Pea-filled potato cakes with chutneys

Anjum Anand warms up our taste buds with these spicy potato cakes and a choice of two typical Indian chutneys
By Anjum Anand
Pea-filled potato cakes with chutneys
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium


For the tamarind chutney (imli ki chutni):

  • 100 g block tamarind, packed without salt
  • 150 g pitted dried dates, (optional)
  • 300 ml water
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, (roasted variety, if possible)
  • 1 tsp black salt, (kala namak) (optional)
  • dried mango powder, or caster sugar, to taste

For the green chutney (hara chutni):

  • 40 g mint leaves, washed and drained
  • 10 g coriander leaves, washed and drained
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1/4 small onions, chopped
  • 1-2 fresh green chillies, chopped
  • 7 pistachio nuts, shelled and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried mango powder, or dried pomegranate powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp water

For the pea-filled potato cakes (aaloo tikki):

  • 450 g boiled potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil, plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 80 g frozen peas
  • 2-3 pinches each of ground coriander, red chilli powder and ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried mango powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

To serve

  • natural yogurt
  • finely chopped red onions
  • finely chopped tomatoes


1. For the tamarind chutney: place the block of tamarind and dates (if using) in a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Cook over a high heat for about 25 minutes or until the tamarind has broken down and becomes pulpy, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

2. Once cool, mash and squeeze the pulp with your hands over a pan to extract and catch as much juice from the fibres as possible. Discard the seeds and fibres. Add all the remaining chutney ingredients (except the dried mango powder and sugar) to the juice in the pan and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the chutney is thick. You can add a little extra water, if necessary.

3. Taste the chutney, and adjust the tartness - if the tamarind chutney is not sour enough, add more mango powder, or sweeten with sugar. Remove from the heat, spoon into a serving bowl and set aside to cool. The chutney will thicken as it cools.

4. For the green chutney: puree all the ingredients for the green chutney in a blender or food processor until smooth and well mixed. Spoon into a serving bowl and set aside.

5. For the pea-filled potato cakes: mash the cooked potatoes in a bowl, then add the cornflour and knead lightly until the mixture comes together. Divide into 6 equal portions and set aside.

6. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a small non-stick pan. Add the peas, ground spices, mango powder, a splash of water and cook for about 5 minutes or until the peas are tender. Add the chopped coriander and mash lightly.

7. Shape each portion of mashed potato mixture into a ball, make a hole in each ball for the filling. Place 1 rounded teaspoon of the pea mixture into each hole, pinch the potato over the top of the filling to enclose it and reshape the mixture into a ball. Pat each potato ball, flattening it to form a round pattie.

8. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan. Cook the potato cakes in the pan over a medium heat until golden and crisp on both sides, turning once.

9. Serve each potato cake on a plate in a pool of tamarind chutney, topped with a spoonful each of the green chutney and seasoned yogurt, then finish with finely chopped red onion and tomato.

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