Potatoes are an extremely popular vegetable and are the most consumed food in many countries. Indian’s also consume potatoes in different ways and mashed potato is one of them.
What is a Mashed Potato?
The mashed potato is also called the mash and is made by boiling and mashing potatoes. The mashed potato recipe is simple but it has a great taste and hence is universally popular. It is served as a side dish but some people also have it as a main dish. The mashed potato recipe can be made fresh at home or it is also available as a frozen and instant variety in stores but is not as tasty or nutritious as the home-made ones. When the potatoes are roughly mashed it is called smashed potatoes.
History of a Mashed Potato
The potato was considered as a food of the poor and was not favoured because it was thought that it was flavourless, grows in the ground, and had sprouts on them. This tuber was introduced to Europe through Andes and Peru and was considered as a food for the animals. This vegetable was banned in France as it was believed that it caused leprosy. But that changed thanks to Antoine- Augustin Parmentier, a pharmacist. When he was a prisoner of war he was made to eat the potato as a punishment. But soon Parmentier discovered potatoes are not deadly and it was tasty. After his release from prison, he dispelled the myth surrounding potatoes and also showed various ways of using them, mashed potato was one of them. Now the mashed potato recipe is the most sought-after dish for festivals across the globe.
Uses of Mashed Potato
There are many uses of mashed potato, some of them are:
It is served as a side dish and served with sausages.
It is used as a major ingredient in dishes like cottage pie, potato pancakes, potato croquettes, gnocchi.
The mashed potato is used to make potato cake and is a popular breakfast item in the United Kingdom.
It can be used to make fried dishes like squeak when combined with vegetables or meat.
The mashed potato is also used as a filling in Samosa, Aloo Paratha, etc. It is a great side dish for dosas, chapati, pooris, etc.
Health Benefits of Mashed Potato
The main ingredient in the mashed potato is potato and it has many health benefits because of which the mashed potato is considered healthy.
Boosts energy: Potato is rich in carbs and these provide energy that can fuel your day keeping you energetic.
Fights constipation: Mashed potatoes contain proteins and adding a few dollops of butter makes up for the fat intake. It is also rich in dietary fibre so helps you feel full for a longer time while relieving you from the symptoms of constipation.
Boosts immunity: Having mashed potato adds to your health quotient as it is rich in vitamin C. This helps in boosting immunity and fights against diseases. It also helps in collagen production and absorption of iron from the food you consume.
Alleviates blood pressure: Mashed potato is rich in potassium and has a higher quantity than even a banana. Potassium is an important mineral as it helps in regulating blood pressure, muscle contraction nourishes the nerves, and also helps maintain fluid balance in the body.
Improves metabolism: Vitamin B6 is an important nutrient for the body. It helps in boosting the immune system, supports metabolism, and also activates enzymes and proteins in the body. Having a mashed potato boosts your intake of Vitamin B6.
Healthy Mashed Potato Recipe
There are many mashed potato recipes that you can choose from but the one mentioned below is an easy mashed potato recipe that is basic but very tasty. You can build on this basic mashed potato recipe and make many variations by adding spices and seasonings of your choice. Mashed sweet potato recipes are also similar.
Garlic cloves/garlic powder
Step-by-step Instructions to Make an Easy Mashed Potato Recipe
Take about 500 gm of potatoes and wash them until there is no mud left on them. Rinse, drain and peel the potatoes. If you are wondering how to boil potatoes
, check below.
Chop them into large chunks or medium-sized pieces and dip them in water. Take a pan and add water and salt to it.
To this add the cut potatoes. Ensure that the potatoes are fully immersed in water. Cover the pan and cook it.
Check if the potatoes are done in regular intervals.
To know if it is cooked, the potatoes should be soft but should not crumble. When you insert a knife or a fork, there should be smooth passage and no resistance.
When the potato is cooked, drain the water using a colander.
In the same pan add milk and butter and allow it to come to a boil. Add garlic powder or crushed garlic to this and switch off the flame.
Add potatoes to this and leave it for some time.
Now using a potato masher mash the cooked potato until they have a light and creamy texture.
If the consistency is thick add extra milk or butter to it.
Add salt and pepper to this mashed potato.
If you want to add fresh herbs or any other spices add it at this stage.
Now you can serve this as a side dish or use it to make other pies or patties.
How to make Mashed Potato Ahead
Mashed potato tastes best when made fresh, however, it can also be prepared ahead or at least make prep beforehand.
Peel, cut, and cover the potatoes in cold water and keep it in the fridge for 24 hours.
The potatoes are precooked but the water is not drained. When you are ready to serve, you can drain, mash and add seasonings.
Tips for making the Best Mashed Potato
Cut the potatoes in small sizes so that they are evenly cooked. Cutting in small pieces means cooking takes less time.
Add salt to the water as the potatoes absorb salt better.
Cook potatoes in cold water as that helps in cooking from the inside.
Drain the potatoes well as that ensures there is no watery taste.
The butter should be used at room temperature, not hot, not cold.
Other popular potato dishes that are healthy and tasty are:
Sweet Potato Fries
Baked Potato Chips
Baked Chilli Potato
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