My friend Dee told me of mouth watering mashed potatoes that she had at Cafe Brasserie at the Village Market. Her exact words were that with every spoonful the mashed potatoes melt in your mouth. I’m yet to visit the place to second her sentiments so for now I’ll stick to perfecting my own recipe.
When it comes to mashed potatoes, I’m never in the search of perfection but after my convo with Dee I got inspired to put more effort in my cooking and it definitely paid off.
Potatoes, peeled, washed and cubed
3 bay leaves
Margarine/ Butter – I used margarine
Salt and pepper to taste
I chose to cube the potatoes so they cook faster, more evenly and make the mashing process a bit easier. The other trick when making mashed potatoes is using cold water so that as the water warms the potatoes are also cooking.
In a sufuria add the potatoes, water and the bay leaves. Season with the salt and pepper.
The amount of water should almost be at the same level as the potatoes. Cover and let the potatoes cook until they flake easily when pierced with a fork.
Once cooked, remove the bay leaves and drain the water.
Mash your heart out, well not your heart but the potatoes.
Now to the exciting part. To make the potatoes fluffy and creamy is adding milk and butter/ margarine and mashing them in. The quantity of both is not standard as it would depend on how you want them. The main idea is to ensure the milk is warm and so is the butter that way the potatoes aren’t shocked if they were cold, make sense?
Ensure to add the milk in very small portions of about a tablespoon, the idea is get creamy mashed potatoes not potato soup 🙂
After achieving the desired result taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Serve immediately with some beef stew and veggies.
Melting moments? Almost there.
Variations: To add some oomph into the mashed potatoes you can add some sliced spring onions or some bacon. You can even grate over some cheese 🙂
I have received several requests on my Facebook page to post a recipe on how to make bhajias. I have to say I’m no expert in this area but I think I can share a tip or two.
Potatoes, peeled, washed and sliced thinly
1 cup gram flour
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp dried parsley leaves
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
Oil for frying
I started by making the potatoes. I used a food processor for the slicing. It was very fast and the slices were perfectly thin.
Then make the paste that will coat the potato slices.
In a bowl, pour in the gram flour. The spice mix.
Mix the spices with the flour and water.
Take about a handful of the potato slices and dip then in the paste. Ensure they are coat completely. In a deep pan, heat the vegetable oil. Sadly I don’t have a deep pan so I just used the one I had. Ensure that the oil is hot before you start frying the bhajias. Once hot, you can gently put in the coated potatoes.
Cook on both sides till browned then remove with a slotted spoon. Drain the bhajias on a paper towel covered plate.
I made some kachumbari to serve with the bhajias.
Dinner is served.
If I could do it all over again:
Add about a teaspoon of baking powder to the paste and also add chopped dhania/coriander/cilantro.
I saw a tweet that led me to this you tube video. You have to admit this is quite a nice idea for a cook show. Anyway, me being me, I just had to try the recipe and the beautiful thing is that I had all the ingredients on hand.
As Peter Nduati (C.E.O, Resolution Health E.A) demonstrated the meal is pretty easy to put together and I think you can never go wrong when baking. I used his recipe with a few tweaks here and there.
For the meat filling
1/2 kg minced meat
1 cup pre-boiled peas
4 carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
1 tomato cubed
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup water/beef stock/chicken stock
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste
For the mashed potatoes
Handful of potatoes, peeled,washed and halved
Water for boiling
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp butter
Start by boiling the potatoes.
In a sufuria, place all the potatoes, fill it with just enough water to make them cook. Add the salt and bay leaves and cover.
Now for the minced meat filling.
In a skillet, heat some oil then fry your onions.
After the onions are slightly cooked add in the minced meat.
Season with the garam masala. Let the meat brown and cook for about 15 minutes. Then add your tomatoes.
Add the carrots and let them cook. At this point you can add the water/broth.
Let the meal simmer till the fluid has been greatly reduced then add the peas.
Now back to the potatoes. Drain them in a colander, remove the bay leaves and discard. Sprinkle over the turmeric powder and add the butter. Mash to your heart’s content. Taste to check if the salt is enough.
Now, we are ready to assemble the dish.
Rub an oven friendly casserole dish with some butter.
Put one layer of the mashed potatoes as the base.
Then line the mince meat filling.
Finally top off with the remaining mashed potatoes. I have put quite a lot of the mashed potatoes on the base that the remainder wasn’t enough to completely cover the top.
Finally, grate some cheddar cheese on the top.
Bake in a pre heated oven at 350 F for 15 minutes.
As per Peter’s recipe, there was a white sauce which i didn’t make since I didn’t have white onions. I had however made some kachumbari which I served with.
Delicious. Hubby loved it and so did our guest Ben.
I had missed eating potatoes and since I didn’t have the patience to bake the potatoes I decided to mash them. Making mashed potatoes is pretty simple, since you just boil the potatoes till they are completely cooked then you mash them like crazy. Of course there are a few spice addition here and there which I’ll share in a bit.
Sometime back my colleagues and I decided to do a lunch treat at a nearby food court. Being adventurous with the food selection I ordered some coconut chicken. Boy, wasn’t I disappointed, it was more like stewed chicken with lots of tomatoes and bell peppers and not even a hint of coconut, anyway since I had some boneless chicken breasts in the fridge I thought of making actual coconut chicken. After checking some online recipes I settled on trying it out my own way.
So for the potatoes;
Peel and wash the potatoes thoroughly. Cut them in halves. In a sufuria add the potatoes, salt and water to almost cover all the potatoes. In case you have fresh rosemary you can add about two sprigs. I also added some cinnamon bark.
Now for the chicken;
First, cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Add one tablespoon of oil in a skillet, then brown the chicken for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from the pan then set aside.
