Lotus root gulabi tikki

These Gulabi tikkis are a favourite in the Gulabani household owing to their soft centres and pleasant tartness that comes from using a combination of whole dried pomegranate seeds and dried mango powder. We make a variation with lotus root and potato, as well as one with boiled Suran flowers.

You'll need

Potatoes 2 medium
Lotus root 250g
SaltCumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Green chillies 2
Coriander 1/4 cup, freshly chopped
Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp
Dried mango powder 1/4 tsp
Dried pomegranate seeds 1/4 tsp
Garam masala 1/4 tspFor the batter

Besan 3/4 cup
Salt 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp
Baking soda a pinch

*If making Suran Flower Gulabi Tikkis, use 1/2 kilo of Suran and halve all the above ingredients. If you do not add lotus root or potatoes, the texture of the Susan filling will be very soft. Also, do not add the dried pomegranate seeds

Boil the potatoes unpeeled and mash while they are still warm.
Peel, wash and slice the lotus root. Cook the lotus root in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover them and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for 2-3 whistles depending on your cooker, cook till easy to mush but not completely soggy. Remove and drain well. In a grinding stone, put cumin seeds, green chillies, salt, pound till the cumin is everything well crushed. Add the lotus root and pound into this paste. Transfer this paste to the bowl of mashed potatoes. Throw in a the chopped coriander, salt, red chilli powder, dried mango powder. At this stage you can also add 1/4 tsp dried pomegranate seeds if you like the bite, 1/8 tsp garam masala. Mix until everything is just combined. Do not overmix. Form into little balls and keep side.

Make the chickpea flour and water slurry. Add salt, red chilli powder and water and 1/8 tsp of soda.
Heat the oil for deep-frying and refrigerate the tikki mixture until it is time to serve. Dip the tikki into the slurry and fry on medium-high heat for 2 minutes until golden brown. Batter frying time always depends on how thick or thin your slurry is. The thicker the slurry, the longer the cooking time. Alternately, these tikkis can be half-fried and frozen/refrigerated and shallow-fried in a pan for later. If doing so, make sure to press down with a spatula when doing this.

Variation for Suran Flower:
Keep the Suran flowers soaked in water for minimum 1 hour. Try and change the water periodically to try and get all the dirty bits out. Pop it in the cooker like you would boil potatoes, but cook for only 1 whistle. Remove and drain well. When cool, peel using a blunt knife so as to not take too much of the flesh off. Mash with a fork to get all the lumps off and mash. Do not add the optional pomegranate seeds. Keep the rolled balls of batter chilled till you prepare your chickpea flour/besan slurry. For the master batter for pakodas

Remember to always test the first pakoda for salt before frying the rest. You don’t want to land up with a batch that is unsalted, or not well seasoned. The raw mango pakodas are a favourite during the summer.

Besan 3/4 cup
Salt 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp
Baking soda a pinch

Bottle gourd and Potato, peeled and sliced thinly and keep in salted water till needed. Aubergine- to be salted and set aside very briefly, just 5-10 minutes. Any more and they start to become quite limp. Chillies would have to be washed, slit and salted. The dry powder mix for the filling consists of 3 tsp red chilli powder, 2 tsp dry mango powder, 1 tsp ground cumin powder and salt to taste. Stuff the chillies with this mixture. This dry spice powder is enough for 250g of chillies. Set aside.
Raw mango- use smaller green mangoes with thinner skin, cut into thin (2mm) slices and keep aside. Salt them just before frying.

The Kheecha and Kachris I used were lotus root, chillies, dried tomato and gourd, to be fried in not-very-hot oil, pressing down with a metal spatula to keep the kheecha immersed in the oil for a few seconds before draining the residual oil on the side of the kadai and transferring to paper towels. All these kachris and kheechas can be bought at the speciality Sindhi stores at Khar market.

This is one of six dishes from A Sindhi summer maani.

Ankiet Gulabani of Belly Over Mind dishes details about this exclusive menu for Nicobar here. Find him on Instagram
here, or head to his website here.