Potato and butternut bake. Picture: Supplied
Potato and butternut bake. Picture: Supplied

5 ways with potatoes

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Jun 23, 2020

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Versatile and filling, potatoes can be cooked in a slow cooker, steamed on the stove, or even baked in the oven. 

No matter how many people want to badmouth potatoes for its carbs and the habit of soaking up oil in French fries, some of us will keep coming back. Potatoes actually fit perfectly into a healthy eating plan. 

The other thing about potatoes is how there are so many ways to prepare them. So, if you are not sure what to make for dinner or supper? Here are five easy ways to enjoy some smashing spuds. 

Creamy mashed potatoes. Picture: Supplied

Creamy mashed potatoes

Mashed potato has its own creamy texture. Just a little bit of milk and oil is enough to make it smooth. Try out your own flavours with different herbs and spices.

Serves: 8


  • 8 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic, quartered
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives
  • ¼ cup  low-fat or fat-free milk
  • Lemon juice and black pepper to taste


  1. Place potatoes, garlic, ½ tsp of the salt, and some water in a pot. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat.
  2. Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Drain well and return potatoes and garlic to the pot.
  4. Mash with a potato masher and stir in the remaining ingredients to form a smooth mixture.
  5. Serve as a side dish with a meat dish of your choice.

Recipe: Cooking from the Heart. 

Potato salad. Picture: Supplied

Potato salad

Potato salad is often covered in mayonnaise. The combination of yoghurt and mayonnaise makes it lower in fat and even more yummy. 

Serves: 8


  • 8 medium potatoes in the skin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pinch of mustard powder
  • Lemon juice and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup plain low-fat yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ red or green pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • ½ onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and chopped (optional)


  1. Place potatoes and ½ tsp of the salt in a pot with water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender. Allow to cool, peel, and cut in cubes.
  2. Mix mustard, the rest of the salt, lemon juice, pepper, mayonnaise, yoghurt, and parsley.
  3. Mix sauce into potatoes with red pepper and onion.
  4. Sprinkle with egg and serve as a side dish. 

Sweet potato puffs. Picture: Supplied

Sweet potato puffs

Makes: 60


  • 750g sweet potato
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3⁄4 cup tapioca flour, plus extra to ‘adjust’ the dough
  • Cooking oil, for deep-frying


  1. Steam the sweet potato, then mash it and leave to cool.
  2. Mix the sugar into the sweet potato mash.
  3. Add the flour and mix. If the dough is on the moist side, add more flour.
  4. Shape handfuls of dough into grape-sized balls.
  5. Place them in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  6. Pour oil into a pot to a third full and heat on medium to low.
  7. Pop one ball in as a tester. If a slow, continuous bubbling occurs, you can start placing more balls in, but space them out or they will stick together.
  8. Once golden, the puffs will start rising to the top and increasing in size.
  9. Flatten the puffs against the side of the pot with a slotted spoon, then allow them to puff again and flatten them again. Continue doing this until they become large and golden-brown.
  10. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  11. Continue in batches until all the batter has been used.

Recipe: Ming-Cheau Lin. 

Potato and butternut bake. Picture: Supplied

Potato and butternut bake


  • 1 small butternut, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4-6 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250ml grated parmesan cheese
  • 250ml cream


  1. Arrange the sliced butternut and potato in an ovenproof dish.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Scatter over the parmesan and pour over the cream.
  4. Bake at 180°C for 1 hour until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Cover with tinfoil if it starts to burn on the top.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe: Angela Day.

Mushroom and potato curry. Picture: Supplied

Mushroom and potato curry


  • 45ml oil     
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 45ml curry powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 20ml turmeric 
  • pinch cinnamon 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15ml tomato paste 
  • 500g mixed mushrooms
  • 750g baby potatoes, cooked, peeled and cut into quarters
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft and lightly brown.
  2. Add curry powder, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, and bay leaf and lightly fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste and stir until mixed. 
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook gently till tender.
  5. Add mushroom curry mixture to the potatoes and gently simmer until cooked through.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. 
  7. Serve with a green salad

Recipe: SA Mushroom Farmers Association.

If you are ready to have fun with potatoes again, then you will enjoy the second edition of IOL FOOD magazine.From tips on picking the right potato for your meal, diet matters, and storage, to pages upon pages of various potato recipes. 

You are sure to find a couple that will make you once again appreciate the potato. It is time we recognise and give the humble spud more respect.

Read the magazine here.

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