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Aloo Tikki With Date And Tamarind Chutney

Aloo Tikki With Date And Tamarind Chutney

Delicious potato fritters, fired up with serranos and paired with a spicy sweet chutney
Course Appetizier, Meal, Side
Keyword Birdseye Pepper, Serrano Pepper, Thai Pepper
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 541kcal


For the aloo tikkis – makes about 12, two-inch wide tikkis

  • 1 serrano pepper green, sliced into very thin discs, seeds and all. The one I used was about 2 ½ inches long.
  • 1 pound floury potatoes left whole and unpeeled. Russets or Idahos would both be good choices.
  • 4 ½ ounces garden peas frozen and defrosted are just fine
  • 1 red onion medium-sized, peeled, and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 heaped tablespoons breadcrumbs I used Japanese panko crumbs that were already sitting in the kitchen cupboard.
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root finely chopped, skin and all
  • ½ ounce fresh cilantro roughly chopped, stalks and all
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil or a similar, neutral cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the date and tamarind chutney – khajur imli

  • 1 red bird’s eye chili fresh, finely chopped, seeds and all. The one I used was almost two inches long.
  • 10 ounces fresh dates pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ ounces tamarind paste
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ginger root finely chopped, skin and all
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 cloves finely ground
  • 2 heaped tablespoons muscovado sugar alternatively demerara sugar will just fine
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 2/3 cup boiling water


Making the khajur imli chutney

  • I’d start by making the date and tamarind chutney. It’s quick and can be left to cool to room temperature while you’re making your aloo tikkis.
  • Add the tamarind paste to a heatproof jug and pour over the boiling water. Now use a wooden spoon to break the paste apart. Then keep stirring until it dissolves. This can take a few minutes since the paste is quite sticky and needs a bit of encouragement to dissolve in the hot water.
  • Pour the lot into a small saucepan set on a medium heat, and thoroughly stir in all the other ingredients. As soon as the pan starts to bubble, drop the heat to low. Let it simmer very gently on that low heat – with a few stirs – for 5 minutes. Done. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

Cooking the potatoes

  • We’ll start with the potatoes because they take longest to cook – and while that’s happening you can sort out the other ingredients for your aloo tikkis.
  • Add the whole, unpeeled potatoes to a medium size pan, add 1 level teaspoon salt and enough water just to cover the potatoes. Cover the pan and bring it the boil on a medium-high heat. Then drop the heat to low so the covered pan can run at a slow simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
  • Thoroughly drain the potatoes and return them to their pan. Roughly break them apart with a fork - skin and all, stir in the breadcrumbs and 1 level teaspoon salt.
  • Now mash the lot with a potato masher. You want to mash them more coarsely than you would for smoothly mashed potatoes, and leave them with a little more body to create your tikkis’ slightly crumbly texture. Good. The potatoes can now sit and cool while you cook the spiced pea mix.

Cooking the spiced pea mix and prepping the filling

  • For this, I used a big, heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet. That’s a grand size for frying the spiced pea mix, and then for cooking your aloo tikkis.
  • Add 2 tablespoons sunflower oil to your skillet and set it on a medium heat. Swirl the oil around so it coats the bottom of the skillet and then stir in the onions. There’s not a lot of oil here, so stir well so the onions get coated with it. (By only using that small amount of oil, you’ll stop your tikkis from being greasy.)
  • As soon as the onions are oil-coated, drop the heat to low-medium and stir fry the onions for about 3 minutes until they start to soften and begin to pick up a little pale golden color. Now stir in the garlic and ginger and keep stir frying on that low-medium heat for another 2 minutes or so. You want the onions to turn a little darker and just start to crisp a little around their edges.
  • Drop the heat to low and stir in the ground spices – cumin, cilantro, turmeric, cinnamon – and the black pepper.
  • Continue stir frying for another minute then add the fresh cilantro, serrano peppers, peas, and lemon juice. Give everything a thorough stirring and turn off the heat. Time now for a little crushing of the peas in the skillet.
  • Use a potato masher to crush the peas – in the skillet – so you get a roughly 50/50 mix of whole peas and crushed peas. That’s it. The spiced pea mix is done and ready to be mixed with the mashed potatoes.
  • Add all the spiced pea mix to your pan of mashed potatoes. Use a wooden spoon to slowly mix everything together. I say slowly because if you stir too vigorously, you’ll lose the coarse-ish texture of the potatoes and break up the peas more than you need to. Probably took me about two minutes to slowly get the lot mixed evenly together.

Shaping and cooking your aloo tikkis

  • To shape each aloo tikki, use your hands to form the mixture into a ball about 1 ½ times the size of a golf ball. Now gently flatten the ball into a disc about ½-inch thick and 2 inches wide. The thickness is more important than the width, so that’s the dimension you want to focus on. Set the formed tikki onto a plate and repeat the process until all the tikkis are formed.
  • I ended up with 12 tikkis. That was neat because that was the max number that I could fry all at once in that 12-inch skillet.
  • Now set your big skillet back onto a high heat and add a level tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of sunflower oil. Swirl the buttery oil all over the bottom of the skillet. As soon it starts foaming, carefully add all the tikkis in a single, evenly spaced layer, and drop the heat to medium-high. Do not be tempted to move the tikkis about the skillet. Just lay them then all in carefully so they keep their shape and can sizzle away – untouched - for about three minutes.
  • That should be enough time to give their undersides a dark golden color and a lovely crispness. Then carefully turn the tikkis over and let them sizzle on that medium-high heat for another three minutes – untouched. They’re done and ready to be neatly arranged on a serving dish with your khajur imli chutney alongside.


Fry a little ‘test tikki’ first, mainly to see if you happy with the saltiness and the heat from the serrano pepper. You can then adjust accordingly before you form and fry your main-event tikkis.
On the chutney: This recipe makes about a cup. That’s a fair amount of pretty potent chutney, but it keeps well in a sealed jar in the refrigerator and is a grand with a host of other foods.


Calories: 541kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 1844mg | Potassium: 1248mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 4mg