I made these (birthday) tikkis last week from the Indian Accent cookbook, which now dominates my kitchen counter (not only because it is gorgeous, but its also HUGE!). Not a day has gone when I haven’t opened the book and perused the recipes, salivated at the pictures, and read chef Manish Mehrotra’s stories that prelude each and every recipe. Some of the recipes are complicated, requiring a team of sous chefs to help you – while the others, like our tikkis here, may look difficult to make, but in fact aren’t as cumbersome as I thought – and taste fantastic. A real Indian Accent dish, from my kitchen and my heart to yours, marking the occasion of Joie De Vivre’s 6th year – this really is a treat worthy of the celebration!
The recipe for beetroot and peanut butter tikki, caper wasabi chutney, quinoa puff deftly uses crushed peanuts as well as peanut butter, which seems odd at first, but works so semantically with this tikki, I felt silly for even considering to skip it initially. The tikkis work with a full range of textures and flavours, from the sweetness and earthiness of the roasted beetroot, to the creaminess of the potatoes, saltiness and texture of the peanuts, heat and spice from the aromatics and garam masala, tanginess from the chaat masala and a rich but subtle sweetness from the chunky peanut butter, all topped off with the subtle crunch of the tempura batter and panko breadcrumbs, garnished with briny capers and a wasabi mayonnaise. Ok pass me a tikki now please!
A few handy tips to help manoeuvre thought this recipe –
- feel free to multiply the recipe, I did a 6x version and they came out incredible. The only thing I didn’t need 6x of was the wasabi mayonnaise, so maybe do 2x of that!
- if like me, you like to keep your hands clean while getting dirty, pull on a pair of gloves before grating/rolling the tikkis so you don’t look like you’ve just killed someone
- these tikkis look small, but boy, are they heavy! A portion of 4 is enough for your dinner – so when you make these, ration about 2 per person as an appetiser
- the recipe calls for optional puffed quinoa, which I didn’t have and nor was I in a mood to puff any – but its very simple and straightforward and won’t take more than a few minutes!
When you see this recipe for the first time, you kind of begin to dread the process of accumulating all the ingredients, but surprisingly, most of the ingredients like the masalas, ghee, peanuts, aromatics, potato etc are staples any Indian kitchen would normally stock. The only 2 things I had to actually go and purchase were panko breadcrumbs and capers. In the event you’re not able to get your hands on panko, regular breadcrumbs are an alternate, but on the downside they add gluten to the otherwise gluten free dish, and also don’t have the same shape and texture as panko – but the tikkis are so good, it shouldn’t affect the flavour too much! So go on them, share in the Joie De Vivre celebrations with these Birthday Tikkis!
- 150gm beetroot
- 1 medium sized potato, boiled and peeled
- 2 tsp ghee/clarified butter
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp minced green chillies
- 1/2 tsp chaat masala
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- salt, to taste
- 2 tsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tsp crushed roasted peanuts
- 1 tbs tempura flour + 1 tbs water
- 3 tbs panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp chunky peanut butter
- 2 tbs wasabi paste
- 2 tbs mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp lime juice
- salt, to taste
- 5-6 capers, for garnish
- 1 tsp quinoa puffs, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200*c. Wash the beetroot thoroughly, removing all the mud. Roast in foil for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and when cooled, peel and grate.
- Grate the boiled potato.
- Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds and allow to crackle. Sauté the ginger, garlic and green chilli. Add the grated beetroot, cooking till all the water evaporates. This takes a good 15-20 minutes on medium heat. Add grated potato, chaat masala and garam masala and cook for 5 minutes. Finish with the coriander and salt to taste.
- Once cooled, transfer to a bowl and mix in the crushed peanuts.
- Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and roll into balls. Place each ball in your palm and make a small indentation, which you need to fill with peanut butter, and then shape into a patty. Repeat with the balance patties.
- Lightly coat with tempura batter and crumb with the panko. Refrigerate while preparing the chutney and clearing up.
- For the chutney, mix together the wasabi, mayonnaise, lime juice and salt. Adjust to taste.
- When ready to eat, heat a bit of olive oil on a non stick pan and grill the tikkis till golden brown on both sides. Drizzle wasabi chutney and garish with capers and quinoa puffs (if using).