I don’t think I’ve ever purposely made mashed potato before. I’m not a fan of “mushy food”, I like my food with a bit of texture. The idea of mashed potato waffles, however, intrigued me, except every recipe I came across called for leftover mashed potato. As if these waffles are an afterthought, a clever thing you can make with day old mashed potatoes. The good news is, you don’t need leftover mashed potatoes to make these waffles; you can make mashed potato from scratch for the sole purpose of waffling it. Also, there’s chickpea flour in the waffles, not actual chickpeas – I feel it’s important to mention this before we move on. There’s nutritional yeast as well, and a host of beautiful spices, making this mashed potato and chickpea waffles deeply savoury. They’re similar to these, except in waffle form.
On the spice front, I added a tablespoon of pilpelchuma spice the first time I tried these waffles. A blend of garlic and chilli, pilpelchuma, a vibrant and warming Libyan condiment, adds a bold rich kick to dishes. It’s wonderful in these waffles but when my stash ran out, I found out through experimenting that a dash of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika and cumin also works brilliantly. Feel free to adjust the spices according to your preference, if you make these. I think it has just the right bout of heat and spicy aroma, but then I’m African and I like spicy food.
We made these waffles two weekends ago. It’s not elaborate but there are a few steps involved in its preparation, making it a satisfying and rewarding yummy afternoon project. It’s the type of dish I make when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, like lately, I’ve been feeling world-weary, like I’m trapped in an episode of Black Mirror.
This ritual of making these waffles adds a bit of calm in a space that is increasingly beginning to feel unfamiliar.
Chopping veggies, mashing potatoes, folding in spices and spooning thick batter onto a hot (waffle) iron, the wait and finally the crispy golden waffle that emerges, it all feels familiarly comforting. It’s what I do to tune out the noise, and for a few moments, it feels safe again.
The waffles come out delicate with a perfectly crispy coating and melt in your mouth when you bite into them. Overall, they’re properly spiced and intensely flavourful, and take on a cheesy flavor from the nutritional yeast. Also, they’re naturally gluten-free.
- 2 russet potatoes (about 1 1/4 lbs), peeled and washed
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or other nut milk), room temperature
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Chop potatoes into chunks and put them in a large pot
- Fill pot with enough cold water so that potatoes are completely submerged
- Salt liberally, and cook over medium-high heat
- Bring to boil, lower heat and cook until potatoes are cooked through and can be pierced easily with a fork
- Drain and transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl, reserve about 1/2 cup of the potato water
- Meanwhile, mix ground flaxseed and water in a small cup, set aside and let mixture thicken for at least 5 minutes
- Add flax mixture, almond milk and olive oil to potatoes and mash roughly with potato masher or fork
- Add chickpea flour, nutritional yeast and baking powder and mash well to blend
- Mix in onion, chives, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic powder cayenne pepper, sweet paprika, cumin and salt
- Mash well until evenly incorporated, mixture should be mostly smooth
- If the waffle batter feels stiff or dry, add a little potato water at a time until thick but soft (not runny)
- Taste and add more salt if desired
- Heat your waffle iron and grease the grids
- Depending on the size of your waffle iron, scoop about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of batter onto prepared waffle iron, and cook using manufacturer’s instructions, until golden brown and crispy
- Keep waffles in a single layer on a rack (preferably warming in the oven) while you make the rest of the batch
- Allow waffle to cook through, do not open the iron lid too soon or mixture will separate!