Potato Value Addition: Here is a breakdown on how you can do value addition with potatoes:
1). Potato cutlets
These are mashed potatoes rolled into small balls, and then dipped into eggs and deep-fried. You might also need ingredients such as grated carrots, ginger, coriander and lemon to flavour your cutlets.
To prepare the cutlets, you need to peel the potatoes, boil them for 15 minutes until they are soft after which they are mashed. They are then dipped in eggs and shallow fried for five minutes until they are brownish in colour.
Bread crams are then sprinkled on the surface of the cutlets to make them more delicious. They can be served with fish or chicken.
Potatoes with high dry matter content such as Dhamani II, Arnova, Ambition, Jelly, Desiree, Kenya Mpya and Tigoni potato varieties are good for making cutlets.
2). Mashed potato
To make them, peel the potatoes, chop into pieces and boil for 15 minutes until they are soft. Pound them until they appeal paste-like.
Mashing potatoes is a popular way of serving potatoes with only salt and butter or cream. Grated garlic and white pepper can also be thrown in to the mix for a rich a flavour.
This dish can be served with beef or chicken stew, standing in place of ugali.
Arnova, Ambition, Jelly, Desiree, Kenya Mpya and Tigoni potato varieties are good for making this dish.
3). Roasted potatoes
Potatoes can be roasted whole and raw, though those starchy need a quick pre-cook in boiling water for seven minutes to make them soft.
After washing the tuber, you may peel and, thereafter, cut it into thick wedges or cubes. Heat the oven to 450 degrees and spread the (raw) potatoes inside the oven.
Sprinkle on the potatoes little oil and toss well so that it reaches all the sides. Keep adding oil and tossing to coat and sprinkling salt and any spices you might want on the potato.
Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, then serve.
4). Baked potato
The perfect baked potato is crispy on the outside and fluffy in the inside. One needs a fairly large potato for baking. The potato should be thoroughly washed but not peeled.
Small amounts of herbs such as rosemary and parsley are also needed to add flavour to the baked potato. You also need salt, sliced onions and white pepper for seasoning, and corn oil.
The herbs and seasoning are then spread over the potato before corn oil is sprinkled liberally over the top.
Bake in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 40 to 45 minutes. Use a sharp knife or a fork to test if the potatoes are soft enough and use a spoon to lift them on to a plate. You can take the tubers with tea or stew.
The Potato Council of Kenya recommends Arizona, Asante, Tigoni and Tolica varieties for this purpose.
5). Boiled potato
Boiled potatoes have a nice creamy texture once cooked. Wash the potatoes and chop into pieces before boiling for 15-20 minutes until the water is drained.
Boiling only requires salt for seasoning but you can well include herbs such as thyme or garlic cloves and bay leaves or other spices to the cooking water to flavour the potatoes.
Kenya Sifa, Kenya Baraka, Kenya Mavuno, Arizona, Asante, Arnova, Connect, Rudolf, Sagita and Tuloca varieties are good for boiling, says the Potato Council.
6). Steamed potato
Steaming is different from boiling in that while the latter involves submerging the potatoes in water, in steaming, water is placed underneath the potatoes.
Once you have chopped your potatoes, put them in a pan, and add little water and use low heat to steam them. The pan is covered using a lid to ensure that the potatoes cook on steam for 45 minutes.
Potato varieties recommend for boiling are also good for steaming.
7). Grilled potato
When grilling potatoes, you need to wrap the unpeeled tubers with a foil paper – after washing them. Put them on the grill for about 25 minutes. You can always find out if they are soft by using a folk or a knife.
Once they are ready, lift them out of the grill using a spoon and serve. Arizona, Asante, Tigoni and Tolica potato varieties are suitable for this meal.
8). Potato salad
Potato salad can be made in many different ways. Potatoes with a smoother skin do not require peeling while making salad.
To make the salad, boil potatoes for 10 minutes until they are a bit soft. Take care not to over boil as they will fall apart (as in mashed potatoes). Once they are ready, slice them into chunks using a knife and let them cool.
Put the chunks in a plate alongside sliced onions, and salad fruits.
9). Boiling and frying
In boiling and frying, peeled potatoes are chopped into sizable cubes and boiled in salted water for 10 minutes.
They are then drained and dried before being deep fried in corn or vegetable oil for about 15 minutes until they are brown.
They are, thereafter, removed from the oil then left to cool. They can then be served just with juice, chicken tikka, fish fillets and fried beef.
10). Potato Value Addition: Potato soup
To make potato soup, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, add sliced onions and stir for eight minutes until they are golden brown.
Add mashed potatoes, water, salt, and pepper to the mixture and boil. Stir milk and bacon bits into the mixture and boil. Remove from heat and stir into soup.
11). Chips or French fries
To make French fries, potatoes are peeled, sliced and chopped to 1cm sizes. They are then washed, dried and parboiled (partially boiled), then drained and left to cool.
The chips are then blanched in a pan or fryer of oil at 155 degrees Celsius.
Remove them and let them cool. When you are ready to serve, fry them again in heated oil two minutes at 185 degrees Celsius.
Markis, Ambition, Annet, Asante, Caruso, Connect, Jelly, Shangi, Rudolf, Sagita, Kenya Sifa, Kenya Baraka, Kenya Mavuno, Arizona and Asante Potato varieties are recommended for making chips.
12). Potato Value Addition: Crisps
Place potato slices into a large bowl of cold water as you slice them as thinly as possible. Once they are cleaned, soak them in salty water for at least 30 minutes, then drain them and rinse.
Thereafter, marinate (soak) them in a mixture of white vinegar to prevent the slices from disintegrating.
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 185 degrees Celsius, then dip the potato slices to fry. Once they start turning golden, remove and drain on paper towels. Continue until all of the slices are fried. Season with additional salt if desired.
13). Potato Value Addition: Potato cakes
Mix mashed potatoes, egg, flour, salt (if needed) and garlic salt inside a bowl. Sprinkle some cheese or butter onto the mashed potato cakes. Flatten the mashed lamps to about one inch thickness.
Melt corn or vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Drop pancake-size (4 inch circles) lumps of mashed potatoes into the frying pan.
Flip the potato cake over for 10 minutes so that both its sides are browned. All potato varieties suitable for mashing are also suitable in making cakes.
14). Potato Value Addition: Baked potato fries
To make baked potato fries, first preheat the oven to 450 degrees Celsius. Then slice peeled potatoes into three long spears each.
Place them on a sheet pan and toss with the vegetable oil. Spread the potatoes in one layer.
Take brown sugar, salt, and pepper mix and sprinkle on the potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn with a fork. Bake again for another five minutes, until the potatoes are lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and serve hot. All the potato varieties suitable for baking are also suitable for brake frying.
15). Pan frying
This method of cooking potatoes is of course very similar to the baked potato slices but in this method, potatoes are pan fried in oil.
Slice but don’t peel the potatoes to a thickness of a quarter inch. Season the slices well on both sides with salt and white pepper.
Bring some sunflower or corn oil up to a fairly high heat in a non-stick pan and fry the potatoes for 10 minutes on each side over a medium heat. All potato varieties suitable for chips can also be pan fried.