking I would make Mike and I potato hash to eat alongside eggs (sunny side-up for him and poached for me), broiled tomatoes, and black tea, when a sudden urge for Indian food hit me. I knew I wanted to incorporate Indian flavors into brunch (luckily Mike is always amenable to Indian food so he was only too happy to indulge me); specifically, I knew I wanted to make Aloo Tikki.
Surprisingly, these ended up being even better than the Aloo Tikki at our favorite restaurant…they were much less greasy since they aren’t deep fried, and I left a few larger chunks of potato which gave them great texture. Leftover baked potatoes have never tasted so good.
A Quick Tip on Frying the Croquettes: Aloo Tikki is usually deep-fried, but I use much less oil when making mine at home. That being said, I did have one croquette fall apart while cooking. It actually ended up being the most delicious one though. After it fell apart, I spread it out in the pan and there was increased surface area for browning…and we all know that the crispy brown parts are the best. If you have a croquette that falls apart don’t sweat it, but if you want to be sure they stay intact, just use a bit more oil in your pan.
(Yield: 6 cakes, serves 2-3 as a side dish)
2 medium (about 12 oz total) starchy potatoes, baked
1/4 c peas (frozen is fine)
1 small onion, finely diced
3 TB canola oil, divided
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp garam masala
Pinch black pepper
2 TB besan (also called chickpea flour)
Tamarind chutney, pomegranate molasses, or plain yogurt (for serving)
If the peas are frozen, thaw them in a colander so they can drain. In a small-medium pot, heat 1 TB oil over medium to medium-low heat; add the onion and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the salt, red pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, garam masala, and black pepper and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Remove from heat.
Peel and chop the potatoes, then mash them with the cooked onion, leaving some larger pieces of potato for texture. Stir the besan into the potato mixture, then stir in the thawed peas. Lightly pack a 1/4-cup measure with the potato mixture, then use your hands to form the mixture into a ball (squeezing lightly so the mixture comes together); repeat until all the potato mixture is used (you should get about 6 balls). Slightly flatten the balls into patties.
Add the remaining 2 TB oil to a medium (preferably non-stick) skillet over medium heat; when the oil is hot add the potato croquettes and fry until golden brown on each side (about 4 minutes per side), flipping once. (Don’t flip until the croquettes are a nice golden brown color on the first side; that will help prevent them from sticking.) If they start to cook too quickly or the pan gets too dry, you can turn down the heat or add a little more oil. Once cooked, put the croquettes on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
If desired, serve with tamarind chutney, pomegranate molasses, or plain yogurt for dipping.