2 June 2007
Mushroom Tikkis flavoured with Nigella Seeds
Just as I am writing this, there are gusty winds blowing and it's starting to pour and instantly there is the unmistakable mitti ki khushboo or the sweet smell of the freshly drenched soil. The weather feels suddenly quite bearable and I am craving for a large masala chai. It rained like this the evening of the day before and wow this feels deliciously good, even if our dish TV antenna is failing to catch signals due to the crazy winds!
An ex-collegue and me had made afternoon plans to catch up but am I glad we cancelled it. There nothing as good as enjoying the rains from your balcony, even jutting your head out to catch the downpour & nothing as bad as getting stuck in the middle of the road , when every autowala worth his salt will refuse to take to anywhere. Can I see other Mumbaikars nodding their heads??
And hey, what a conincidence that I'm sharing with you perfect rainy season food, something chatpata and fun to have with spicy chai! This one is totally inspired by one of the recent episodes of Sanjeev Kapoor's Khana Khazana. My addition was mainly the Nigella seeds or Kalonji which imparted a strong fragrance to the tikkis.
Mushroom tikki flavoured with Nigella seeds
Category: Finger food, quick dinner
Time taken: Under 30 minutes
Makes: 4 large tikkis
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp kalonji or Nigella Seeds
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 pack mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (to make 2 heaped cups or so)
1 medium potato, boiled, peeled and smashed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1/2 cup rava
1 tbsp oil or more for browning tikkis
Boil the mushrooms in1/4 cup water or microwave on high for 4 minutes, till soft. Drain and cool. Grind this in a small jar into a coarse paste. You could also use a ricer to mash this. Keep aside.
In a non stick pan, heat 1 tsp oil. Sizzle the Nigella seeds in oil for a few seconds, add the chopped garlic. Saute for a brief while. Do not brown. Put it in the chopped onions with a pinch of salt and saute until soft and lightly browned. This will take around 3-4 minutes.
Next, add the coarsely ground mushrooms and stir for 3-4 minutes on high heat, till the mixture is dry. Remove into a bowl and cool for 5 minutes or so.
In the same bowl, add the smashed potatoes, remaining ingredients and season with salt to taste. Taste the mixture for salt and spices.
Spread the rava/semolina on a flat dish. Shape the mixture for the tikkis into thick rounds. I made 4 large tikkis from the above mentioned quantities. Handling them gently, coat on both sides with rava and shallow fry on a greased non-stick pan or grill for 3 minutes on each side till brown and crisp.
Serve in a burger bun or as it is with ketchup or chutney.
Boiling and grinding the mushrooms brings out a lot of flavour from them and the nigella seeds are a powerhouse of taste. Less is more in this case and just 1/4 tsp keeps the oniony taste going throughout.
If you find the tikkis somewhat fragile to handle, then put it in the fridge for 30 minutes before shaping and browning. If that doesn't help either, add in some bread crumbs to the mixture.
Between starting this post and ending it, the rains have ceased and the sun is trying to come out once again to terrorise us :)
Since Tikkis are so Indian and there are two hearty vegetables in this one, I shall submit this for the T of Indian Vegetables at Nupur's!