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Spud You (And We) Like

Topping the list of most people’s ideal comfort food is probably the trusty potato. Whether it’s a jacket spud overflowing with cheese and beans, a portion of chips sitting alongside battered fish (or in a buttie) or a generous pile of creamy, buttery mashed potato topped with a crack of black pepper – we love it all. And let’s not forget the trusty roasties that are a must-have with any Sunday dinner or a bowl of boiled Jersey Royal. Suffice to say that if we named all of our favourite spud specialities we could be here for a while.

Thaali (indian set meal)

And this love of the humble tattie is not just confined to these shores. Potatoes have been a firm favourite in India ever since the Portuguese arrived in the 18th century armed with the root vegetable (among other things). No doubt the British further encouraged the adoption of potatoes in cuisine too, but once rooted in the nation’s taste buds it was there to stay.

It wasn’t long before Indian culinary invention and innovation took hold to create a range of delicious dishes featuring the spud as the star. Who doesn’t love the street food speciality, masala dosa? A thin pancake filled with crushed, spicy potatoes thought to have originated in the state of Karnataka. While in Tamil Nadu, a spiced potato masala mixture including mustard, green chillies, ginger, fresh coriander and turmeric (to name but a few ingredients) is enjoyed with pooris.

Staying within the realms of tasty snacks, you will find potatoes on many an Indian street corner. Pani puri is a crisp shell stuffed with a potato mixture and topped with chutneys and yoghurt. Bondas is another – this time balls of spiced and mashed potato are battered, deep-fried and incredibly moorish. And who could forget Mumbai’s mighty vada pav – the Indian burger. A pattie made from potatoes, green chillies, ginger, mustard seeds and turmeric which is deep-fried and placed in a bun (or pav) and served with a coconutty, tamarindy, garlicy sauce. Delish!

But in Indian, they don’t just eat potato at the start of a meal. Potato halwa is particularly popular during times of fasting when many other foods are off limits. It is made using either fried or boiled potatoes that are mixed with sugar, ghee, mild, raisins, cashew nuts, almonds and cardamom. Surprisingly tasty!

If you like the sound of a starchy, potato-based snack or just crave the reassuring taste of any comforting Indian-inspired carbs, then a visit to one of London’s top Indian brasseries will leave you feeling all warm inside. Also on the menu are thalis, grills, regional curries and genuine Indian desserts – you really couldn’t ask for more. And you can also rest assured that this is not a curry house affair. The food served here will take you on a culinary adventure and create the ultimate curry experience for all lovers of Indian food. And you are free to indulge in those carbs to your heart’s content.

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