Monday, April 12, 2010


On April 1st (the Assyrian New Year) I blogged about some homemade foods I love, but I didn't give you all the recipes.

Today, I share with you one of my favorite side dishes: marchalous. (mar-CHA-loose).  It's basically a mashed potato dish made with semi-caramelized onions and olive oil.  Super creamy and a hint of sweetness from the onions. Delicious!

Unlike the dish aptly named "yogurt cucumber dill" I'm not sure if marchalous actually means anything in Assyrian (or Arabic).  But it always reminds me of the command "mruchla," which translates to "squeeze it." And you kinda squeeze potatoes when you mash them, right?

But one thing I do know is that this dish has a super unique flavor with such regular 'ole ingredients.  Try it, because I can pretty much guarantee you've never had mashed potatoes like this before!

First thing you do is chop up a large onion and saute it until it is nice and soft and just starting to get a little bit of caramelization to it (the more you caramelize the onions the sweeter flavor you'll get from them).  Then coat liberally with a healthy sprinkling of paprika and sauté for additional minute or so.

Look how hilarious my onion looks! That sprout makes it look like such a goofy little onion.

While the onions are cooking boil or bake 2 potatoes until they're done. 

Then mix your cooked potatoes with the onions and start mashing.

At this point they'll be pretty dry.  In "normal" mashed potatoes (like the fatty ones I made for Thanksgiving last year) you'd add milk and/or butter and/or sour cream and/or cream cheese to make them mashed potatoes.  But today we're adding olive oil. Lots and lots of olive oil.

Thank goodness I didn't write down the actual amounts I used because I don't really want to know how much olive oil goes into this dish.  It's a lot, which is why they're so freaking creamy.

Just keep adding olive oil until the potatoes are super silky smooth. Don't be skured, it'll take quite a bit. For the two medium/large potatoes I used I'd say it was (at least?) 1/4 cup. Could have been a little more or a lot more. I dunno. I don't wanna know...

All I know is that they were delicious.

Buen Provecho,



1 large onion
2 medium potatoes
paprika (at least 1/2 TBSP I'd say; enough to coat the onions)
salt and pepper
olive oil (1/4+ cups)


1. Chop onions and sauté until soft and slightly caramelized.

2. While onions are cooking, bring the potatoes to a boil (starting with cold water) and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife or a fork. (They can be whole or chopped).

3. Add paprika to the cooked onions. If done before the potatoes, remove from heat and set aside.

4. Mix together onions + cooked potatoes. Mash together.

5. Add salt and pepper and olive oil, a bit at a time, until the potatoes are silky smooth. 


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