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.
Dahi Valla is one of the most popular Holi Snacks
One can also try out Bedmi Poori as a Holi Snack
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://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://pikturenama.com/mangshor-jhol-is-the-best-utility-dish-like-an-utility-cricketer/
Wish you all a very Happy Holi!!
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Aloo Tokri Chaat/ Katori Chaat
For the potato baskets
- 4 nos large sized potatoes
- 2 1/2 tsp corn flour
- Salt and Pepper for seasoning
- oil for deep frying
Ingredients for the filling
- 1 cup boiled chickpeas
- 2 tbsp chopped onions
- 2 tbsp chopped capsicum
- 2 tbsp chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1 no chopped green chilli
- 3 tbsp sweet tamarind chutney for recipe, read above
- 3 tbsp mint coriander chutney for recipe, read above
- 1/2 tsp Roasted Jeera Powder alternately, you can use Bengali bhaja moshla
- 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp aamchur powder
- sea salt
- sev for garnish
To make the baskets
- Peel the potatoes and keep them submerged in cold water while you grate them one by one. Grate three potatoes in the medium sized grater and one potato in the small grater. There will be a lot of water accumulating on the plate on which you are grating and it’s normal.
- Once you completed grating all the potatoes, squeeze out the water entirely and keep the potatoes in a bowl. Add salt and pepper and the corn flour and mix them with your fingers.
- At this point, there are two ways of making the baskets. One is using two strainers of different size and deep frying and the other way is to use a muffin tray and an oven. In case you do not have the oven, then you will have to do the deep frying method.
- Method 1, using a muffin tray and OTG: Grease the muffin tray thoroughly and then divide the potato mixture equally in all the muffin cavities. Using your fingers, press the potatoes inside the cavities, making the shape of a bowl. Then bake it in a pre heated oven at 180 degree c for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. When it is done, take the tray out and let it cool down a bit. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the edges and take each bowl out.
- The one thing I noticed while doing this is that the potatoes don’t get evenly cooked and some places remain soft and soggy. To take care of this problem, all you have to do is take a deep frying pan or a kadai and deep fry them in any regular cooking oil. It gives really crunchy baskets that you can store in an airtight container for a couple of days too.
- Method 2, using tea strainers: You will need two sizes of tea strainers where one will go into the other one. Take the larger strainer and place a portion of the potatoes in the strainer. Using your fingers, press the potatoes against the wall of the strainer to create a shape of a bowl. Then use the other strainer to press the larger strainer. Using both the strainers, deep fry this in a kadai with regular cooking oil.
- Once golden brown, take the strainers out, pull out the top smaller strainer and using a sharp knife, slowly release the basket from the big strainer and place on a kitchen towel.
Assembling the aloo tokri chaat
- In a bowl, mix the chickpeas with the masalas, onions, capsicum, tomatoes, coriander leaves and green chilies. Do not add salt right away.
- Then fill up each potato basket with the chick pea mix. Drizzle mint chutney, sweet tamarind chutney and yogurt (if you wish to) over the chaat baskets. Finally sprinkle some sea salt and sev for garnish.
- Serve them immediately.
- You can prepare the baskets in advance and keep the chaat mix ready for assembling whenever you want.