The humble hot potato

The humble hot potato

One of the most adaptable and multifaceted, potatoes are a staple in most cuisines, writes Vivek Phadnis

The spud has to be one of the most versatile vegetables that are used in different cuisines across the world. It is in fact the star of many popular dishes making it indispensable and perhaps leaving a recipe feel lost in the woods without the potato punch!

What would the masala dosa be without the potato masala in it? It would not be a masala dosa at all. The texture and crispiness are important in giving character to the dosa. However, it is never complete without the actual masala hidden away inside the folds of the crispy dosa.  

Or take the ever-popular pav bhaji, which has potato as the main ingredient. Laden with butter and along with ladi pav, it is the perfect evening snack.  

A hot favourite breakfast/ meal dish is the aloo paratha, which is more prevalent in the northern parts of the country. Along with curd, pickle and with butter slathered on it, it is a combination that will make one drool. And, it is a meal that will keep your stomach full for a long time. 

In fact, potatoes also make for a great dry vegetable along with rotis and can be rather simple to dish out, too. Jeera aloo is a great option. Cut boiled potatoes into small pieces. Add oil to a heated pan. Throw in some jeera and once the seeds begin to splutter, add the potatoes and sauté. Add some turmeric, chilli powder and salt to taste and toss it till the potatoes have charred a little. A simple, yet tasty vegetable dish is ready to savour with hot chapatis and a salad.

To spice things up in the above dish, a bit of chopped capsicum can be added while sautéing. This way, there will be a bit of crunch in the dish as well. Another popular dish made with potatoes is the curry that is served with pooris. The bhaji is a tangy and spicy curry that goes very well with the pooris. The curry is blander in the southern parts of India, while it is made spicier in states like Maharashtra and the Northern parts of India.  

The talk of potatoes can never be complete without mentioning another favourite snack in India — the samosa. Though this deep-fried wonder tends to add a few extra calories to the body, it never fails to satiate the taste buds of even the most critical food lover.  

Western countries also have their liking for potatoes, most notably in the form of chips or French fries. Baked potatoes with oregano and other spices are regularly consumed in many countries and the dish is becoming popular in countries like India too — take the Hash Brown. All are made from the humble potato.  

Without a doubt, the potato has to be one of the most adaptable and multifaceted vegetables we consume.

(The author takes refuge in food after a tiring day with cars and gadgets.)

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