RECIPE: Vegan Potato Burgers For Veganuary (Aloo Tikki)
Veganuary is a food event that began in the U.K.: an annual challenge run by a U.K. nonprofit that promotes and educates about veganism.
It encourages people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. The event began in 2014, and participation has more than doubled each year.
Some 400,000 people signed up for the 2020 campaign, and the organizers estimated that this represented the carbon dioxide equivalent of 450,000 airplane flights, and the lives of more than a million animals [source].
We love vegan foods, but can’t commit to an entire month of veganism. Still, we’ve had our eye out for interesting recipes to try.
One of these is the Aloo Tikki burger recipe, below.
If you like mashed potatoes and crispy fried food, aloo tikki is a must-try: a crispy vegan patty of mashed potatoes, seasoned with lots of herbs and curry spices (cilantro, garam masala and ginger, e.g.).
Some have called it India’s equivalent of hash brown potatoes [source].
Aloo tikki translates to potato patties or croquettes*. It’s a popular Indian street food that’s also made at home as an evening snack, served with chutney or [talk about fusion] ketchup.
The seasoned mashed potatoes are mixed with green peas and often onions, formed into patties and fried† until the skin turns crisp.
It’s a vegan snack, although some cooks add crumbled paneer, the fresh Indian cheese.
Aloo tikki originated on the Indian subcontinent: North India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It’s served hot, with sides of sweet and/or savory chutney (consider coriander-mint chutney), and sometimes yogurt. The preparation in photo #5 adds sliced cucumbers.
Blogger Tina Dawson of Love Is In My Tummy ported the aloo tikki patties into a vegan burger. You can see her entire post here.
Tina says that when that when McDonald’s opened in India, they needed meatless options for the vegetarian population.
India has a larger percentage of vegetarians than any other country—nearly 30%. The next closest nations have less than half that percentage (Switzerland, Taiwan and Israel, 13-14% [source]).
Veganism is a growing movement [source].
Needless to say, the McAloo Tikki Burger, served with vegan mayonnaise, was a hit!
Tina Dawson created her version using Idaho® Russet potatoes, peas and onions, seasoned with onions and spices.
She added another fusion touch: double coating the patties in panko-style breadcrumbs.
She made the burgers vegan with dairy-free cheddar-style cheese, vegan mayo, baby greens and “other usual burger fixins.”
The recipe was shared with us by the Idaho Potato Commission.
Thanks to both!
Making the patties is the most time-consuming aspect of the recipe. As a time-saver, you can make the patties ahead and freeze them.
Ginger garlic paste, a staple in Indian cooking, is used in this recipe. You can buy it in your local Indian/Asian food store or online (there’s a ton of it on Amazon).
Or, make your own by blending equal parts of ginger and garlic until smooth. You can keep it in the fridge for a few weeks, or freeze it in mini ice-cube trays.
It’s a versatile condiment that can be added to dips, marinades and sauces, and used as a spread on sandwiches and burgers.
1. MAKE the patties. Peel and mash the potatoes until they are soft and free of large lumps. Set aside.
2. HEAT the oil in a skillet and sauté the onions over medium heat for a minute or two, until they begin to soften. Add the red chili powder, ginger garlic paste and frozen peas. Continue cooking until the peas soften. Remove from the heat.
3. COMBINE in a large bowl the mashed potatoes, garam masala, chaat masala, salt, lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Add the sautéed onions. Stir well to combine, using your hands if needed. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference.
4. SCOOP ½ cup of the mixture and shape into patties about 3¾” wide. Set aside.
5. CRUMB COAT the patties. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate. In a shallow bowl, mix the cornstarch and enough water to make a runny paste.
6. DIP each patty into the cornstarch mix, then into the breadcrumbs, back again into the cornstarch and then again into the breadcrumbs. This double coating gives the patties a very crisp texture that will stay crisper, longer.
7. FRY the patties. Heat the oil for deep frying in a small skillet. Place a wire rack over a baking tray for draining. Working in small batches, deep-fry each patty on low-medium heat until golden brown all over. Drain on the wire rack, letting the excess oil drip off. Alternatively, you can use paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
8. ASSEMBLE the burger with the fried patties with your favorite burger fixings: Sesame topped burger buns, baby greens (instead of just plain lettuce), dairy-free cheese, vegan mayonnaise, caramelized onions, red onion rings, tomatoes, pickles and ketchup.
The correct spelling is patty. Patties is the plural form, so many folks assumed the singular to be pattie.
The dictionary does not recognize “pattie” as a word; although the York Candy Company chose this [incorrect] spelling for their York Peppermint Pattie.
The word “patty” first appeared in English around 1700, derived from the French pâté.
It first referred to an item of food covered with dough or batter, then fried or baked (oyster patties was a popular dish). It then referred to ground or minced food; and finally, the thin, round candy we call a peppermint patty.
We’d be remiss not to note that Peppermint Patty is also a character from the Peanuts comic series.
*In the Hindi-Urdu and Marathi languages, aloo are potatoes and tikki are patties. Tikki also means croquette or cutlet.
†Don’t think of baking them instead. It loses the crispiness for which the snack is known. Better to bake a seasoned mashed potato casserole and let the edges crisp up.
‡Chaat masala is a spice blend that typically consists of amchur/amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, coriander, dried ginger, salt (often kala namak), black pepper, asafoetida (hing) and chili powder. You can substitute a mix of cumin powder, amchur powder, chili powder and salt. However, if you need to buy amchur powder, you might as well by chaat masala.