Aloo Tikki, Delhi.
It’s everywhere – this lovely little croquette of potatoes, spices, crafted with and without fillings, served with all manner of condiments – brightly hued chutneys of tamarind and coriander, chickpea curry, yoghurt, garnished with chopped onions, cilantro and radish. So widespread is its appeal that the little aloo tikki can truly be found anywhere in India, and often beyond its shores.
In your travels, you may come upon a reincarnation of the humble aloo tikki in McDonald’s garb. By all accounts, this affair with the overlords of fast food has produced little of value, and the McAloo is pretty awful – and no amount of pale grey ceiling tiles, bleak fluorescent lighting, and heat lamps can create the right aloo tikki vibe. It is street food, and it is best eaten standing on a sidewalk. Stick with the original, available now at millions of little outposts just like the one below.
For the uninitiated, Anthony Bourdain’s food centric travels around the world are a pretty fantastic glimpse into food+culture, especially this episode that’s all about street food : No Reservations, Volume 7, Episode 4 ‘Down on the Street’. It’s available on Netflix, streaming now.