Friday, March 28, 2008

An Aloo Tikki Factory

Potato Patties: Closeup

Good friends shouldn't need much of an excuse to get together, but with busy lives and global schedules it can get really difficult to get a bunch of people to meet for even one meal. I am referring to some old friends of mine - whenever we meet, we have such a fabulous time we wonder why we don't all get together more often, and then part with promises to meet soon, but before we know it another year has passed, or two.

Recently, when one of them decided to leave the land, it was a compelling reason for all to meet, as it would be our last chance to see the family for a while. Someone offered to host, and the planning for a spontaneous last minute potluck began, which meant quick decisions and even quicker work. The yeses and the nos, the headcount, and of course the menu.

The host wanted grazing dishes, rather than the usual fare, so I offered the first thing that came to mind - potato patties, if someone could make ragda, so we could have ragda pattice. One friend immediately opted for it (got to love friends like these!).

Making these potato patties seemed simple, but it can become fairly laborious and time consuming when one has to make almost 5 dozen of them. Unlike aloo tikkis, the potato patties that are served with ragda don't need to be deep fried, and they are crisped on the skillet with only a little oil. So, strictly speaking, these potato patties used in ragda pattice were not aloo tikkis, but that just gives the title a much better ring.

Potato Patties: before frying

I boiled a dozen large russet potatoes in the pressure cooker. When cool enough to be handled, these were peeled, and roughly mashed in a large bowl, and seasoned with about 1/4th teaspoon turmeric, about 1 teaspoon red chili powder, and plenty of salt. To this mix, I added about 8 crumbled slices of good white bread, (the crusts were removed, left to dry in the fridge, and ground up later to make bread crumbs, but that is another story), and adjusted the seasoning.

Potato Patties: the batch

Then, the life saver came into play. To get the potatoes mashed up really smooth, I put the whole mixture through a potato ricer, creating a dough like consistency which could be formed into patties. These were shallow fried on a large skillet, on medium heat, for a few minutes on each side to get them evenly brown and crisp. Placed on large trays, these were ready to be taken to the party.

Cool Tool: Potato Ricer

I had bought the ricer originally to make gnocchi, which I have yet to get around to make, but besides the patties, I have used it a few times to mash potatoes for alu parathas. The potatoes turn out really smooth, with no sticky bumps while rolling out the parathas.

Potato Ricer

Cool Tool: The picture of this nifty gadget goes to Click: Metal.

29 comments:

bee said...

gorgeous tikkis. got your e-mail.

bee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sra said...

ET, just one tsp of chilli powder for a dozen potatoes - that's really mild :)
And the tikkis at the back in the second photo look like home-made doodh peda!

ranji said...

wow!!!so many tikkis..i want some:))

Ashwini said...

When I read your first lines about friends parting with a promise but not meeting, I thought it was a dig... :)
I could so do with a party right now. Especially one that had these tikkis. So you don't add rava but still get that amazing crisped top?

Cham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cham said...

Those tikkis are fantastic. Great party food.

Dee said...

Mouth watering tikkis, love the metal picture!!

Divya Vikram said...

Look s really great..U made so many...:)
Looks yummy

ANJALI J. said...

they look great! perfect tikkis.

Richa said...

whoaaa! so many tikki's :)
u must 've a huge cooker to take a dozen :)
puran yantra err ricer looks glam with that gorgeous background!

Saswati said...

Gorgeous looking tikkis ET....and sooo many!

Manasi said...

The tikkis / patties look so perfect! evenly browned and crisp! And so many! WOW! The ricer- never heard of it! Cool Tool!

musical said...

He he, i am in potatoe heaven :) That platter full of tikkis is quite a loot for me, if only i could reach out to it through the screen :-D

Anita said...

Unbelievable quality control at your factory! Not a spot of black in the mammoth batch! I get mine all spotted even when I am making just a few! Wow to you - you must have tremendous patience (and whatever else it must surely take....).

evolvingtastes said...

Dear All, thanks so much for stopping by with your kind and generous comments. ranji, dee, Anjali, welcome here!

Some specific responses:

sra, I pondered over whether to put this in the main post, but decided it was mere detail. There were two things - with children involved in the party, the patties were kept purposely mild, and besides, in ragda-patties, the ragda is usually the spicy component and the tikkis are a relatively neutral base.

Ashwini, it was not meant to be, but you can take it as a subtle hint too. <:) No rawa, the bread crumbs that get well mixed into the potatoes are usually sufficient to create the brown crust.

Richa, you have to believe me - the (real) puran yantra was my first choice for Click, but I could not get any good pictures/angles of it, and I was going to take pictures of the ricer anyway, so it struck me that I could just as well use that! And yes, I do have a fairly large capacity pressure cooker.

Manasi, so far I have managed to use it a fair bit, very useful tool.

Anita, :-) ISO 9000.

Vani said...

Tikki factory, indeed! :) Looks delicious! How did you get them to brown so evenly and the about the same on all? Never seen a ricer before. Love the hot pink fabric bacjground there.

TheCooker said...

For such patties, I'll host, organise, and clean-up!
Five dozen? Admire your patience.

Kate / Kajal said...

pot lucks are so much fun. That really does look like a tikki factory ! i'm sure this must've been fun.

Suganya said...

Too pretty to eat :)

Pelicano said...

I love the fuchsia-colured velvet! Potato-ricers are indeed a great invention- and with those beautiful potato patties staring us down, you can be sure of a rush to attain one! ;-) You can cater a party for me anytime. :-)

Mona said...

Wow, a big spread of Aloo Cutlets! Looks too tempting! :-) And makes me hungry!

www.zaiqa.net

Cynthia said...

The potato ricer really makes quick job of mashing those potatoes eh? :)

I wish I could have some of your aloo tikki everyday. They looked so good! Yum!

Cynthia said...

I just re-read the post, so these are not exactly aloo tikkis, nevertheless, I still want some.

evolvingtastes said...

Vani, a belated welcome to my blog. To get the patties evenly brown, I use a skillet that gets heated evenly, and then cook them for several minutes on each side on medium heat, preferrably turning them only once. Flipping them too many times does not help to brown them too well.

Kate, despite all that work, it was fun. :)

Pelicano, it ain't velvet. It is a silk shawl.

TheCooker, Suganya, Mona, thanks!

Cynthia, yup, tikkis in the north are deep fried, whereas these, found among the street foods of Bombay are crisped on a wide shallow skillet. Come visit, you'll get some. :)

Miri said...

Wow, what a great spread of tikkis! looks wonderful and the ricer seems like a nifty gadget to have - good shot!

evolvingtastes said...

Thanks Miri!

Rasa Malaysia said...

I saw this in Juhu Beach, Mumbai, didn't know what they were and didn't order. ;)

evolvingtastes said...

bee/rasa, ragda patties (or anything else off the carts) at Juhu beach is a quintessential Bombay experience! *Big Sigh*
Hope you have a travelogue forthcoming.

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