Kunal Vijayakar Says Hello to the Virtuous Cousin of Potato, You Can Too


What The Fork

Wonderfully scrumptious however notoriously ill-reputed because the potato could also be (as a sort of carbohydrate that the physique digests quickly, inflicting blood sugar and insulin to ‘surge and dip’) and whose abuse ultimately contributes to weight problems, diabetes and coronary heart illness, its shut kin, the candy potato, will not be solely way more inculpable, it is somewhat virtuous and in reality your pal and bosom buddy.

I do know all of us can not resist potatoes, and there’s nothing that compares to huge fats chips. Long wedges of potato fried until the surface is crisp whereas the within stays comfortable and tender — what at the moment are generally known as ‘French fries’. How many people can resist a sizzling baked potato lathered with butter and bitter cream or a velvety potato mash with butter, parmesan and cream?

There is not any higher quick meals than a Batata Vada Pav, and a yellow Sukha Aloo Puri beats the hell out of a Chole Puri, and no chaat is full with out at the very least some potato in it. Then there’s Aloo Paratha, Kashmiri Dum Aloo, Bihari Aloo Chokha, Aloo Tikki, Aloo Methi, Aloo Gobi, Aloo Palak, Jeera Aloo, Dubke Wale Aloo, Aloo Tuk, Aloo Bhaja, aloo in Masala Dosa, aloo in mutton, aloo in rooster, aloo in Biryani, and I can go on and on with this unending saga of aloo. As unhealthy as it might be, all of us love potato. Meanwhile, now we have utterly ignored its close to cousin, the shakarkand or candy potato.

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Known as ‘Ratala’ in Marathi and ‘Rataloo’ in Gujarati, I found candy potato fairly late in life and first as a avenue meals. Conventionally, our avenue meals has a horrible repute of being swarming with germs, micro organism, human grime, sweat; or in any other case, fried, greasy and filled with trans fat that end in immediate heartburn. But right here on the nook of the road was a solitary cart, piled with what seemed like a group of odd-shaped knobby roots that the seller was roasting over dwell coal with their darkish brownish muddy skins intact.

With immense curiosity and since I couldn’t resist the aroma, I finished on the cart and purchased half a kilo of roasted candy potato. The vendor roasted a recent batch, cleaned off the charred pores and skin, chopped the tuber into cubes and sprinkled it with black salt and chaat masala, squeezed some lemon and handed the piping sizzling candy potatoes in an outdated newspaper. The flesh tasted barely candy but savoury with a lush comfortable texture, a results of gradual roasting, the zesty seasoning of the chaat and lime, and that earthy style of the soil and the smoky taste of the coals it had simply been smouldered on. It was impetuous, and I used to be offered.

You might not be conscious of this, however the candy potato, which has all of the style qualities of the potato and extra, can be one of many healthiest meals you may eat. It is a superb supply of fibre, nutritional vitamins and minerals, and is wealthy in antioxidants. The fiber and antioxidants in candy potatoes are nice for intestine well being; they’re additionally one of many richest pure sources of beta-carotene, a plant-based compound that converts to vitamin A in your physique. What’s extra, the candy potato is stuffed with power wealthy good carbs, excessive water content material and is a wholesome various to regular potatoes and has been scientifically confirmed to assist in weight reduction. Do you must know extra?

One of my favourite methods of consuming candy potato is both simply boiled within the strain cooker with a little bit of salt or sliced, brushed with somewhat butter, laid on a greased tray and baked within the oven. Better nonetheless is a creamy candy potato mash, made in the identical means as you’d make mashed potatoes. All I’d add is – straightforward with the cream and butter. You can, precisely such as you would make an Aloo Chat, make a Sweet Aloo Chat, changing the boiled potatoes with the shakarkand. You could make nice Aloo Tikki with candy potato as you’d Aloo Parathas. In reality, wherever you utilize potatoes, you should utilize candy potatoes. Like in a Vrat Rataloo Khichdi – this gluten-free khichdi is made with grated candy potatoes, tempered with inexperienced chillies and lemon juice and is fast to make. Or, a Sabudana Wada or Sabudana Khichdi with candy potatoes. Just think about soft-soaked sabudana cooked with a tempering of jeera, curry leaves and inexperienced chillies, stirred in with small items of candy potato and garnished with peanuts, freshly grated coconut and coriander, with only a squeeze of lime.

It’s superb how unseeingly we lead our lives, and infrequently miss some fantastic and wholesome issues which can be slightly below our noses. I’ve determined that I’m now going to get out of my consolation zone and uncover that which has at all times been there however out of my thoughts, my sight and my style.

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Kunal Vijayakar is a meals author primarily based in Mumbai. He tweets @kunalvijayakar and may be adopted on Instagram @kunalvijayakar. His YouTube channel is known as Khaane Mein Kya Hai. The views expressed on this article are these of the creator and don’t signify the stand of this publication.

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