another breakfast treat: aloo chops

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summary: recipe for aloo chops (fried battered potato patties – batter made with chickpea flour); (click on image for larger view and more photos)

aloo chops A while back, I said that pakoras were the ultimate weekend breakfast. Well, thanks to SAVEUR Magazine, I’ve changed my mind…

We have had a subscription to SAVEUR for some time now. Each issue is full of wonderful ideas and articles. I love getting the magazine. It takes me about a month to read through each page. I read it slowly, savouring it (oops, no pun intended there), and just as I’m reluctantly reaching the end, a new issue appears in the mail box.

But we’re starting to have difficulty finding places to keep the back issues. They’re in stacks or on shelves in various rooms – some in my office, some on the cookbook shelf, some in the bedroom, some in the living room, one on the telephone table and a couple that get rotated in the bathroom. I know. Not the best cataloguing system.

Or is it?

The other day, T was leafing through the April 2005 issue and noticed a short article about Vada-Pav (“this ain’t no egg mcmuffin”), a Mumbai street food treat, described by the author David Leavitt’s friend as “carb-loading BLISS”. There was no accompanying recipe for it, just a description that it is spicy mashed potatoes covered in chickpea batter, fried til golden and then served inside a soft roll. As he read, he couldn’t stop dreaming about the wonderful aloo chops he used to get much further north in India in Varanasi. Aloo chops that seemed to be pretty much like the filling for Vada-Pav. And he suddenly decided we neeeeeeeeeded aloo chops.

So into the kitchen he went humming and started boiling potatoes, chopping onions, peering into spice jars and pulling out pans and racks. And accompanied with that lovely music, he made the most wonderful aloo chops!

The only thing wrong with them was that we forgot to heat up the left-over kidney bean curry in the fridge. Hmmm, not exactly much to be wrong there, is there? In fact, such an easy wrong to right. All we have to do is have aloo chops again soon.

Oh my. You really must try these for breakfast. They’re delicious!

Here’s what T does to make his aloo chops:

Aloo Chops
Nope, once again, no measurements. You’ll have to wing it.

  • Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
  • vegetable oil
  • brown mustard, cumin, fennel, nigella seeds
  • chili flakes
  • turmeric
  • fresh ginger, chopped
  • onion, chopped
  • green chillies
  • besan (chickpea flour)
  • seasalt and pepper
  • water


  1. Wash potatoes well. Place in a pot of cold salted water and bring it to a boil. Cook, covered, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Heat oil to medium heat in a wok. Add cumin, mustard, fennel and nigella seeds and leave until they start to pop.
  3. Add dried chili flakes, turmeric, ginger and onion. Continue cooking til the onion is tender.
  4. Add parboiled potatoes, chopped green chillies, salt and pepper. Coarsely mash the potatoes into the other ingredients with a spatula.
  5. Remove from heat, allow to cool and then form the potato mixture into patties.
  6. Mix besan flour, water and a little seasalt to form a batter. Coat the patties with the batter.
  7. Fry in hot oil (T used a frying pan) til golden and crispy on both sides. Fry any extra batter just like pancakes. (Or make pakora with it.)

aloo chops Serve immediately with sweet mango chutney and/or puliyinji. Chickpea (or kidney bean) curry, yoghurt and coriander leaf would also be wonderful accompaniments.

The little red chili is a devilishly hot “cayenne” (or so it said on the label at the garden center) from an overwintering plant in the basement. Even T has difficulty eating these chillies!

(Read more about Chillies (Capsicum annuum))


This entry was posted in food & drink, Indian, posts with recipes, spicy, vegetables on by .

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1 response to “another breakfast treat: aloo chops

  1. MyKitchenInHalfCups

    Potatoes and chickpeas for breakfast . . . sign me up. Some people have a hard time with un-traditional things for breakfast but not me. I’m a hashbrown fan at all times and these seem like just a little different hash brown I’d love.

    I adore hashbrowns too, Tanna. So I think you’ll love aloo chops. And they’re not just for breakfast! We’re having them tonight for dinner along with kidney bean curry and sauteed dandelion greens. I can’t wait! -Elizabeth


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