It was a cloudy day, I was hopping against hope that it does not rain. I turned by moped to the gate and yelled out, “ mumma, will be back late today” Bosky was visibly upset and grunted a bark, as I petted her silky soft hair and zoomed off. I was scared of the geese that were lining up in a war pattern. I put my feet up on the tiny foot rest of the moped. The geese got distracted by a cat, it was an everyday story, geese are such stupid birds I thought to myself. Kp was out with her denim backpack, “ sorry am late” I smiled and we were off to collage. the route was so scenic, hardly any traffic…as we entered our campus I could smell the aroma of fresh samosas and sweet n sour emli ( tamarind) chutney. I parked my moped, waved at kavita, who had herself just entered in her green Maruti 800.
Three of us made way to the canteen, a shaggy shed like structure, not conducive for cooking…the output: best burgers, chaat, samosas in town. We told him to keep three burgers for lunch and a generous helping of chutney. It was an Indian sloppy burger, as you bit into the burger, the chutney would trickle down and the structure of the burger will collapse from the weight of the ingredients.. it was the most juicy thing I have ever eaten. With a sweet n spicy potato cutlet…there was reason to live, light at the end of the tunnel. It was always lunch after Watal’s grilling macro economic theories and the law of diminishing marginal returns ( which failed miserably when it come to the burger) …The canteen was right by Watal’s class and the smell of roosting potatoes on a ghee smeared grill was as tormenting as Watal’s hawk eye on us.
It was one of those cold winter Lucknow days when bhaiyaji ( canteen owner/chef) was in a chatty mood, I asked him, “ bhaiyaji, tikki mein kya dala hey” ( what are the ingredients of the cutlet). Bhaiyaji responded with great pride, “ mitha alu aur sada aloo, is kay chips bhi bahut achey banteinhai” ( sweet potatoes and plain potatoes, you can even make chips from it ). I suggested he starts making chips, he told me it was labor intensive and declined my recommendation.
Kp, Kavita and myself walked to the far end of our campus with three paper plates housing three giant juicy burgers…little did I know, that taste will stay with me for the rest of my life.
4-5 sweet potatoes
5-6 tbsp oil
For seasoning add salt and pepper or a blend of the spices below.
pink himalayan salt
crushed white pepper
crushed black pepper
red chili powder
crushed dried mint leaves
mix all the above per taste
Preheat oven to 375F
Slice the sweet potatoes in circle ( like chips) If you make it too thick it will not be crisp, too think it will burn. I used a mandolin cutter.
Line the baking tray with parchment and spray oil arrange the sweet potatoes so that none of them overlap, spray a generous amount of oil.
Bake for 20- 25 min, turn them in between and keep a watch, if you have sliced them too think it will take about 10-12 min if it’s thicker it will take more time.
The chips does not stay as crunchy as potato chips the next day.