Jab tak rahega samose mein aloo, tera rahunga o meri Shalu!
We all know how Shalu felt when a cheeky Akshay Kumar sang this for her. But the man we should really thank is Anu Malik for producing this gem that immortalised our love for aloo.
I was perhaps 4 or 5 years old when I first realised the power of potatoes. I was struggling to find my way to make the mount of rice mingle with the tsunami of dal on my plate. My dainty little fingers were in a complete mess and Maa gave strict orders to wipe off every single grain. That’s when they came, straight out of a long bath in hot oil. My mother sprinkled them over my dismal pile of rice, oh that golden, tiny, crispy little bunch of jhurjhure aloo bhaja aka fried potatoes in Bangla.
Why wouldn’t we love them? God has bestowed these starchy stars upon us with such great abundance. There are some 4000 varieties of potatoes and they are an indispensable part of almost every culture in the world. I gave this some thought and I realised that potatoes could actually be great world leaders. In fact if there’s a position open for being the President of the world, potatoes will totally make the cut.
Think about it this way. No one differentiates between a black, red, brown or a white potato. Each has its own unique flavour, texture and moisture level that adds to the character of a dish. Just this quality is enough for potatoes to trump over a few leaders besides of course making even the most boring dishes great again.
The vegetable may have its own qualities but let me just remind you how adjustable this beauty is. It may not have a thick skin but it handles high temperatures like a boss and gets baked for all the right reasons. Even if a potato is no Gandhi, its partnership with cheese is like a peace treaty made in heaven–and salt, pepper and a few herbs are all the allies it needs to win the battle.
Speaking of battles, it doesn’t always have to be poutine because even fries can do that job. They’re all the ammo you need with a beer, burger or even how the Brits like it – with fried fish!
A big batch of fries can be very Trudeau-esque for you can put in whatever you like, quite liberally and they’ll still be so very good.
A potato is never ashamed to question its shape, structure, form or to completely change its personality if it can do any good to the society. This selflessness of a potato gave us gnocchis, potato breads and even potato soups, where it’s just there cheering for the flour, the sauce or the chicken stock that’s standing in the limelight.
If potato was a person it would probably be richer than all of us. In the US alone, the potato chips industry is worth over $28 billion, because you know, no one can eat just one.
As per a 2014 report published in The Economic Times, the market in India for french fries, both frozen and fresh, is going up by the rate of 30% annually. Clearly, potatoes mean some serious business. Hey, that doesn’t mean you have to get all serious. Perhaps some vodka will calm your nerves? Once again, thank God for potatoes.
In the end, who is a good leader? One who does not discriminate, one who holds his/her ground during tough times, one who gives others a chance and one who has the capacity to pump money in the economy. And we now know that potatoes do it all!
What if it gives you some extra carbs? All good leaders have some cons. I say, potato for President please!
*This post contains third-party images