Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mashed Potatoes - Desi Style

I love potatoes. Period.

But thanks to my genetic makeup (I can pile on the pounds with ease!) and the added high carb content of potatoes, I make an effort to avoid them as much as I can. I even have a rule that helps me stay in control: if I can remember the restaurant, place, month and date of the last time I had them, then it's too early to eat potatoes again. Over the years I've extended this rule to anything and everything from brownies to cheese cake to apple pie to pizza etc. It works well for me and my eating binges have considerably been in check. So far at least.

My potato craving set in quite recently when I sprained my ankle and could not stand long enough to cook anything. So I ended up buying a 2 pound bag of potatoes. Now this was way back (on May 31 to be exact) and I used up almost half of it to make oven-roasted potatoes. After that, although I was sufficiently recovered, I traveled all over Europe for 3 weeks and had no further opportunity/need to cook. Last week, after a particularly long day at work, I pulled a muscle in the same ankle once again and had to rest at home. So I re-visited the old bag of potatoes and decided to ignore the rules for once. Another reason was the amazing mashed potatoes with button mushrooms and zucchini stir fry that I had in Paris the weekend before at "L'Autour d'un Verre" on rue de Trévise. Hands-down, the best mashed potatoes I've ever had. Which of course was expected I guess given that I was in France.

So all of these factors combined led me to experiment with mashed potatoes. I looked up recipes online and found out that mashed potatoes is quite a lot of work and called for many ingredients that I was missing. I decided to just go with my guts and experiment a little.

Potatoes - 8, medium size
Garlic - 2 to 4 cloves depending on size
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Butter - 2 to 3 tbsp
Chaat masala powder - 3 tsp
Salt to taste

1. Wash the potatoes and cook them (whole, with skin) with water in a big vessel. About 20 minutes on high. Check with a fork or knife to see if its done. Alternatively, cooking them in a pressure cooker would also work (2 whistles).
2. Drain, peel and mash well until it is smooth without any lumps. You can also add a little water/milk to make the consistency right.
2. Chop the garlic and ginger into small pieces. Heat butter in the vessel and fry the garlic and ginger until they are well browned.
4. Add the mashed potatoes and mix well. Now add the remaining butter and blend it into the potatoes. You can also add water/milk to make the consistency right at this step.
5. Now add the chaat masala and salt. Taste it and add more as needed. Can be garnished with finely chopped coriander leaves if needed.

Alternatively, you can also mix the salt and masalas to the potatoes while mashing them and top it with the fried garlic and ginger and then baking for about 15 minutes in the oven at 250 F would also be a good twist. Experiment away! :)

Tastes real good eaten with vegetable stir fry (I personally prefer zucchini, button mushrooms and spring onions). But for lazy days, it tastes amazing with just rice or roti. Believe me!

Basics of the recipe inspired from this one on Food Network

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