This version of mashed potatoes is inspired by a recipe from “Earthbound: Navdanya’s Guide to Easy, Organic Cooking,” a precious cookbook I purchased in India. The recipe features three twists on a traditional mashed potato that really amp up the umami experience.
Instead of using milk or cream to add texture to these mashed potatoes, our rich whole-milk yogurt brings an unmistakable tanginess to the party. Instead of butter, we use that sultry golden fat known as ghee, an ancient form of clarified butter. Ghee is made from cultured cream that is churned into butter and then simmered slowly over a flame to bring out the essence of the butterfat. The third twist is the burst of flavor that comes from gently sautéing minced ginger and fiery green chili in ghee until it is just slightly browned, and then sizzling it into our mashed potatoes. With the addition of a good bit of quality sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, this bowl of mashed potatoes is elevated, highly cultured, and ready to feed your craving for flavor. —Andrea Hayley-Sankaran
large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
ginger, grated or minced
green chili, minced
1 1/2 cups
plain whole milk yogurt (Greek or European stirred)
Fill a 4-quart saucepan two-thirds with water and bring to a boil. Season the water with a tablespoon of salt, stir to dissolve, and add the prepared potatoes. Boil for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are well cooked and fall-apart tender.
While the potatoes cook, heat ghee in a small skillet on medium-low heat. Add minced ginger and green chili, and sauté until lightly browned. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Drain the water from the potatoes, and leave the potatoes in the pot. Mash well with a potato masher. Add yogurt, salt, pepper, and seasoned ghee. Stir well, taste, and adjust for salt.