Dear Readers, you may notice the dates of the Blog do not match the Flash Post dates which are in real time. The blog was written in 2009 and saw the light of day 6 months back when my younger daughter discovered it and decided to bring it to you here.
The Versatile Potato | Flash Post 458

The Versatile Potato | Flash Post 458

Button, let’s write something on the versatile potato.

Let’s do it! I love the vegetable!

Coming to think about it, it’s the one tuber you can do a million things with. You can fry it, boil it, bake it, mash it, smash it, roast it, steam it, knead it…the possibilities are endless!

Absolutely. There isn’t a more comforting dish than French fries! Anywhere, anytime, a bowl of fries does the trick and I can’t think of a single soul who doesn’t reach out for those fries only to get hooked!

Remember that evening when we had bowl after bowl of fries and finally gave up having dinner because we were so stuffed? And, Brishti, our full-time maid, makes them brilliantly. Even McDonald’s potato fries pale in comparison with hers. She makes hers in small batches so they reach the table piping hot and crispy.

I saw you experimenting with potatoes in a Thai curry dish and everyone lapped it up. It tasted really good, I must say.

You know, of course, that I call Dost alubaba! His devotion to potatoes is sealed and stamped. If, for instance, there’s a simple dish of bhindi and potato fry, he’ll sidestep a dish he really relishes—for instance a spicy red Goalondo chicken curry—and pick out all the fried potato squares and enjoy a meal of rice with the fried potatoes only.

I have noticed his obsession with potatoes!

Now, amongst some of the potato dishes I grew up was a dish where boiled potatoes were mashed with green chillies, onion, mustard oil and salt. This dish with some ghee and salt on steaming hot rice  was glorious.  Actually, whenever we crave a simple meal, this is what we eat at home. Alu bhaja, a simple dish of fried potatoes with onions and a simple dal tastes fabulous. Then, there is alu dum which is almost always eaten with luchi—mind you—not puri. Any Bengali will scoff if told to eat puri and not luchi with the alu dum.

I love the mashed potato you make for dost with just butter, salt, pepper and some garlic powder. It tastes heavenly though I also love the other version of mashed potatoes you make with milk, cream and a touch of salt and pepper. It’s so creamy and soft.

Don’t you like the potato bhajias we make with a coating of besan and deep fried? It’s best eaten with dal and rice as well as with khichdi. Shepherd’s Pie is a dish that can’t be the pie it’s meant to be unless it has that bed of mashed potatoes spread evenly on top of the kheema with some grated cheese and baked: It’s a dish to die for. Bengalis will first look for potatoes in their fish and meat dishes and often dump the non-vegetarian ingredient just to eat the potatoes with gravy with either rice or roti. I had an aunt who used to go for the potato in a pilaf dish and not the meat! Which potato dish do you like the most, Button?

French fries—the real ones—Brishti’s ones with lots of ketchup and tartare sauce. I also love the roast potatoes you make. You?

I’m not a potato freak but if someone were to put a gun to my head, it would most certainly be really hot and crispy French fries! That makes two of us.

Mojo, too, loves potatoes! Like father, like daughter!

Mojo eats sweet potatoes which alubaba abhors: He’ll go hungry but not touch the other tuber!

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