Panko Crusted Pea Fritters with Tamarind Jelly

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on July 17, 2009

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Pea and potato fritters (aloo mutter tikki) are a popular snack or appetizer in India. This is an updated version of the traditional tikki. I coat the fritters in panko bread crumbs before shallow frying them to create a crispy, golden, delicate crust. Tikkis are usually served with a sweet, tart tamarind sauce. I serve the fritters with tamarind jelly instead. I added a little fruit pectin to the tamarind to achieve a nice jelly like texture. The pectin is totally optional and the end result will taste equally delicious with or without the pectin.

frozen-green-peas

 The main ingredient here are green peas and potatoes. I used 1 cup of peas and 1/2 cup of boiled potatoes because I wanted the peas to be the star of this dish. Add more potatoes and less peas if you like.

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 Start by sauteeing frozen peas, boiled potatoes, chili powder and cumin.

dipp-in-panko-and-fry-fritters

 Then form the potato-pea mixture into discs. Dip the discs in flour and water. Then roll in panko. Shallow fry till crisp and golden on the outside.

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 The end result is a gorgeous, golden fritter waiting to be doused in sweet, tart, cumin scented tamarind jelly..

  tamarind-boiling-for-jelly

For the tamarind jelly, I used seedless tamarind pulp that comes in a block. You can find this at the Asian store. You must boil the tamarind pulp first to extract the juice. Strain the tamarind water, and add sugar, cumin and fruit pectin to it. Boil the jelly for about 10 minutes. It will thicken up nicely and when cool, become jelly-like. The fruit pectin is totally optional. The pectin only adds to the texture and not to the flavor of this jelly.

Why did I call this a jelly and not a jam? For a great write up on the difference between jam and jelly, see this article from Tastes Like Home.

For a tamarind jam recipe using fresh tamarind, see this post from Coffee and Vanilla

tamarind-jelly

When the jelly cools, it will thicken up. Once cool, store it in an air tight container.

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Panko Crusted Pea Fritters
Makes 6 fritters

1 cup frozen peas
½ cup boiled potato cubes (or 1 small boiled potato)
½ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
Salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp flour
¾ cup water
salt
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup vegetable oil for shallow frying
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet and add the peas (no need to defrost) and boiled potato cubes. Then add the cumin and chili powders and salt. Saute this mixture on medium heat for about 5 minutes or till the peas have defrosted and the cumin is fragrant. Turn off heat, and add mint. Using a potato masher, lightly mash the mixture and set aside.
When the peas mixture is cool enough to handle, divide it into 6 parts. Using your palms roll each into a ball and then flatten it into a disc.
In a small bowl, mix the flour, water and salt together. Place the panko bread crumbs in a shallow plate. Heat the oil for frying.

Dip the pea and potato discs first into the flour and water mixture and then place in the plate with panko. Gently coat the discs with panko on all sides.
Shallow fry the discs a few at a time in hot oil. Serve with tamarind jelly.

Tamarind Jelly
Makes about ¼ cup

1 ½ cups water
1 tbsp seedless tamarind pulp
5 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp cumin
A pinch of salt
1 tsp fruit pectin, optional
Place the water and tamarind in a pan and boil for 2 minutes. Using a fork mash the tamarind in the water. Then strain the mixture, pushing the tamarind pulp through a strainer.
Place the strained tamarind water back in the pan and bring to a boil. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes or till the mixture has thickened and reduced to less than half. The sauce will thicken further and ‘jell’ as it cools.

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Comments

comments

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dana July 17, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Gorgeous and very clear photos. I love how these are fried but don’t look oily at all.

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2 Ram July 17, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Wow! Looks very yummy!

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3 a2zvegetariancuisine July 17, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Wow looks fantastic. Great detailed Photographs.

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4 Kamala July 18, 2009 at 2:49 am

Scrumptious Sala! And the photos are really professional. Love the food styling!

