Between the torment of summer’s early onset and the intangible promise of rain, there lies, rather unperturbed, a desire to eat bite-sized portions of little somethings, rather than full-fledged meals. Evenings bring out a craving for chaat and related snacks, and if the rain Gods decide to oblige, there’s a consensus, hands down, on pakoras and chai.
For as long as we can remember, our Moms and Grandmoms seldom refused a request for deep-fried munchies, come rain or shine. There were scores of varieties to choose from, ranging from onion pakoras to masala vadas, aloo bondas to chili bajjis. While all that’s delicious and dandy once in a while, we are on a constant quest to make healthier choices for snack time for our families. We’ve done the shallow-fried bread rolls and steamed lentil dumplings quickly crisped on a tava for effect. We’ve also tried roasted vegetable chaat and masala chickpeas. And yet another eternal favorite is and shall remain – patties.
If you have boiled potatoes on hand, these are a cinch to make and you can beef them up with other vegetables, too. We’ve used green peas in this recipe, but the world is the limit, really. You could use boiled carrots, finely chopped greens, steamed broccoli, or whatever pops your corn.
Peas ‘n Potato Patties
(Makes 8-10 Patties)
- 1/2 cup peas, boiled
- 3 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
- A handful of mint leaves
- 2 green chilies
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- 1/2 teaspoon jeera powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon oil
- Breadcrumbs to roll the patties in
- Oil for shallow frying
- Allow the peas and potatoes to cool down a little.
- Meanwhile, grind the mint leaves and green chilies to a paste (don’t use water) – or if you prefer texture, mince them finely.
- Mix everything except the breadcrumbs together.
- Heat a skillet or shallow fry pan.
- Make round balls with the peas-potato mix, and flatten them with a pat of your hand. Dip them in the breadcrumbs on both sides, pressing down gently.
- Once the skillet/ fry pan is nice and hot, slide in the patties, maybe 4 at a time, and fry with a little bit of oil at a time, until the outer crust turns crisp brown on each side.
- Serve hot with ketchup.