Dubai: If there is one vegetable in Indian cuisine that you cannot do without, it is the potato. From breakfast to lunch, snacks and dinner, they are used in different ways: boiling, frying, roasting or baking. They are versatile.
Potatoes are a cook’s delight. You can use them as filler parathas (slightly fried Indian bread), add to curries, cook at biryanis or even make a to discuss (Indian snack with spicy yogurt). India’s love for potatoes is real.
A food crop so central to Indian recipes, you would think they originated in India. However, this is not the case. According to many online publications, potatoes were first discovered in South America and arrived in India with Portuguese travelers.
However, the British, who were colonizing India at that time (1858-1947), popularized the vegetable, and thus it became a part of Indian regional cuisines.
From the south of India to the north, from east to west, potato-based recipes are popular. For example, the famous masala dosa from the southern region of India to the classical vada pav of Maharashtrian (from western India), the aloo chaat from the north, and the singharas from the Indian state of Bengal have all potatoes. It’s relatively safe to say that most people love potatoes.
The Gulf News Food team has compiled five classic Indian regional recipes featuring the star vegetable – the potato. Here they are:
1. Aloo Bahji: Aloo here means potatoes, and bhaji is a dish made from fried vegetables. This recipe is a quick recipe that uses mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and split green chiles for flavor. Mix some cubed potatoes, tomatoes, spices in a pan, garnish with chopped coriander, you have aloo bhaji ready in 15 minutes. Here is a recipe to try.
2. Spicy Potato Puris: You must have heard of the famous North Indian breakfast dish, Aloo Paratha (fried bread with spicy potato topping). Here is another version – spicy potato puris or fried bread with potatoes. The potatoes in this recipe are boiled, peeled and mashed into a paste, spiced with cumin and garam masala. Once baked, the dough is broken into small balls and rolled out thinly to be fried. The result – golden, crispy and spicy aloo puris, served hot. Try this recipe for spicy mashed potatoes.
3. Mumbai Vada Pav: This is a classic Maharashtrian street food that enjoys worldwide popularity. the vada (a fried breaded potato pancake) is sandwiched between a chutney spread on a cobbler or bun and serve with crispy salted fried green chiles. Walk into any high street shop in Mumbai and you will find people from all walks of life enjoying this classic snack. Call it a desi burger if you like, and try the recipe here.
4. Potato Bondas: A deep fried South Indian Indian snack, potato bondas are best served on a rainy day with a steaming cup of filter coffee or masala chai. This recipe uses mashed potatoes, tempered with curry leaves and mustard seeds, dipped in a gram flour batter and then fried. If it makes you want a goodread the recipe here and give it a try.
5. Singapore: Singaras are a classic snack from Kolkata, India. Call them fried pastries with spiced potatoes and best enjoyed with a side of sweet-sticky chutney. This recipe uses potatoes prepared with Bengali panchphoron or five-spice blend and peanuts. Then this mixture is filled in a salty batter and fried until crispy. Accompanied by a chutney recipe, it is a quintessential Bengali snack. Try this step-by-step guide to create Singhara and enjoy!
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