It’s autumn. It’s time to bid farewell to flip flops and open toe sandals and dust off your wellies and fleece (or sheep skin for those who are that way inclined)-lined knee-high boots. Although I am not a big fan of cold, I have a dear admiration for the autumnal months… the red trees that line the avenues, the crisp crunch of fallen leaves underfoot, and the hypnotic patter of welcome rain… are but a few of the sensory pleasures that put a smile on my face.
Nevertheless my body invariably switches to hibernation mode – that’s “collect carbs and go to sleep” mode in case you were wondering. And that doesn’t even account for the gastronomic adventures of Christmas!!! So I usually make a conscious effort to stay in shape. I do not “diet”. I enjoy food too much. So I see myself as more of a “conscious eater”. It’s probably a phrase I have made up (I do that a lot according to my husband), but it means I just stay aware of what I put in, rather than how much per se.
One of the great boons of Indian home cooking is that we use a lot of spices… which inherently have medicinal and health-promoting properties. Even now, Indian mothers often treat their children’s cuts and grazes with turmeric paste in preference to any shop-bought antiseptic creams. It just works! What I’m trying to say is that Indian food is healthy… or at least it should be, but it may need a little tweak to get it there. So there is no need to feel guilty when you are making yourself an Indian snack! I don’t and neither does my other half… who crosses the line between well-meaning appreciation and gluttony with child-like abandon far too often! For example, try swapping out regular basmati for brown basmati rice or replacing white flour with wholemeal or millet flour.
This brings me to today’s recipe. Aloo Tikkis are a street food favourite in India! You will often see locals chowing down on these fried potato spiced potato cakes served with chutneys and salad, on the roadsides in India because they’re so damned moreish! Unfortunately, although they taste amazing they’re probably not the kindest to your waistline. In my recipe I have used exactly the same traditional spices but simply swapped out regular potato for sweet potato, baked instead of fried and served with a kachumber salad. I made a batch of 12 of these and my hubby inhaled them within minutes. I’d like to think that was a testament to the taste and not to his hunger!
Sweet Potato Aloo Tikki
- 3 medium sweet potatoes 500g
- 3 cms ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1-2 chillies finely chopped
- 12 stems fresh coriander chopped
- 1/2 cup soya granules optional
- 1 tbsp gram flour
- 1 1/2 – 2 tsp salt according to taste
- 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds coarsely crushed
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp amchur/mango powder or 1 tbsp of lime juice
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder/flakes optional
- Oil for greasing
- Pre-heat oven at 200C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper (I also brushed it with a little oil).
- Place the potatoes inside a microwave safe bag and tie a knot. Pierce a hole with your finger and cook in a microwave for approximately 12 minutes. (The exact time may vary depending on your microwave and size of potatoes so cook until you can easily place a knife through them). You can also boil until tender.
- Allow to cool, then peel the skin off (you can easily peel with your fingers) and cut into rough chunks. Place in a bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Using your hand, combine all of the ingredients together until they are well mix and incorporated. Taste for salt/chilli and adjust accordingly.
- Now, very lightly grease your hands with a very small amount of oil. Now get a walnut size amount of the sweet potato mixture. Roll into a ball and press down slightly so a patty forms. The width should be about 3-4″ wide. Place on the baking tray and repeat with the remaining mixture.
- If you find the mixture is difficult to roll into a smooth patty, you can add a little more gram flour to help with binding.
- Bake for 10 minutes then turn over and cook for a remaining 10 minutes. Enjoy!