From Dum Aloo To Spanish Omelette: How The World Eats Potatoes
Image Credit: Shutterstock | Potatoes are very versatile

Potatoes were first cultivated in Peru around 8000 BC to 5000 BC. Spanish explorers discovered the flavour of potatoes in Peru in 1536 and took them to Europe. In 1589, Sir Walter Raleigh, an English soldier and writer, introduced potatoes to Ireland. The humble potato spread to the rest of Europe after four decades. They became widely accepted only after receiving a seal of approval from Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. Jefferson served potatoes to guests at the White House and they became popular from then on. Irish immigrants to the US further solidified their popularity. Here’s a look at five ways potatoes are eaten around the world:

Dum aloo

Dum translates to “steam-cooked” and dum aloo is essentially a dish of potatoes in gravy. The Indian dish is an important part of the cuisine of Kashmiri Pandits. It is also eaten in Bengal and Varanasi. The creamy gravy for dum aloo is made with yogurt, onions, tomatoes, ginger, coriander and chilli; the potatoes are then coated in it. 


Traditional Turkish street food, kumpir is similar to jacket potato. After being baked in the oven with its skin on, the potato is sliced open, buttered and filled with different toppings that may include meat, fish, vegetables, pickles or cheese. The dish came to Turkey from Croatia but the Turks adopted it as their own.

Hasselback potatoes

Hasselback potatoes were created by a trainee chef named Leif Elisson at Hasselbacken restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1953. They are also called accordion potatoes because of how they are segmented. The potato to be cooked is thinly sliced almost all the way through to resemble an accordion, buttered and baked. 

Mashed potatoes

Eaten with a traditional Sunday roast and as a side with other dishes, mashed potatoes are easy to find in most countries. To make the popular side dish, baked and peeled potatoes are mixed with butter, milk, pepper and a pinch of salt and then mashed. They are called smashed potatoes if left chunky or just mash if pulpy. 

Spanish omelette

Also called tortilla Española, Spanish omelette isn’t thin and wriggly like a regular omelette. Sliced potatoes and onions are mixed with eggs that have been beaten and the mixture is poured into a deep frying pan. The thick omelette is cooked on each side until brown on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It tastes especially good with mustard.