Thursday, July 15, 2010

Around Town with Arina - Aloo Tikki

My obsession and love of potatoes never seems to die out both as an individual and also because I am a Gujarati. Gujarati’s have a very old undying connection with potatoes. Every meal has to have potatoes in one or more forms, either as a subzi or as a part of another subzi, as a side or snack better known as ‘Farsan’ or both. This week I’ve set out to taste some of the cities best Aloo Tikki as they are a good change from the usual cliché of pakodas in the rains. A plate of plain tikkis with sweet tamarind chutney and spicy green coriander chutney is fulfilling as a snack but to make a heavy snack or a meal out of it, the best accompaniment would be cholle (spicy chickpea curry) or ragda. Cholle Tikki is the north Indian style and ragda pattice (another name for Tikki) is more Maharashtrian or Mumbai style.

The tikki itself whether shallow or deep fried is found in many forms, it can be made from mashed potatoes that are seasoned with masalas and chopped coriander leaves, mashed potato mixture stuffed with a filling of green peas and coconut, mashed potatoes coated with semolina or mashed potato covered and sealed with soft bread. Every place that serves chaat has their own style and recipe or serving aloo tikki. So today I will write about some places around town that have been there for generations and some rather new.

Starting with the places that have been around for very long the 1st one that comes to mind is Kailash Parbat, the first restaurant being in Colaba market but now they have stalls in most of the major shopping malls in the city. Besides the taste of the aloo tikki the thing that really fascinated me as a child was the heart shape of the tikkis.

Then there is Elco at hill road that is so popular that people who come to Mumbai from other cities and towns also want to go there at least once. Elco originally was a small road side kiosk years ago and now it is a three storied, air-conditioned restaurant at the very same location.

Only Parathas has been there at linking road since many years now and has a counter outside the main restaurant dedicated only to chaats. Other places in the suburbs that serve delish aloo tikkis are Papa Pancho da dhaba at Bandra, Khau Galli at 4 Bungalows that has opened recently, which is not really a khau galli it is a restaurant with the theme and decor of a khau galli with kiosks and benches. Another new and interesting place to visit is Pratap’s Chandni Chowk at Mega Mall, Oshiwara that is a huge space created to look just like the Chandni Chowk of Delhi with small individual shops serving different items like chaats, parathas, and sweets.

Coming to street food, there is a shop at Mahalaxmi right outside the temple that has been around ever since I can remember and serves one of the best ragda pattice I have ever had. And the rush of the customers, the size of the handi of ragda and the large tawa filled with tikkis that gets wiped out in half a day proves it. A lot of the stalls at chowpatty and juhu beach also serve aloo tikki and ragda pattice/cholle tikki depending on whether the stall is run by a north Indian or a Maharashtrian.

At home when I make tikkis I always try something different, I use other ingredients with the mashed potatoes like golden corn, white corn, cheese, onions, chopped green, yellow or red peppers. I sometimes stuff the potato mixture with these ingredients or simply mix them into the mashed potatoes along with the seasonings. Even for a simple thing as aloo tikki every person has a different style of making it. We would love to know your favourite recipe or place for aloo tikkis. Do leave a comment here or on the APB Facebook Fanpage.

1 comment:

Nachiketa said...

Elco's has been a Fav with my mom [she stayed in Santa Cruz while expecting me :) ] So she drags me there everytime we visit Mumbai [have cousins there].
Will try n visit the other places you've mentioned, especially 'Pratap’s Chandni Chowk at Mega Mall, Oshiwara' cause I'm a total 'Chandni Chowk Junkie'.

Cheers,
The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts