Chefs at Patra, Jaypee Siddharth, New Delhi, rustle up the perfect monsoon snack
2 cups green peas, blanched and roughly mashed
5-6 tbsp desi ghee (or any refined oil, you can even use olive oil), half is to be used for frying the tikkis
1 tsp shahi jeera (royal cumin seeds)
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp yellow chilli powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp roasted cumin, ground into a powder
Chopped green chillies to taste
Salt to taste
2 tbsp binding agent (boiled potato/cornflour/breadcrumbs)
For the stuffing
2 tbsp grated cheese (Parmesan or any other of your choice)
1 tsp raisins
2 tsp grated paneer (cottage cheese)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp mint, chopped
1 tsp garam masala powder
Chopped green chillies and salt to taste
Heat a pan and add 2 tbsp ghee or oil. When it is smoking hot, temper with shahi jeera and add the hing. Lower heat and stir for a minute. Add the peas and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add ginger, green chillies, yellow chilli powder and salt. Fold in and cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes. Do not cover. You know it is done when the peas lose their bright green colour and turn a darker shade. Remove to a bowl and keep aside.
In another bowl, mix all the ingredients for the stuffing together. Keep aside.
To make the tikkis, when the peas mixture has cooled slightly, mix in 1 tsp roasted cumin powder and the binding agent. Add more green chillies if desired. Now take a fistful of the mixture and roll into a ball. Make a hole in the ball and put in a tablespoon of stuffing. Seal the hole and firmly but gently pat the ball into a flat circular patty, about half-an-inch thick. Repeat till all the mixture and stuffing is used up. You should be able to make 4-5 tikkis.
To fry, heat ghee or oil in a thick-bottomed pan or tawa on medium heat. Slide in the tikkis and turn up the heat. Shallow-fry for a couple of minutes on each side. The high heat helps to form a crust, which prevents the tikkis from absorbing too much oil. Once the crust is formed, lower heat and cook for another 3-4 minutes to ensure it’s evenly cooked through.
To serve, garnish with chopped coriander and ginger juliennes and serve with mint chutney and pickles.