I am constantly wondering if Yuvi is as innocent as he seems. I can’t quite make out. I don’t know if I’ve told you this story before.
Flashback a few years back when he was barely 4.
He asked me one day – “Do you know which girl I like most in the world?”
He was in LKG. I wasn’t ready yet for girlfriends and the lot. I knew among his friends, there was one girl.
I said, Who da? Neha?
I: Then who?
Yuvi: Nee thaan! (You!)
I was beyond touched that I was his most favourite girl in the world, that he said it the way he did, that he called me a girl!
I nearly cried. I lifted him up, kissed him and danced around the room carrying him. I related this incident to Jagan. He seemed a little less overwhelmed. I put it down to jealousy.
A couple of days later my maamiyaar (mother-in-law) said, “Yesterday, you know what Yuvan said? He asked me if I knew which girl he liked the most in the whole world.”
I knew what she was going to say. I didn’t want to act too proud. I didn’t want her to feel bad. I tried my best to keep my face modest and curious.
Maamiyaar: I asked him if it was his teacher.
I didn’t expect her to suspect me but teacher I thought was a bad substitute.
Maamiyaar: He said, “No!” Then I asked him, “Is it your amma?”
She had exceeded my expectations. She did find out. I beamed. I couldn’t suppress my glee much.
Maamiyaar: He said, “No. It is you!”
I looked at Jagan. Jagan looked at me. We had underestimated little Yuvi. This little man far exceeded his dad’s prowess at chivalry, lying and diplomacy. Jagan seemed to acknowledge that he was the lesser talent here.
Yuvi walked in then in his kutty jatti asking me to find his red car. I still couldn’t believe that this little imp in his kutty jatti was also a charmer of aunties, paatis and ammammas. What do I know?
This boy also takes after his father in his love for all things meat. I knew that he’d love these chicken aloo tikkis. Hasini enjoyed them too. These chicken aloo tikkis are surprisingly easy to make. Like with most other deep fried items, these can be made ahead and stowed away in the fridge until frying time. Having a box of ready to fry goodies in the fridge makes me feel thoughtful, prepared, suave and sophisticated. Having a dabba of idli maavu (idli batter) in the fridge makes me feel safe, secure and confident. Items in my fridge define how I feel about myself.
My most favourite way to make these chicken aloo tikkis (or any other deep fried snack) is to ready them and chill them in the fridge on day 1 and fry them on day 2 or any other day. Chilling also helps bind the tikkis up and avoid the nightmare of having them break down in hot oil. There’s no corn-flour or egg used in these tikkis. Soaked bread and boiled potatoes help bring the chicken tikkis together and they also give the tikkis the hearty, perfectly balanced flavor of fried goodness.
Serve these tikkis hot with some ketchup. They’ll vanish in no time. Enjoy!
Chicken Aloo Tikki
- Chicken mince – 500 gm
- Onion – 1 large chopped fine
- Green chillies – 3 chopped fine
- Potato – 3 boiled peeled and mashed
- Bread slices – 5
- Ginger – 1 inch piece peeled and chopped
- Garlic – 5 cloves peeled
- Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Oil for deep frying
- To a pan, add a tablespoon of oil.
- When the oil turns hot, add the chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies and onion and fry for a couple of minutes or until the onion turns translucent.
- Break the chicken mince up and add to the pan. Continue to fry the chicken mince while breaking it up with the spatula. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and cumin powder. Mix well and cook until the chicken is cooked though and turns white, about 5-8 minutes.
- Switch off and let the mixture cool down completely.
- Once cooled down, transfer the mixture to a mixie and pulse until it is coarsely ground. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl.
- Mix in the mashed potatoes.
- Soak the bread slices in water, squeeze out the water and crumble the bread slices into the bowl with the chicken mince.
- Mix the potatoes and bread into the chicken mince until fully incorporated.
- Make lemon sized balls of the chicken mixture and shape into tikkis. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Heat a kadai with oil for deep frying.
- Slip a few tikkis into the kadai without crowding the kadai. Flip after about half a minute making sure the tikkis are golden brown all over. Remove onto absorbent paper. Fry the rest of the tikkis in the same way. Serve with ketchup. Enjoy!