Potato – “Let the sky rain potatoes, let it thunder to the tune of Greensleeves.” – Shakespeare.

It was the sweet potato that Columbus discovered in the West Indies, the white potato arriving in Spain later via a priest. In Peru, their origin, they were used mainly to break up the  ground for growing corn. A member of the deadly nightshade family (with tomatoes, eggplant and others), Europeans were suspicious of them at first. The Scots refused them because they were not mentioned in the Bible. However, after their introduction to the Ireland, the population doubled in a hundred years, becoming so dependent upon them that the ‘potato famine’ of 1840’s caused a mass migration to the new USA.  They grow easily in difficult and poor soil and rocky ground. They were so life saving in France in the late 18th century that Marie Antoinette wore potato blossoms in her hair to encourage their popularity (before she lost hers, and her head). Few vegetables have so influenced history or traveled so far.

They are of course incredibly versatile and can be boiled, fried, steamed, baked, roasted, mashed, grated, and dried into flour.

TIP. I love them roasted in ghee! Boil them for 5-10 minutes then scratch the surface with a fork, baste them with melted ghee and roast until golden brown….it does not get better!

They are good for all doshas but vata should have them in soups and stews. Fried they aggravate all doshas. They promote lactation, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, heal ulcers, and can relieve arthritis and rheumatism and balance PH levels in the blood. But all should avoid them in excess.

Note: green skin and sprouts are considered toxic and to be avoided.

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