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What The Fork: Kunal Vijayakar Says Hello to the Virtuous Cousin of Potato, You Can Too

Wonderfully scrumptious however notoriously ill-reputed because the potato could also be (as a kind 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, is just not solely way more inculpable, it’s relatively virtuous and actually your buddy and bosom buddy.

I do know all of us can’t resist potatoes, and there may be nothing that compares to huge fats chips. Long wedges of potato fried until the skin is crisp whereas the within stays smooth and tender — what are actually 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 may be 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 endless saga of aloo. As unhealthy as it could be, all of us love potato. Meanwhile, we now 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 popularity of being swarming with germs, micro organism, human grime, sweat; or in any other case, fried, greasy and full of trans fat that lead to instantaneous 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 smooth texture, a results of sluggish roasting, the zesty seasoning of the chaat and lime, and that earthy style of the soil and the smoky flavour of the coals it had simply been smouldered on. It was impetuous, and I used to be offered.

You is probably not conscious of this, however the candy potato, which has all of the style qualities of the potato and extra, can also be one of many healthiest meals you’ll be able to eat. It is a superb supply of fibre, nutritional vitamins and mineral, and is wealthy in antioxidants. The fibre 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 filled with vitality wealthy good carbs, excessive water content material and is a wholesome different to regular potatoes and has been scientifically confirmed to assist in weight reduction. Do it is advisable to know extra?

One of my favorite methods of consuming candy potato is both simply boiled within the stress cooker with a little bit of salt or sliced, brushed with a bit of butter, laid on a greased tray and baked within the oven. Better nonetheless is a creamy candy potato mash, made in the identical approach 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 truth, wherever you employ 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 wonderful how unseeingly we lead our lives, and sometimes miss some great and wholesome issues which are just below our noses. I’ve determined that I’m now going to get out of my consolation zone and uncover that which has all the time 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 could 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 writer and don’t characterize the stand of this publication.

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