One Potato, Two Potato, Which Potato For? – Dani Valent

John from Pino's at Prahran Market Talks Potatoes

There are a lot of potatoes out there and it can be confusing to know which ones are best for all the different things you can do with them. The best spud for mash is not necessarily going to work for chips or salad. I thought it was a good idea to ask an expert which potatoes work in what circumstances.

One of my favourite places IN THE WORLD to buy fruit and veg is Prahran Market and one of my favourite places at the market is Pino’s Fine Produce where the genial John is as much entertainer as he is purveyor of fresh produce. Enjoy our chat then see below for more PotaTips and recipes.

The basic question you need to ask about potatoes is whether they’re waxy or floury. Waxy potatoes have yellower flesh and carry more moisture. They’re better for dishes like casseroles, curries or salads, or any dish where you want them to retain their shape after they’re boiled, steamed or braised. Floury potatoes are drier and fluffier and have starchy, white flesh: they’re best for roasting, chipping and mashing.


  • Kipfler – roast, chips, mash, salad (steamed or boiled)
  • Sebago – chips, roast
  • Royal Blue – they’re a bit of a rule-breaker because they are lightly waxy but still make a creamy mash; a great all-rounder
  • Sapphire – roast


  • Kestrel – roast, mash,
  • Red Desiree – gnocchi, a good all-rounder for mashing and roasting too
  • Dutch Cream – mash
  • Coliban – mash
  • King Edward – mash 


Sweet potatoes are only distantly related to true potatoes. They’re also called kumara or yam, depending on where you are. I love them for soups, mashing, steaming and roasting. They’re brilliant with a grain salad.

  • Orange Sweet Potato – mash, roast, steam
  • White Sweet Potato – roast

Psst, love my top? It’s from Elk Accessories.

Potato Inspiration

I’ve got lots of great recipes for potatoes! I love Jessi Singh’s Aloo Gobi, a vegetarian Indian dish with gentle spice. Click the image below to see it and, if you’re cooking without a Thermomix, there’s a link under the image for you too. Other showcased recipes are from my Entertaining cookbook and on the site. The Inside-out Chicken Parmigiana is available to all; to see the others, you’ll need to be a member.

Roasted Aloo Gobi

Indian-born, US-based chef Jessi Singh’s simple, sparky Indian flavours are on show in this tasty spin on a classic. Use kipfler potatoes for a succulent spud experience.

Click here to see three more great recipes from Jessi Singh, as well as a non-Thermomix version of the Aloo Gobi.

Sweet Potato and Grain Salad

This one is from the Plan Ahead chapter of my Entertaining cookbook. You can have the grains and the sweet potato cooked and ready to go then throw the salad together at the last minute.

Inside-out Chicken Parmigiana

Also from the Plan Ahead chapter of my Entertaining cookbook, this new spin on a pub classic is great with steamed then roasted spuds.

Beef Rotolo

This dish has turned thousands of people onto the strange notion of steaming beef – it’s so delicious and the steamed potatoes are so good with a red wine and mustard sauce.


Oh, gnocchi, how I love you. Poised pillows of potato perfection – and really fun to make when you have the right recipe.

Zhoug and Salmon Salad

Zhoug is a Yemeni green chilli dressing and it’s a beautiful marinade for salmon. Build the dish into a lovely meal-sized salad with potatoes and greens.


Dumplings stuffed with a potato filling? Basically heaven! This recipe is from top chef Grant Achatz and it’s just wonderful.

Want more potato dishes that are surprisingly easy and ridiculously delicious? Try these:

  • Aligot (say “uh-lee-go”) is a rustic French-style mash that doesn’t quite know if it’s cheesy mash or potatoey cheese.
  • 4 Indian recipes from Jessi Singh.
  • Movida’s Frank Camorra creates a delicious Spanish Tortilla.
  • Unlock the secrets to making perfect classic Italian Gnocchi.
  • US chef Grant Achatz shares his Pierogies recipe.

Did you know Dani Valent gift vouchers are available right here? They make the perfect present for the Thermo-lover in your life.

I love my Elk top & Obus pants

What's this site all about?

My business card says ‘Writer. Eater. Traveller. Cook.’ I do all these things with equal passion, which is why I’m sometimes sitting at my laptop with an apron on! This is where I share all my best bits of writing, recipes and videos. There are free areas of the site where you can stay up to date with my journalism and get a taste of my cooking adventures. Sign up as a member and you’ll get access to my awesome and ever-growing library of cooking videos and recipes, focusing on Thermomix.

This is a place for inspiration, chefs’ secrets, practical tuition and happy creativity. If you like cooking and eating delicious food and basking in the compliments of family and friends, this site is for you. You’ll be amazed what you can create with my recipes and videos as your guide.

See what recipes are available here.

What do members love about the site?

Become A Member

© Dani Valent 2023