Mashed amadumbe is made from a potato-like tuber that resembles a sweet potato. It has a rich earthy flavour and a starchy flesh. In South Africa, you might be able to find organic amadumbes in Woolworths food stores or perhaps at your local greengrocer’s.
200 g salted butter
a small bunch of spring onions, white and pale green parts only, finely sliced
2 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
250 ml cream
milk to thin the mixture
Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil, and add a thin slice of lemon.
Peel the amadumbes and cut them into small chunks. Put the chunks in the boiling water as you go.
Boil until completely tender (about 40 minutes, depending on the age of your amadumbes) skimming off any grey foam as it rises.
Drain the chunks in a colander and set aside for a few minutes to cool and dry out.
In the meantime, heat the butter in a deep pot and add the sliced spring onions and the garlic. Allow to cook, very gently, for a few minutes, or until the onions are softened, but do not allow to brown.
Tip the cooked amadumbes into the buttery spring onions and, using a potato masher, mash over a medium heat until smooth.
Add all the cream, and enough milk to make a smooth, creamy mixture.
Don’t over-beat the mixture, or it will become sticky.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Pile the piping-hot mash onto a big platter - or onto individual plates - in a big, conical, volcano-like mound. Make a hollow in the top of the mound and fill it with a few cubes of cold butter. Scatter with a little more sliced spring onion.
Amadumbes tend to discolour as they are boiled, so add a thin slice of lemon, and plenty of salt, to the boiling water.
Don’t over-mash them, or they will become a bit glutinous.
If you can’t get amadumbes, try this dish with ordinary potatoes.
Cuisine: South African
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