Never heard of Tikkis? No they’re not what teachers put on good pre-school drawings. They’re a delicious finger-food from The Subcontinent; pan-fried mashed potato patties with a tender-crisp crust and soft interior.

L from Vancouver, British Columbia wrote

“Dear Kurma, I really enjoy your website and your gracious gift of sharing your skills and passionate insights of vegetarian cooking. Thank you.

My friend, who is a Hare Krishna devotee, gave me a copy of Back to Godhead magazine (Dec 1982) which had a recipe for Aloo Tikki.

Following the instructions, I ended up making tikki’s which were crunchy on the outside, and gluey on the inside (although quite tasty). I used idaho potatoes, so maybe I need to use another type of potato? Could you offer some suggestions?”

Now, since the question required expertise in the subject of North American/Canadian potatoes, I wrote my North American Correspondent Devadeva Mirel, (none other than Jam Queen Sabjimata) who kindly answered as follows:


“Hello L, I really like making aloo tikki and, once you get the swing of it, I am pretty sure you will be making aloo tikki without any recipe at all. It is rather versatile and I am a little surprised you had gluey results. I checked online and found this link to an aloo tikki recipe by Yamuna Devi, and figured it is the same or similar to what you used.

Okay, assuming you stuck to the recipe verbatim, let’s get into details. Yamuna’s recipe calls for “potatoes suitable for boiling.” New potatoes, round white, or round red potatoes and Yukon Gold all fit the bill. Idahos are not boiling potatoes, but they make good mashed potatoes, so I would think you could pull it off without incident, but apparently that wasn’t the case. I almost always use Yukon Golds because I think they are the most flavorful.

I know you said you followed the recipe, and I trust that you did, but still I’m going to ask: Did you sub out the flour/binder for cornstarch or arrowroot powder? Instead of mashing the potatoes, did you put them in the food processor? These things could make your end results gluey (although I personally only use arrowroot powder as a binder). Best wishes, Devadeva.”

Postscript: L. wrote back

“Hello! Thank you both for your emails helping me out with my aloo tikki. After reading Devadeva’s email, I realized what I had done: I used a food processor to mash the potatoes, hence the glueyness.

Last night, I mashed the cooked potatoes with fork and this time the tikkis’ turned out splendidly. I made a greek version of aloo tikki (lemon, oregano, pepper, bit of feta cheese) which I served with some tzatziki sauce. Thanks again for your help!”

I just love happy endings!
Posted by Kurma on 19/9/08; 7:56:46 AM

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