Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An Ode to Adaptation

Adaptation comes in so many forms. You enter this world from the warm cocoon of your mother’s womb … you adapt
You break away from the apron strings for the first time, when you start school … you adapt again
You experience freedom in college … it’s adaptation time once more
You step into the big, bad world of corporate sharks … you’d better adapt!
You fall in love … of course, you adapt!
You get married and share your life with someone, you adapt like never before!!
And so it goes on….
Since adaptation is so ingrained in our nature, it’s but natural for us to keep on doing it in every sphere of our lives. Be it dressing, eating, speaking, it’s what we do, without a second thought. And of course, when it comes to cooking, adaptation is a fundamental right!

One of A’s schoolmates runs a very successful snack bar cum sweetmeat shop called Trupti. The original store is located in CP Tank and has been in the family for I’m not sure how many generations. R and his wife have expanded the business to open a new outlet at Phoenix Mills. Not wanting to compromise on quality and personal attention, they are limiting themselves to just these 2 stores, at least for now. Their sweets and snacks are simply lip-smacking, you can’t go wrong with anything you buy from here. A and I love their Aloo Tikki, which has a crisp potato coating encasing a delicious filling. Now, coming back to my earlier point about adaptation, I wanted to try and replicate the crispiness of Trupti’s tikkis and while doing a net search, stumbled on this recipe at Earth Vegan. I followed the recipe to a T, but we found the tikkis turned out a tad too dry, albeit tasty. So the next time around, I reduced the quantity of rice flour and besan by half and added moistened slices of bread to the potato mixture. Now these little babies hit just the right note - crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside.

Potato Tikkis
(makes about 15)


Potatoes – 3 nos, medium sized
Onion – 1 no, medium sized
Green chilli – 1 no, minced fine
Chickpea flour – 1 tbsp
Rice flour – 1 tbsp
Ginger – 1 tbsp, grated
Garlic – 1 tbsp, chopped fine
Bread slices – 2-3, moistened and crumbled
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs, crushed
Coriander leaves – a handful, chopped fine
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying


1. Boil, peel and mash the potatoes
2. Add finely chopped onion
3. Mix in all the rest of the ingredients and knead well to bind together
4. Moisten your palms and grab small handfuls of the mixture to form into flat patties
5. Heat oil for deep frying and cook the tikkis on both sides till golden

This recipe goes to Blog Bites #3 – Adaptation, being hosted on One Hot Stove. And just to give a little twist in the tale, here’s an adaptation of another kind :-) For sometime now, I was in search of a simple crochet pattern for a shoulder bag, that was “holey” enough for a lining to show through. Clicking on links that listed patterns for “Bags and Purses” did not yield any joy. So, I hit upon the idea of looking at items like blankets, afghans and dishcloths, from where I could simply take the pattern of stitches and adapt it into a bag! Et voila … this granny square blanket at The Handmade Dress was the perfect match. Here is my work in progress.

I simply loved the summery, citrusy colours of this yarn. I plan to make 2 of these squares, and then crochet 3 strips wide enough for the sides and base. Finally, all these pieces will get seamed into one shoulder bag… whew, I’m keeping my fingers crossed, hoping the finished product will be blog worthy :-)