These patties should be crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. Make sure the peanuts are not ground too finely; there should be small pieces in the mix.
Make Ahead: The tikkis can be formed (but not cooked) and refrigerated up to 2 hours in advance. Once fried, the tikkis can be kept warm in a 200-degree oven, but they won't stay crisp.
Servings: 10 2 3/4-inch patties
- 2 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut in half
- 1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into small dice (1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup plain panko (japanese-style) bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels (may use canned or frozen, then defrosted)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground chili pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
- 5 or 6 cilantro leaves, minced (1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely ground
- 4 to 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Store-bought tamarind-date chutney, for drizzling
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with an inch or two of water. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook until fork-tender. Drain, then mash them in a medium bowl (there should be a range of texture).
Add the bell pepper, bread crumbs, corn, pomegranate seeds, if using, salt, chili powder or crushed red pepper flakes to taste, cilantro and peanuts. Mix to combine and taste for seasoning; add salt as needed.
Divide the mixture into 10 equal portions. Use wet hands to form each portion into a ball, then flatten it into a small round tikki (patty). Repeat to use all of the mixture.
Line a large plate with a few layers of paper towels.
Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add about half of the tikkis and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom, then turn the tikkis over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightly browned on the second side. Transfer to the lined plate and cover loosely to keep warm.
If needed, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. When it's hot, cook the remaining tikkis.
Serve warm, with a little tamarind-date chutney drizzled on top of each tikki.
Adapted from "Modern Spice," by Monica Bhide (Simon and Schuster, 2009).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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