City Food – Unusual Tikki, Gupta Chaat Corner
A popular snack’s strange adaptation.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Nobody can object to the fact that deep-fried aloo patties soused in a cold gravy of dahi and chutneys make up the essentials of a respectable plate of tikki. A smattering of gourmand destinations in the National Capital Region doles out universally accepted versions of this dish. Some are legends such as the Natraj ke Dahi Bhalle in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk. Many other Delhiwales prefer the versions served elsewhere, such as in the Bengali Market. Tikki abound in various adaptations, too. Some stalls stuff it with namkeen, others with chhole.
The Gupta Chaat Corner in Gurgaon’s Roshanpura specialises in a rare variety. Lachha tikki looks odd—encrusted with lachhas or shavings of potato. As if super-thin French fries were squeezed into a ball, flattened and fried.
“Yes, almost like that,” laughs cook Ankit. The young gentleman explains that the patties for lachha tikkis are made of grated half-boiled potatoes. “Ordinary tikkis consist of simple aloo mash.” Expectedly, this tikki is far crispier; and your palate explicitly experiences the lachha’s rough zigzagging texture. Ideally, you must consume it dry, unadorned by tikki’s typical khatti-meethi relishes. The great crunchiness is then felt so intensely that your brain virtually echoes with the roaring sound of the tikki’s crispness collapsing dramatically inside your mouth.
Founded forty years ago, the shop opens daily from 10am to 8pm.