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Kufri Pukhraj Potatoes
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Kufri Pukhraj is a large potato that has an oval to oblong shape. Its skin is known for its wax-like texture which boasts a golden tan color often speckled with small brown spots and shallow eyes. The inner flesh of the Kufri Pukhraj potato is firm with a creamy yellow hue and offers a mild potato flavor and waxy texture when cooked.
Kufri Pukhraj potatoes are typically available year-round in India.
Kufri Pukhraj potatoes, botanically a part of Solanum tuberosum, are a relatively new Indian potato variety. Developed in 2008 by the Central Potato Research Institute the kufri khyati is said to be an improved version of the Kufri Pukhraj. The new variety is quite similar in terms of taste and appearance when compared to Kufri Pukhraj but offers an improved shelf life, higher yield, and resistance to late blight.
Potatoes such as the Kufri Pukhraj have been deemed a complete food nutritionally speaking by the Indian representative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Association. Doctor BP Singh, director of the Central Potato Research Institute, indicated that studies have shown that unlike wheat and rice potatoes are less likely to lead to obesity which makes them a healthier carbohydrate choice.
Kufri Pukhraj potatoes can be used in most preparations that call for potato. They can be combined with dried spices and fresh herbs and used to make a potato roast. Boiled, roasted or sautéed Kufri Pukhraj cut into pieces can be added to dry and sauce based curries and soups. Baked or boiled wedges can be combined with spinach to make saag aloo. Boiled and mashed Kufri Pukhraj can be used as the base of fillings for vegetarian samosas. Their mild flavor pairs well with a broad range of ingredients including sambar, turmeric, chili powder, mustard seeds, curry leaves, coriander, mango powder, garam masala, cumin, asafoetida, lime, fresh chilies, ginger, fresh mint, spinach, carrots, peas, and coconut sugar. To store keep Kufri Pukhraj potatoes in a cool and dry location away from direct sunlight. Best if used within a few weeks or before they begin to sprout or develop green splotches.
The Central Potato Research Institute, which developed the Kufri Pukhraj and many other potato varieties, is responsible for developing the potatoes grown in nearly all the potato growing regions in India. Most varieties created in the past two decades have been bred with the goal to produce potatoes that can help provide improved food security for a rapidly increasing population.
The Kufri Pukhraj potato was created in 1998 by the Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI). 10 years later the CPRI would go on to create an improved hybrid variety known as the kufri khyati by crossing the Kufri Pukhraj with MS/82-638. Both varieties were developed specifically to be heat resistant, early producing, high yielding potato types that could be grown to help provide food security in terms of both sustenance and income from international trade. Kufri Pukhraj is said to thrive in the northern India plains and plateau regions of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal.