November 02, 2017
Mashed potatoes are not exactly Indian fare, but they are a perfect vehicle to highlight saffron. This is one of the very few recipes where we will let a spice shine solo. Saffron is precious not only for its delicate flavor but the labor-intensive methods by which it is harvested. The spice itself is the threadlike stigmas of the saffron crocus flower.
It is important here to use little water when boiling the potatoes because water is what carries the flavor of saffron into this dish. We don’t want to discard any of that flavor.
Makes 1 1/2 quarts
2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
Generous pinch of saffron
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 to 3 tablespoons ghee
Combine the potatoes, water, saffron and salt in a stock pot, cover and bring to a boil. Turn the head down and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes then check to see if potatoes are fork tender. There should be about 1/2 cup of water left in the pot at this point. The water won’t cover the mashed potatoes, but that’s okay.
Heat up the cream and ghee until just about to boil.
Immediately transfer potato mixture into a stand mixer using the whip attachment. Beat the potato mix until mostly mashed. Pour the hot cream & butter mixture as the potatoes are whipping until smooth & fluffy.
Instead of cream and ghee, use coconut milk and olive oil.
Use these mashed potatoes for the top of a shepherds pie.
These potatoes can be made day in advance. The flavor of saffron will deepen over time. Reheat on the stove (with a bit more cream) or in the oven.
The goal is to utilize all the water from boiling. This is where the nutrients from the vegetable and the saffron flavor reside. If the potatoes are starting to stick to the bottom of the pot, but are not yet fork tender, add a bit of water and let it come to a boil.
It is key to heat up the cream and ghee. If the potatoes are cool, they will not get the smooth texture. Move quickly so that both the potatoes and cream are hot while mixing.
December 02, 2022