Abo Ki Tikkis
Makes about 18 potato pancakes
These potato pancakes are a favorite street food all over India. There, they are pan-fried in the center of huge, outdoor concave griddles and pushed to the edges of the black steel pan to keep warm next to bowls of chopped onions, green chiles, and tamarind chutney Just like at an American hot dog stand, customers can order the pancakes exactly to their liking. They are just as popular at the Bombay Cafe.
3/4 pound (3 to 4) medium red rose potatoes
3 slices firm-textured white bread, crusts removed
1 to 2 small green serrano chiles, minced
1/2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for frying
Sour cream and/or chutney of choice (optional)
1. Boil unpeeled potatoes until easily pierced by a fork, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, but do not rinse in cold water (this prevents the potatoes from absorbing extra water and becoming damp or heavy). Let cool until easy to handle and remove the skins.
2. Dry out the bread slices in a low oven (250 degrees) for 10 minutes. Break the bread into the bowl of a food processor and process into crumbs.
3. In a large bowl, with a large fork or with your fingers, crumble and mash the potatoes. Do not use a masher or ricer, as the potatoes should retain some texture.
4. Add the chiles, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt and mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
5. Form into balls the size of large walnuts and flatten into 1/2 inch thick patties.
6. In a deep, medium-sized skillet or Dutch oven, pour in oil to a depth of about 1-1/2 inches. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Test the oil by dropping in a pinch of dough: If it rises quickly to the surface and sizzles, the oil is ready Fry about 6 pancakes at a time, 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside on absorbent paper while frying the remaining pancakes.
7. Serve plain, or with a dollop of sour cream, or with chutneys of your choice.
Note: If you are not serving the pancakes immediately allow to cool completely before refrigerating. To reheat, place them on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
The Bombay Cafe
By Neela Paniz
Ten Speed Press
272 pages, two-color
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created January 1999
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