Updated January 10th, 2024 at 14:36 IST

What Is Kaala Aaloo? Meet UP Man Who Returned Home After His Father's Death To Grow 'Black Potatoes'

Maurya began cultivating black potatoes because of their high content of health-promoting antioxidants, which he purchased from a farmer in Rae Bareilly, UP

Reported by: Pritam Saha
Black Potato Grown In Prayagraj, UP | Image:Instagram
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Prayagraj: The 40-year-old Ravi Prakash Maurya has emerged as a kind of 'black potato champion'. Maurya has been cultivating the vegetable for the past five years and encouraging other farmers in 15 different Indian states to do the same.In 2016, Maurya returned to native Prayagraj hometown of Mansoorpur when his father passed away, and he began farming there. He has been cultivating what he refers to as the "black crops," which include potatoes, rice, wheat, tomatoes, niger seeds, turmeric, ginger, and wheat. All of these crops have one thing in common - they are black.

Black Potato: Health-Promoting Antioxidants

Maurya began cultivating black potatoes because of their high content of health-promoting antioxidants, which he purchased from a farmer in Rae Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. Though the growers refer to it locally as "Kaala Aaloo" (black potato), the true color of the potato is a deep purple that becomes seen when it is cut in half. Let's delve deeper into the history of this vegetable to learn more about it.

Blue-Purple-Black Outer Skin

Black potatoes are grown by about fifty farmers in the Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, potato-growing zone. However, they are not yet recognized in the APMCs (Agricultural Produce Market Committees). Their characteristic blue-purple-black outer skin set them apart from other members of the potato family (Solanum tuberosum), which they share with native South American tuber plants found in the Andes Mountains. Even when cooked, the vivid purple color of the vegetable's inside flesh holds intact. 

Cultivated globally, it is known by several names such as Vitelotte, Adirondack Blue, Shetland Black, Purple Peruvian, Purple Majesty, All Blue, and Congo. Compared to typical white potatoes, these have a somewhat nuttier flavor and a denser texture. Interestingly, their flavor is earthier than usual.

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Published January 10th, 2024 at 14:36 IST