These are beautiful fried potato cakes my Dad used to make for us any time he got in the kitchen when Mum was out! They're a staple of any street wala in northern India and a must-have whenever walking around the winter streets of Old Delhi. This is my version, simple, effective and totally delicious!

Ingredients

For the Tikki:

  • 500g/3 or 4 medium sized potatoes, boiled and mashed to 'chunky'
  • 150g onion, diced
  • 30g fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped (use less if you don't want them too hot!)
  • 3 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Good handful of fresh mint leaves, torn or chopped
  • Small handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 3 or 4 tblsp sunflower oil

For the Sizzled Tomatoes:

  • 50ml/2floz olive oil and a good slug more (for stage 3 of the recipe)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tin plum tomatoes, whole, drained of the juice
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper and a little salt

Method

  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottomed fry or sauté pan on medium heat, add the onions, gently fry for 2 or 3 minutes, then add the ginger and continue cooking until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the chillies, Garam Masala, turmeric and salt. Stir and cook for 2 more minutes, then turn off the heat, set aside and allow to cool to 'tepid'.
  3. Then, add the herbs and roughly mashed potato, mix thoroughly. Divide the potato mix into eight mounds, then form each of the mounds into balls.
  4. Grab your fry pan, add a little more oil, heat on a medium flame, then when hot add three or four balls. Gently press them down into flat, but chunky patties and cook until light brown on each side. Repeat until you've cooked all eight.
  5. Serve immediately with my Sizzled Tomatoes.
  6. For the Sizzled Tomatoes:
  7. Take a large straight sided pan, place on a medium low heat, add the olive oil followed by garlic slices and allow to soften without browning.
  8. Then add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, turn up the heat and cook fiercely, stirring to make sure it doesn't burn.
  9. The tomatoes will release all of their juices: when all the thin coloured liquid has evaporated, add more olive oil, adjust seasoning and set aside.
  10. NB: If you have a splash guard, then I'd really recommend its use! This sauce really does splash and spit. A bit messy, but essential for the finished dish - don't be tempted to turn down the heat, but do be careful not to burn it.