5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
Pinch of Saffron Threads
2 Tbsp Butter
1-1/2 Tbsp flour
1 Cup milk
3/4 Cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
1 tsp crushed garlic
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
In a large pot, cover the potato chunks with just enough cold water to cover potatoes + 1 inch, then add 1/2 Tbsp salt. Slowly bring water to a boil on the stove. Allow the potatoes to simmer for about 20-25 min, or till they are soft and break apart easily when pierced with a fork.
While potatoes are cooking, grind the saffron threads to a fine powder, using a mortar and pestle. Add 1 Tbsp of hot water to the ground saffron and allow the mixture to soak for a few minutes.
When the potatoes are done cooking, drain them in a colander, and quickly return them to the hot pot on the stove. The stove burner should be turned off — the residual heat from the pot will “dry out” the potatoes a little, allowing them to soak up more of the good stuff later.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted completely, whisk in flour to form a thick paste. Whisk in the milk, coconut milk, crushed garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and the saffron water. Heat the mixture over medium, whisking frequently, until it boils and thickens.
Pour the creamy saffron sauce over the cooked potato chunks, and then mash the mixture with a potato masher until smooth. If using a potato ricer, push the cooked potatoes through the ricer first, then stir in the sauce. If the potatoes need additional moisture, add more non-dairy milk as you mash. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Unless you have a dietary restriction, don’t skimp on the salt, as it greatly enhances the flavor of the saffron. Same goes for butter — be generous in making this luscious dish. For a uniformly lighter-colored dish, substitute white pepper for the ground black pepper.
We adapted this recipe from one we tried at the shiksa.com.