Indian potato pancakes (or Aloo Tikki as they are known in India) are the ultimate in comfort food for me but since they are usually loaded with carbs and don’t have any protein in them, I feel awfully guilty eating them (as they are tantamount to eating completely junk-food in India). Also, most Indian deep fry them, which also means that they are loaded with fat. But I do have to confess they taste absolutely amazing – after all who doesn’t like fried potatoes?
However today I felt less guilty making (and of course eating) these yummy treats because I stuffed them with cooked lentils (which meant extra protein, fiber and texture) and instead of deep frying them I pan fried them with extra virgin olive oil. So in all they turned out as delicious as the original Indian treat but there was far less guilt involved in eating them. I served them with a fresh Mint-Cilantro Chutney and also a sweet Tamarind-Date sauce.
1. 1.5 lbs of potatoes
2. One medium onion
3. 2 green chilies
4. ½ cup of lentils (skin on French Green Lentils)
5. 2 tablespoons of freshly ground coriander seeds
6. Salt to taste
7. 3 teaspoons of Amchoor (dried Mango powder, available at all Indian grocery stores)
8. 3 tablespoons of Besan (Indian Gram Flour) or use 1.5 tablespoons of corn starch
9. 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
10. ¼ cup golden raisins
1. In a large pot pour 6-7 cups of water and boil the potatoes in it till they are completely soft (usually this takes 35-45 minutes over medium heat).
6. In a medium sized pot (preferable heavy bottomed) add about a tablespoon of olive oil and add half of the chopped onion and start cooking on medium heat (reserve the other half of chopped onion for use later).
7. When the onions look translucent (takes 3-4 minutes), add half of the chopped green chili and cook for about 20-30 seconds. Keep stirring the contents of the pot.
8. Add half the Amchoor to the pot and stir.
9. Add salt (to taste), 1.5 teaspoons of Amchoor and 1 tablespoon of ground coriander seeds to the pot and stir. Cook for 4-5 minutes (keep stirring frequently). Add the mashed lentils to the pot and stir.
12. To the mashed potatoes, add salt (to taste), the remaining amount of Amchoor (1.5 teaspoons), the remaining amount of ground coriander seeds (1.5 tablespoons), the remaining amount of chopped green chili and the chopped onion. Mix everything together.
16. Add cover the top of the pancake with more mashed potatoes on top to make a stuffed ball.
17. Using your hands, gently flatten the pancake and shape it like a hamburger patty. Set this patty aside.
19. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan (over low to medium heat) and place about 3-4 pancakes in it and cook them on both sides till the outside layer is dark and crispy. Flip the pancakes gently so that both sides are cooked but try not to break them during the flipping process. You’ll need to cook all the pancakes in a few batches.
20. Serve the pancakes (Aloo Tikkis) while they are still hot. Serve them with a Mint Cilantro Chutney (grind 25-30 mint leaves, a bunch of cilantro leaves, one small shallot, juice of one lemon, one green chili, a small nub of fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a food processor) and Tamarind sauce (available at South Asian or Indian stores – I prefer the ones made by Deep Brand).