The Rösti‎ is a simple thing. Originating in Switzerland, it is nothing more than potatoes grated and cooked in a pan and was a filling breakfast to the farmers before they went for work. However, the recipe did gain popularity, and it began to gather momentum and finally became one of the most famous recipes from Switzerland, and some even consider it to be their national dish.

Crispy on the outside, soft inside. That’s how a Rösti‎ should be. 

To make Rösti‎, all you need is love. And a big potato. And some butter maybe? Actually, goose fat is better, but in this country that is a very difficult thing to find indeed. So, if you want to add a tiny bit of vegetable oil, i would not tell. I hope you won’t too. And yes, salt and pepper. I prefer freshly milled pepper, but you can be rebellious and use pepper powder. The oil actually makes this slightly crisper, and I love that.

That’s about it.

Coarsely grate a large floury raw potato (around 150-170 gm. size, the big ones in the market with the very thin skin) using the larger grating side of a grater. This recipe needs thin strands of potato and not potato mush. Add a pinch of salt and let sit for 5 minutes. Get a muslin cloth and put the grated potato in it. Holding tight, squeeze out as much water as you can from the potato. Open the cloth, and sprinkle some pepper on the potato. Mix together.

In a small, flat, nonstick frying pan around 6-7 inches in diameter, heat 1/2 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Swirl the fat around the pan to cover every bit around. Put the potato over the fat in an even layer, using a spatula to press down any unevenness, into a disc like formation covering the bottom of the pan. Let cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or so.  Turn the heat to a simmer and let the potatoes fry for at least 5-8 minutes, or till the Rösti‎ looks like this on one side. Slide it out of the pan and into a plate. Quickly flip the Rösti‎ back into the pan, bottom’s up, the uncooked side now exposed to the flame. Add 1/2 teaspoon oil to the sides to make sure the Rösti‎ is crunchy on the sides.

The finished products… the beautiful cooked potatoes.

 The Swiss people serve this with a sunny side egg on top, and some spinach, and call it a day. I call it a day with just the egg, and a bit of extra pepper on it too. I also cut it in pieces and serve it as a side to meat, fish or other vegetables, and it goes down excellently too.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

Leave a Comment