In India, we have a plenty of dishes made of potatoes. But I'm confused what term we use for the 'form of potatoes' used.

Here, in this context, 'minced potatoes' is out of question because the dishes require 'boiled potato' and also, you don't cut potatoes.

Is it smashed potatoes or pounded? What do we call the potatoes when they are boiled, skin removed and then pounded/mashed? They ultimately become a paste like (no moisture though, I don't have this word actually). Say, you can make balls out of it.

So, if I am making an Indian dish, how do I instruct the reader?

The dish requires 'mashed/pounded' or 'grounded' potatoes? Image will help.

Mind it, I'm not talking about the dish named 'Mashed Potatoes'. However, I'm open for this option to mean that the potatoes are mashed to be used in an Indian dish.

For foreigners, take 'potato wedges'. Remove outer fried layer and what you see inside, I'm talking about it.

For you all -

pounded, grounded or mashed potatoes

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    You might also ask this question at Seasoned Advice Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 7:18
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    I'd go for "mashed". It's like fried egg - the same name for process & result. Plus, you seem to plan on giving instructions to the reader, this should eliminate all doubts.
    – Stephie
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 7:35
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    wow... @CopperKettle din' know that. I'm in LOVE with StackExchange network! These guys are GREAT!
    – Maulik V
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 7:44
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    I'm struggling with your description… mashed/pounded - yet the picture is simply potatoes cut into wedges. Are they cooked whole, then 'broken up', or 'broken up' first, then cooked? If ultimately it becomes a 'paste' then how is that not simply 'mashed potatoes'? Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 9:25
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    I think the picture is a bit misleading (at first I thought you wanted it fried, then I thought maybe you wanted it cooked whole, like Tetsujin said). It'd be better if you can get a photo of the Indian dish you have in mind. I'm thinking that maybe it's either "smashed" or "mashed", depending on whether you like it creamy or not. Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 14:37

3 Answers 3


Mashed is the correct word. A potato fritter recipe on cooking.com has the directions

Boil in plenty of salted water until cooked through. As soon as they have cooled enough to handle, peel the potatoes and mash them in a food mill, a potato ricer or with a fork.

A related word is purée. When I mash potatoes, they have a somewhat dry and chunky texture. When I purée something, it has a smoother texture and I typically add some sort of liquid to it as I'm blending it.

Mashed potatoes look like this image from reluctantgourmet.com:

Mashed potatoes

Pureed potatoes look like this image from lubbockonline.com

Pureed potatoes


I'm going to post this as an answer, just to get all the links & pictures in. I hope I'm staying close enough to English Language & not wandering off into cookery...

OK, so it could be 'mashed' - but it's not mashed like a 'westerner' would do it, it's usually much coarser.
I think if you use 'mashed' you'd need to describe additionally 'how much it's mashed'.

Often I've had cutlets & samosa where they are just 'rough-chopped' into small pieces, rather than even partially mashed, but as far as I can gather, this is perhaps area-dependant in India. I've even seen samosas with 'western-style' creamy mashed potato, though they're not my favourite, I like chunky ;) This recipe shows approximately how I would aspect to see samosa potato, which I would actually just call 'chopped into very small pieces', I can think of no better term.

& this potato glossary gives variations, including a good 'roughly-mashed' image; which you will note, contrasts considerably with the pictures kindly provided by @ColleenV

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    The potato glossary is useful. I don't think we're too far afield from English, because it is helpful in my opinion to understand the differences in similar terms, even if it is just to be able to understand a recipe, a menu, or have a conversation about a favorite meal.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 19:12
  • Yes, rough-chopped/minced potato is one of the methods to make samosas and that is the reason, to show the 'texture', I put Potato wedges and talked about what we find 'inside' it. But now I'm almost confirmed that I needed 'mashed' word! :) thanks anyway.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 5:01

The word you're looking for is mashed. Mash means applying force on something solid but soft so you obtain a paste.

Grind means obtaining flour out of a cereal by abrasion or mincing meat in tiny pieces, which makes ground meat, like the kind you'd use for meatballs or hamburgers.

Pound means hitting something hard repeatedly. You could make mashed potatoes by pounding them, but I don't think that's the usual method ;)

  • I think in a culinary sense, pounding exclusively refers to the tenderising cuts of meat.
    – Sanchises
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 13:47
  • not to put too fine a point on it, but you can have pounded grains/seeds, pestle & mortar-style; slightly distinct from 'ground' in as much as it is to a lesser degree. I like your 'pounded mash' idea though - what a mess ;) Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 15:42
  • Pounded potatoes sounds like it should be a real food. :-)
    – Adam Haun
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 19:31
  • Not if you want it all one one plate; as opposed to the floor, wall, cat… but it does sound like man food ;-) [I'm so going to get an official telling-off for waffling in comments] Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 19:52

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