Aloo, alu, potato or batata, whatever you choose to call it, you can’t deny that this starchy vegetable has made a mark on our heart like no other vegetable could. A key ingredient in Indian cuisine, be it the north, west, east or even the south – potatoes have managed to steal away the limelight from other veggies and become a favourite of many. But what makes aloo the king of street food in India?
While pulses, legumes, fresh veggies and meat can get expensive, potatoes remain very light on the pocket. This is because it’s easy in cultivation and grows with very little attention and care. Plenty of sunlight is crucial for the healthy growth of the potato, and India has plenty of sunlight to offer. This also results in a large yield, which makes it cost-effective for farmers to produce it, thus when it actually hits the market, it isn’t as expensive as onions or other vegetables. And one thing street food is also known for is being easy on the wallet. With the aloo being inexpensive, it also results in a reasonably priced dish.
It is filling
As compared to other veggies, potatoes are much denser, which make them more filling. So eating any dish with potatoes is sure to fill you up. Whether it is in Vada Pav or Samosas or even the humble Aloo Chaat, a small portion easily fills an empty stomach in an instant.
It is versatile
We all know the tales of the versatility of potato. Every dish gets included in; it becomes the star of that very dish. Moreover, it holds a unique identity of its own. From its inclusion in the Sev Puri, to the Aloo Pattice, it blends in naturally with the textures and the flavours. Due to its vivid nature, it can either be fried, boiled, roasted or baked. It is fried in case of pakoras, it is boiled in case of aloo chat, it’s mashed and stuffed in puris for puchkas and golgappas. It is skewered and roasted in case of tandoor. Its subtlety is its biggest strength, making it the star of the dish.
Another reason for the popularity of the potato is the fact that it is readily available in every part of the nation for centuries. This has led to various regions creating authentic recipes using potatoes. People from Bengal use it in almost all their dishes, including the yummy Puchkas, Aloo Chop, whereas people from south love to have an Aloo Masala along with their Dosas. Everyone loves the mighty potato! We are sure you do too!
Take a look at an array of recipes made with this super ingredient.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.