Aloo tokri chaat is the second Holi recipe for this year. The first one was cake pops with beetroot powder, something which is popular with kids more than adults. Although adults like me can do with both sweet and savory. However, we needed to give another recipe to Sharmishtha, who would publish two of our recipes for her Holi special recipe column in Indulge, the lifestyle magazine of The New Indian Express. Read it here My very good friend and neighbour, Sudarshana had sent some gujiyas over to me and I had promised to learn the recipe from her before holi. I couldn’t find the time to learn for her yet and Sharmishtha wanted something colourful for Holi. I had to give up my idea of gujiya and think of something which would look colourful. Any chaat would look colourful.
How did I come up with the idea of Aloo tokri chaat?
We had already done dahi bhalla as a holi recipe last year. It was a Tuesday and I had to submit the recipe by Wednesday. Which meant, cooking, shooting and writing the recipe. It had to be an easy recipe. I thought of making a Delhi style aloo chaat. I could make it look colourful using some spices, I thought. The call went to Ashok, my man Friday and I asked him to keep some boiled potatoes ready for me. Once the poatoes were boiled, I went into the kitchen and looked at the potatoes. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was not convinced about aloo chaat, even though I love it.
Aloo chaat was too easy. It had to be a recipe, which was easy yet, a bit unusual and something which people didn’t quite often make it. I shelved the idea of aloo chaat and put the boiled potatoes to good use by making alur dom for dinner. Instead, I thought, let’s make a basket from potatoes and make an aloo tokri chaat. It is also called katori chaat. Had eaten it a long time back in Pune. There was some green chutney in the refrigerator. Tamarind chutney was easy to make. The only time consuming thing was the aloo tokri. Luckily, there was some boiled chickpeas too from last evenings snack. Chickpeas would be a great filling for my chaat.
There are two ways of making an aloo tokri or the basket.
You can make them by using two tea metallic tea strainers or mould them on your cup cake tray and bake them. I had two different sizes of strainers, where one snug into the other but I thought, why should I deep fry when I could completely transform this into a healthy snack by baking the baskets. I grated 4 large potatoes, squeezed all the water out and then mashed them with some corn flour, salt and pepper.
Then I greased my muffin moulds and divided the grated potatoes into the moulds. With my fingers, I lined the potatoes to the mould, shaping them like small baskets. Popped the tray into a pre heated oven at 180 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes. At that point, the baskets were nearly golden and leaving from the edges. I reduced the temperature to 160 and kept the tray in there for another ten minutes. I took it out at this point.
It requires a good amount of patience to make these baskets
Let the tray cool down for sometime and then using a sharp knife, I released the baskets from the moulds. They were not exactly the texture I was looking for. Not entirely crunchy. I then decided to deep fry these baskets as it is. I did not need any strainer any more since the baskets were holding shape. The potatoes were cooked. It just needed an extra golden crunch. So just deep frying for a couple of seconds on both sides would be enough and that is what I did. They were perfect. My hasslefree potato baskets were ready after baking and cooking and I thought it was brilliant this way. Lesser work afterall!
Once the baskets were ready, the filling did not take long.
Some green chutney, tamarind chutney and a few spices with chickpeas along with sev. For me, sev is essential. So if there isn’t any sev at home, I would send someone to get a packet from the nearby grocery store. The filling can be improvised as per whatever you have at home. It can be done with boiled potatoes or sprouts. The chutneys can vary. You can use ketchup in case there is a shortage of time. A little bit of yogurt does wonders too.
To get my recipe for green chutney and tamarind chutney, please follow my recipe for dahi bhalla where it is given https://www.pikturenama.com/recipe/dahi-bhalla-the-perfect-holi-snack/
Aloo tokri chaat/ katori chaat is quite a crowd pleaser. Everyone loves them. You can customise the spice level individually and kids find it fun to eat this too.
I will be making aloo tokri chaat for holi so quick appetisers. Of course, our holi or dol is incomplete without https://www.pikturenama.com/mangshor-jhol-is-the-best-utility-dish-like-an-utility-cricketer/
Wish you all a very Happy Holi!!
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