Chai time is definitely not just about tea and biscuits. Especially not in India. There is a wealth of snacks to be had.
Like Taruna Deepak's crunchy Mattar Tikki Chaat made with crispy shallow-fried green peas pattices soaked in whisked yoghurt and served with a drizzle of tamarind and green chutney.
Air-fry the tikkis for a healthier version.
Mumbaikar Taruna blogs about food and says her blog is a 'a humble attempt to share my easy, simple yet flavourful and healthy recipes with some occasional indulgences. I call them the no-fuss recipes -- making not much dent on time and mostly effortless – which actually is my cooking motto'.
Mattar Tikki Chaat
- 250 gm or 1½ cup frozen or boiled mattar or green peas
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- ¼ tsp hing or asafoetida
- ¼ cup finely chopped onions
- 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
- ½-1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
- 2½-3 tbsp besan or chickpea or gram flour
- 1/3 tsp salt
- ¼ red chilly powder
- ½ tsp dhania or coriander powder
- ½ tsp amchur or dry mango powder
- ½ tsp chaat masala
- ¾ tsp roasted saunf or fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh green dhania or coriander or cilantro
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh pudina or mint leaves
- 2 slices bread
- 1 medium-sized boiled potato, peeled, grated
- 4-5 tbsp corn flour + water, for the corn slurry (optional)
- Panko crumbs or bread crumbs, optional
- 2½-3 cups whisked yoghurt
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- 1-2 tsp roasted and powdered jeera or cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp red chilly powder or black pepper powder
- ½ tsp kala namak or rock salt
- Imli or tamarind chutney, to garnish
- Green chutney, to garnish
- Pudina or mint leaves, finely chopped, to garnish
- Pomegranate arils or seed pods, to garnish
- In a mixing bowl, mix the whisked yoghurt, rock salt, red chilly powder, ½ tsp of the chaat masala and ½-1 tsp of the cumin powder.
Whisk well and refrigerate.
- In a blender, blend the bread till a coarse mixture.
Transfer into a bowl and keep aside.
- In the same blender, blend the green peas into a coarse paste.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan.
Add the asafoetida, followed by the chopped onion, ginger, green chillies.
Saute till the onions just about begin to turn golden.
Add the mattar paste and saute for a minute.
Reduce heat and add the besan, salt, red chilly powder, coriander powder and saute for another minute.
Take off heat and cool.
Add the amchur powder, chaat masala, roasted fennel seeds along with the chopped coriander and the chopped mint.
Add the bread crumbs.
Add the grated potato.
Divide the mixture into 6 portions, roll them into small balls of 1½-inch diameter and flatten like tikkis.
- Since mattar tikkis do not turn out as crunchy as a potato tikki, I make a slurry of corn flour (corn starch), and carefully dip each mattar tikki in it and then roll the tikki in panko crumbs -- they turn out nice and crunchy, but this is optional. I do this only for texture.
- Heat the remaining oil in a skillet or a frying pan.
Shallow fry the tikkis till crisp and golden brown on both sides.
Drain onto a paper towel or tissue-lined plate.
Place two tikkis in each plate or a bowl and pour the yoghurt on top.
Drizzle both the chutneys and sprinkle the remaining chaat masala, remaining cumin powder, chilly powder or black pepper powder.
Garnish with the pomegranate arils and the chopped mint leaves.
Editor's Note: Make your own mint chutney. Use Lahu Kapduskar's recipe for Green Mint Chutney.
For Jain tikkis, replace the potato with an equal quantity boiled mashed green bananas. Skip the onions and use a generous amount of saunth or dried ginger instead of fresh ginger.
For vegan tikkis, opt for vegan yoghurt.
Taruna Deepak lives in Mumbai and is the creator of the food blog Easyfoodsmith.