This recipe for Pakistani-style potato cakes, called Aloo ki Tikki, is made with mashed potatoes, onions, herbs, and spices. These pan-fried potato cakes are crispy, savory and perfectly spicy! This recipe is also naturally gluten-free and optionally vegan.
Aloo ki tikki (Pakistani & Indian-style Potato Cakes) are one of those traditional South Asian foods that I’m forever amazed by. They’re stupidly simple, yet so clever in their flavor profile. The bold, pungent heat of the spices is perfectly balanced with the cooling fresh herbs and starchy potatoes. To help make them even easier to make, I’ve answered the most frequently asked questions here.
Though aloo ki tikki are traditionally considered a street food or chai-time snack, they are incredibly versatile and go with any meal as an ever-welcome side dish. I like to let these shine by serving them as an entrée with some kind of pulao (like chana pulao or chicken pulao) and raita. They’re also delectable in a sandwich or bun with all your favorite toppings and ketchup or green chutney.
How to Make Aloo Ki tikki
To make these Pakistani-Style Potato Cakes, you simply combine the prepared ingredients, shape them into patties, coat them in an egg wash, and shallow fry. I did my share of experimentation to perfect this Aloo Ki Tikki recipe. Here’s what I found:
This recipe uses a microwave to cook the potatoes in a hassle free way! The texture is perfect for Aloo Ki Tikki because it reduces any chance of watery potatoes.
Tips & Notes
- I tried making the tikkis with and without the egg as a binding agent. I found the ones with the egg were easier to shape and held up better. If you want to make them vegan, simply omit the egg within the potato mixture and use breadcrumbs to help bind them from the outside. You will need to be extra gentle when turning them so they retain the shape.
- To make prep time easier, I omitted any manual chopping by using a food processor. Just use the pulse setting to finely chop the mixture instead of blending it so that the onion doesn’t break down too much and create excess liquid. Of course, you can simply chop if you’d rather not us a food processor.
- Aloo ki Tikki can take a good amount of salt. If you feel something is ‘missing’, it’s likely an extra dash of salt.
How to make the Aloo Ki Tikki extra crispy
Using breadcrumbs to coat the aloo ki tikki after the egg wash is a fool-proof method to make them crispy. Though this isn’t a traditional step, I find it’s a great way to add an extra layer of crunch.
Keep in mind that the breadcrumbs tone down the other flavors. So if you go with this method, try sprinkling extra salt and spices.
Answers to your frequently asked questions:
Can these be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated before pan-frying?
Yes! You can keep the mixture (either shaped or as-is) in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. After that, the potatoes will tend to release water. Just be sure to keep them covered in an airtight container!
Can these be baked?
I have not tried baking aloo ki tikki, but I heard back from someone who tried this recipe baked! She said to bake them at 500°F sprayed with a little olive oil and they came out just as crunchy!
How do you reheat leftovers?
To rewarm leftovers, bake them uncovered at 350 °F for 5-7 minutes to help retain their crisp. You can also microwave them for 1-2 minutes.
I love using this as a ‘base recipe’ to use up leftover chicken, fish, or vegetables. Just decrease the number of potatoes, chop up your leftovers with the rest of the ingredients, and continue with the recipe.
More Pakistani Sides You’ll Love
Easy Pakistani Aloo Ki Tikki – Potato Cutlets
To Prepare the Aloo ki Tikki
- 3 large (or 5 small) russet potatoes (around 1.5 lbs)
- 1 small onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 1-2 Thai or Serrano green chili peppers stems removed and chopped in a few pieces
- 2 tbsp cilantro leaves
- 1-2 tbsp mint leaves
- 2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
- ½ tsp each black pepper powder, red chili flakes, coriander powder, and cumin powder
- pinch red chili powder or more to taste
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp chaat masala or garam masala optional
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 egg whisked
- breadcrumbs (I use gluten-free) optional – if needed to help shape
- neutral oil as needed
- 1-2 eggs whisked
- breadcrumbs (I use gluten-free) optional
To Cook the Potatoes
- Place the potatoes in a microwave safe plate (or just place on the microwave plate). Cook on high power for 5 minutes. Remove if cooked. if not, use a tong to turn each potato over, and continue to cook in 2 minute increments until done. Remove from the microwave, and cut in half to test if the potatoes have cooked fully. If not, microwave in 1 minute bursts until fully cooked. Allow to cool, then peel the potatoes and transfer to a medium bowl. Use a potato masher to mash them until no large lumps remain.
To Prepare Aloo ki Tikki
- In a food processor*, combine the rest of the ingredients except and egg and use the pulse function to chop so that the onions are finely chopped but not blended. You don't want the onions to break down too much and end up releasing water. If you do notice any excess water in the mixture, tilt the food processor to drain it or dab with a paper towel.
- Add the chopped onion mixture to the mashed potatoes and taste and adjust salt and seasoning. Lastly, add the egg and mix well. Ideally, allow this mixture to rest, covered, in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes (though I often skip this step). If you feel that they are not holding the shape as much as you'd like, add breadcrumbs, if needed.
- Using your hands, shape about 1/3 cup of the mixture into a flat, round patty about 2 ½ inches in diameter. Continue with the rest of the mixture. You should have 10-12 patties.
- Place the egg and breadcrumbs (if using) in shallow bowls so that you can dip them as you cook. Heat a large skillet, frying pan, or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.
- Dip both sides of each patty into the egg wash, and then the breadcrumbs, if using. Place 4-5 patties in the pan and allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, using a spatula to turn them over. Reduce heat as necessary.
- Remove from the pan, and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any extra oil. Repeat until you have finished pan-frying all the patties. Cook any leftover egg in the remaining oil and serve with the patties.
- Transfer to a serving platter and serve with a side of raita or chutney.