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5 varsha July 18, 2009 at 3:21 am

I love the way u add step by step pics Sala..too good..:)..n I persume your hubby take snaps while u cook or is it autoshot..nyhow..lovely tikkis n jelly..:)

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Sala (Veggie Belly) Reply:

@varsha, no, i use a tripod :)

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6 Manasi July 18, 2009 at 7:37 am

I started using Panko a couple of years ago, and what a big difference it made to all my breaded, fried stuff.

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7 veggie wedgie July 18, 2009 at 11:50 am

Holy yum!! I love tamarind in recipes

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8 chakhlere July 18, 2009 at 12:47 pm

They those are amazing!!
Looks yummy!!
I generally use Italian flavored bread crumbs. Never tried Panko. will try now!!
Amazing pictures…I am drooling!

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9 Michelle July 18, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I’ve never even thought of peas and fritters in the same sentence. They look wonderful though. Great photos and recipe.

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10 Cynthia July 18, 2009 at 3:14 pm

This is ingenious!

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11 Rachel Cotterill July 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Wow, those look delicious. I’m not good at frying things (I tend to burn myself!) but I might have to try for these.

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12 Soma July 18, 2009 at 7:27 pm

I love the use of panko. never thought of it! .. but what i love most here is the tamarind jelly. I have to make this:-)

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13 yasmeen July 19, 2009 at 8:46 am

Love your new space.The fritters look totally delish!

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14 Cindy dg July 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm

I love the pea friters, I can’t wait to try them, we LOVE panko bread crumbs at our house!
Cindy
http://vegetarianmamma.blogspot.com

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15 grace July 19, 2009 at 4:52 pm

these look great! i love that you can see the jewel-like whole peas, and i think that tamarind jelly is the PERFECT accompaniment. very nice!

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16 ale July 20, 2009 at 5:38 am

Lovely pictures Sala, like always! The filling reminds me of another south Indian savoury, the aloo bonda. I’m looking forward to trying this one out !

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17 Laura July 20, 2009 at 1:22 pm

I bet the flavor of the freshness in this dish is unparalled. Will definitely be trying this one…finally a way to get my toddler son to eat peas!

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18 ila January 18, 2010 at 6:43 am

sorry to disagree, but this seems so “off” from the orignal, earthy yet light super tasty tikkis & imli chutney one is used to…. tamarind, jaggery, dates, a pinch of red chilly, rock salt, dry ginger pd & cumin…. yum… your sauce seems to need some help! ditto the light as air tikkis one eats on the roads! :)

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19 Anu Menon July 16, 2010 at 3:08 am

:) i love the ladles you use… i wanted to say so much more but i’m not supposed to type(carpal tunnel)
im not sppsed to cook either but i love the sound of the tamarind jelly :)

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20 Tom Salamoen August 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Sala: I tried to make these. In addition to making one whale of a mess, spattered oil all over the place, my fritters kept falling apart. I tried to eliminate the water, but same results. I raised the temperature of the oil and while they now stuck together, they burned. Granted I am not an experienced cook, but where did I miss the boat? Any thoughts or helpful hints. What I did produce tasted good – but were pretty ugly and admittedly charred. Feel free to email me if you wish. Thanks you in advance, Tom

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Oh no! I sounds like there was either water in your pan, or the pea potato mixture had too much moistrue. You could wrap the potatoes in paper towel and microwave them, to avoid excess moisture from boiling in water. If you are not too experienced in the kitchen, it may be easier to pan fry the fritters, rather than shallow or deep fry. Using less oil, and frying up a few at a time, will give you more control.

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21 Meghan May 16, 2011 at 9:31 am

I don’t like peas. Is there a substitute I can use for the peas? Everything else sounds great!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

you could use frozen mixed vegetables, sweet corn, carrots or cauliflower cut into small cubes, or chickpeas.

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22 Vittoria February 7, 2012 at 7:42 am

wow looks delicious! :-)

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23 Siri Chand July 24, 2012 at 10:32 am

This looks so absolutely amazing – am looking forward to trying your creative recipes… each one has so much to offer with taste and revamping. I particularly like your vegan section:)

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24 Naomi May 10, 2013 at 11:06 am

This looks wonderful, and I am a huge fan of anything with tamarind. Thank you!

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