When I think aloo ki tikkiyan, I think of the classical Pakistani food I grew up eating. I think of the daal and chawal my mother made that I loved. I remember sneaking the flavoursome, tender cutlets from trays in front of guests when I thought no one was looking. I knew I would get some after, but I could never be patient enough.
After marriage, my first few attempts of making aloo ki tikkiyan were epic failures. The cutlets would break whilst flipping, be waaaay too soft, wouldn’t bind, or would burn on the outside. I queried my mother and aunts, practiced many a time and finally found out I was doing several things wrong. I have included a ‘Aloo ki tikkiyan 101′ under the recipe for those of you who may be struggling, like I did, or to help those who are making these for the first time, so they can avoid going through what I went through.
First, the potatoes are cooked till tender, but not overcooked. If they are overcooked, they absorb too much moisture and do not bind well. I prefer steaming the potatoes as opposed to boiling them because the texture of steamed potatoes is far more firmer than boiled – all my past boiled potato aloo ki tikkiyan experiences have led to a mushy mess.
I love my steamer – it’s one of my most favourite kitchen tools, along with my blender, George Foreman grill and juicer. I always steam my vegetables in it as opposed to boiled them, leading to firmer and crispier vegetables that don’t fall apart to mush. I got my steamer from Debenhams during the Boxing day sales for £15 and was pretty much smitten with it since the day I got it! There are similar steamers also available on Amazon at a similar price (and actually cheaper!)
These aloo ki tikkiyan have a crisp outer-coating and a sinfully soft inside. The secret to getting the outside to become crisp up is to cook the tikki on medium-low heat undisturbed for 5 minutes, and then flipping. This will also help stop the cutlets from breaking, as mine used to.
These cutlets are a must have item to serve alongside rice and Tadka Dal. This time, I served them with kaali daal. I will post the recipe for the kaali daal soon! You can follow me on Instagram @fatima.cooks to find out when I upload the recipe, as well as any other!
Aloo ki Tikki 101
1. The potato mixture isn’t binding – This may be because the potatoes have absorbed too much moisture during cooking. If this is the case, add some flour or cornmeal to the mixture till it begins to bind. You may need to adjust the spices accordingly. To avoid this in the future, I would recommend steaming the potatoes as opposed to boiling, and if boiling then making sure that the potatoes do not overcook and are removed from the water immediately after being cooked. Another solution is to let the mixture chill in the fridge for a few hours to firm up. If they still do no t bind then add 2-3tbsp gram flour.
2. The cutlets break when flipping or during cooking – Allow the cutlets to cook undisturbed on the pan until one side crisps up properly and forms a ‘skin’ from the egg mixture. Alternatively, it could be because the potato mixture has absorbed too much moisture and isn’t binding well. If this is the case, read tip 1.
3. The outer-layer is burning and the inside is still cold – The pan is too hot. Allow the pan to cool and then head the pan on low to medium-low. Alternatively, the cutlet has been on the pan too long if the inside has warmed sufficiently.
If you have any questions or issues with the cutlets, leave a comment below and I will add it to the 101 above.
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