In the same skillet heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil then add the onions, garlic and ginger.
Since I was doing this for the first time, I didn’t want to use a lot of spices lest I miss the coconut taste.
So I settled for some cardamon pods, cumin seeds, coriander powder, curry powder and good old black pepper.
Stir in the spice mixture.
Add 1 cup coconut milk and let it simmer with the spices for about 3 minutes.
Finally I added the chicken. (forgot to take pics 😦 )
Let the chicken cook for about 25 minutes or until the sauce is thick.
Back to the potatoes. Once fully cooked, drain any excess water, remove the cinnamon bark, then mash like crazy.
Mashed potatoes are like a blank canvas you can spice them up with almost anything. From chopped coriander or parsley to butter and milk. Adding some chopped spring onions or grating over some cheese.
Since I was out of parsley, I added 1 tablespoon of basil leaves, 2 tablespoons of margarine and about 1/4 cup of milk. The milk helps in making the mashed potatoes fluffy.
Dinner is served:
Mashed potatoes, coconut chicken and some fried cabbage and carrots.
Not forgetting some kachumbari on the side.
Coconut – ty. The mashed potatoes were delicious and the basil added a nice touch. I’ll definitely be making this recipe again, of course with some few adjustments like more coconut flavour.
Some random Tuesday last week I decide to cook some potatoes I’d been given by my mother in love. As usual I baked them. It’s funny how they are called roast potatoes anyway as long I don’t deep fry, I’m good.
This recipe closely resembles this, only that I was aiming for more spice so I used paprika and black pepper plus a little dried parsley.
I peeled the potatoes, washed and wedged them. Then in a sufuria I add the potato wedges and cover with water add a good amount of salt then bring that to a boil.
As the potatoes are cooking, prepare the coating. This time I decide to try something different. Instead of coating the potatoes while on the baking tray, I put all the spices in a ziploc bag. In case you don’t have one you can use an ordinary polythene bag. In the bag add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2-3 tablespoons of paprika,1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and some dried parley. Then shake and shake.
Once the potatoes are ready, you want them semi cooked, drain, then pat dry with a kitchen towel. Toss the potatoes into the ziploc bag that has the spice mixture, shake some more untill all the potatoes are well coated.
Remember to pre heat the oven at 350.
Line you baking tray with some aluminium foil, then spread out the potato wedges in one layer.
Let them bake for about 20-25 minutes.
Spicy, crunchy and delicious. Served them with some fish fingers ,chicken smokies. Had my accompaniments all mixed up.
Potatoes, roasted, fried or baked , who doesn’t love them?
This past weekend I debated whether to prepare chapatis or potatoes. Well potatoes won, and that is because hubby wasn’t around to influence the voting otherwise chapatis would have won pants down hi hi hi.
Since, we love potatoes that much, I try to prepare them in the most healthy way possible, so I normally bake them.
Lots of patatoes peeled and washed
Dried herbs: sage, rosemary, thyme or whatever you have on hand
4 teaspoons of oil
When baking potatoes, I prefer boiling them first so as to give them a head start when it gets to baking.
Cut the potatoes into wedges like so;
Place the potatoes in a sufuria, add water upto the level of the potatoes. Season generously with salt, black pepper and some of the dried herbs.
Let the water come to a boil or till the potatoes are almost done.
Drain the potatoes.
Remember to pre-heat your oven at 350 degrees C
Take your oven tray, line it with some aluminium foil, this is to prevent sticking onto the baking tray and also makes clean even faster.
Grease the foiled tray with the oil the sprinkle some of the herbs. Place the potatoes in the foiled tray. Ensure they are on a single layer then sprinkle the remaining herbs and pop it into the oven.
I let my potatoes bake, till the outside was golden and all crispy.
Currently I’m out of parsley and hence the use of other herbs, but on normal occasions I’d prepare this with parsley instead of sage.
Delicious, the potatoes were not only crispy but full of herb goodness. They have to be the best baked potatoes I’ve made thus far “yippee” .
If I could it do over again:
Increase the quantity of the potatoes 😀 . We just couldn’t get enough of them.
Some Saturdays ago we had dinner over at my other family. We usually have a great time and never leave till it’s like pretty late.
As is my mother in law’s tradition, she gave us some goodies to carry with us once we were about to head for home. This time round she gave us some unripe bananas. I saw it as a challenge since I don’t think I’d have ever thought of cooking matoke.
As I was thinking of how I’d prepare them then ‘eureka’ I remembered that my mother had prepared matoke occasionally and I think I could remember just how she used to do it.
A bunch of unripe bananas, around 8
Potatoes let’s say 10
A handful of carrots wedged
1 onion sliced
I whole garlic chopped
2 teaspoons of chopped ginger
1/2 bell pepper sliced lengthwise
400ml of water or stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
First things first, peeling the bananas and potatoes. I recall that unripe bananas has some stuff which I only know their name in my mother tongue:-) that sticks on ones hands. I used to see my mum apply some cooking oil on her hands so as not to get the ‘whatchamacallit’ on her hands I faithfully did like her and peeled the bananas without a hitch “yippee”. Once everything is peeled and washed set aside and start on frying the onions.
Then add the carrots and bell pepper
I didn’t put tomatoes in this recipe since I wasn’t quite sure if they were necessary, are they?
Then add the bananas and potatoes and stir till everything is combined and cover for about 5 minutes to let the spices soak in.
Then finally add in your water or stock (beef, chicken or vegetable), I used water. As for the amount, I normally measure with my eyes and I remembered that my mother used to put the water almost till the level of the bananas. Cover and let them cook over medium to low heat for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are done.
You’ll wait to see the end result on my next post.
Does anyone else experience the sticky stuff when peeling unripe bananas?