Easy to prepare at home, this dish is everyone’s favourite
Did you know that the humble potato is the fourth largest cash crop in India after rice, wheat and maize? Known as the king of vegetables, potato can be enjoyed either by itself or in combinations with other vegetables, in meat dishes, in different forms – be it chips, cutlets, as potato chips, finger chips, in parathas, in pancakes, French fries, you name it. Probably the most loved among all foods for its sheer versatility, the lowly potato tastes good any way you make it – baked, boiled, fried or sautéed.
The potato or solanum tuberosum L. is a staple not only in India but across the world now. It was the Inca Indians in Peru who first cultivated the potato around 8000-5000 BC. These tubers are now a major food crop and grown in over 100 countries. It is easy to grow, is resilient to adverse weather conditions, and abundant in fruition. Potatoes are known to be the answer to food shortages and end famines.
It was the Portuguese who first brought the potato to Indian shores in the early 17th Century and it was restricted to being grown along the Malabar coast. It was only in the 18th Century that the potato came to be grown across the country because the British were on a ‘civilising mission’. The idea was to replicate local vegetable varieties with more superior plants. And since they were on a long term mission of staying in India, it made a lot more sense to grow it locally than to import it. By the 19th Century, potatoes were being grown all across Bengal and the hills of Northern India. Being a short duration crop, the potato produces more quantity of edible energy and edible protein in lesser duration of time than cereals like rice and wheat. Hence, potatoes may prove to be a useful tool to achieve the nutritional security of a nation.
Here’s the recipe for Masala Baby Potatoes.
Cooking time: 10 mins
• 500 gms baby potatoes (do not remove their skins)
• 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
• 6 tsps red chilli powder (Kashmiri mirch)
• 1 tsp garam masala
• Salt, to taste
• 4 tsps amchur (dry mango powder)
• 2 tsps coriander powder
• 2 tbsps oil
• Wash and clean the baby potatoes thoroughly.
• Without removing their skins, put them in a baking pan.
• Drizzle a bit of oil and coat them well and set to bake at high till soft.
• Once they are ready, keep aside to cool.
• Now, mix the spice powders in a little bit of water in a small bowl.
• Heat a pan, pour oil into it and pour the masala mix into the pan.
• Once it starts to thicken, put the potatoes in and coat them well with this paste.
• Remove them from the flame, plate them and serve hot with freshly chopped coriander leaves