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An Introduction to Potato?
Often termed as the king of all vegetables, potato is a starchy, tuberous crop vegetable of the solanaceae family. It is one of the few vegetables that mixes well with other vegetables and is known for adding a delicacy to any dish. Potato is one of the most widely used vegetables in Western temperate climates and the world's most widely grown tuber crop as well. This starchy crop is also the fourth largest food crop of the world in terms of fresh produce after rice, wheat, and maize.

Domesticated for over 10,000 years, this plant is probably native to the Andes, where it was cultivated by the Incas. There are more than one thousand known varieties, but only a fraction of this number are

cultivated commercially. This delicious vegetable is also a good source of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. A rich source of Vitamin C, potatoes are naturally fat-free and carry very low amount of calories.

An average potato consist of about 80 percent water and 20 percent solid matter; whereas starch makes up about 85 percent of this solid mass and the rest is protein. It also contains a considerable amount of vitamins including niacin, riboflavin and thiamine.


The word potato originates from the Spanish word patata (the name used for potato in Spain). In many countries and cultures, it is known by different names. In France it is termed as pomme de terre; whereas aardappel is the name for potato in Dutch. In Hindi and several other Indian languages and Nepali, the potato is called alu or aloo, while in Gujarati the potato is called bataka or batata.

Potato Plant
This bushy and dark green plant with compound leaves, is somewhat similar to the tomato plant. It

can grow up to 3 feet tall. The leaves of potato are slightly wider at the base of the leaflet and has a darker green color. The plant bears yellow to silver flowers with yellow stamens. It has a thick, uneven shaped plant stem (tuber) that grows underground. This eatable tuber is also called a potato.

Nutritional Value
As a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, potatoes are the perfect base for a balanced diet. They are rich in Vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. Besides this, it also contains many minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur.


A medium sized potato (5.3 oz.) contains:

  • 110 calories
  • No fat or cholesterol
  • More protein than most of the 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits and vegetables – 3 grams per medium potato
  • 2 grams of fiber (with skin on), which may aid in weight loss, lower blood cholesterol levels and decrease risk of heart disease
  • 45% Daily Value (DV) of Vitamin C, or as much as you will find in a tomato
  • 18% DV of potassium,more than the 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits and vegetables.

Health Benefits in a Potato
As a rich source of carbohydrate, potatoes provides innumerable health benefits. Following are a few health benefits of a potato:

  • The starch present in it provides protection against colon cancer
  • It improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
  • It lowers plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.

Potato, one of the few vegetables which is popular at all the corners of the globe. Whether baked, roasted, boiled, and stewed, potatoes are always a favourite. Its tantalizing flavor and aroma adds a delicacy to every dish. Potato chips are quite favourite among all age groups; whereas other products like French fries and potato cakes are popular in many parts of the world.

Following are the main recipes of a potato:

  • Indian Recipes: Aachar Aloo, Dam Aaloo, Baigan Aaloo, Aloo Bonda, Aloo Capsicum, Aloo Chaat, Aloo Chana Chat, Aloo Ki Puri, Aloo Ki Sabzi, Aloo Ki Tikki, Aloo Methi, Aloo Mutter, Aloo Pakora, Aloo Paratha, Aloo Posto, Aloo Potol, Aloo Raita, Aloo Tikki Burger, and many more
  • Western Dishes: Beef and Potato Stroganoff, Beef and Potato Tamale Casserole, Cheeseburger and French Fry Casserole, Tuscan Potatoes and Vegetables, Southwest Potatoes and Chicken, Santa Fe Chicken and Potato Soup, Salt-Grilled Potatoes, Potato Vegetable Bake On The Grill, Potato Lasagna, Potato and Vegetable Stacks, Parmesan Potatoes, Microwave Soup and Potatoes, Microwave-Roasted Potatoes, etc.
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