In the Kenyan language of Kikuyu, irio just means "food." But in daily use, it means a quick dish of the region's staples: mashed potatoes, corn, peas, and greens. Irio is perfectly at home alongside roasted or grilled meats, but if you want some meatless protein, stir about a cup of frozen and thawed lima beans directly into the mash.
1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups frozen green peas
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 cups chopped spinach, kale, or watercress (about 4 ounces)
1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
How to Make It
Combine potatoes, 2 1/2 cups water, and salt in medium saucepan; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, covered, 7 minutes. Add peas; cover and cook 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain potato mixture in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach and corn; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until spinach wilts and corn is thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.
Pass potatoes and peas through a ricer or food mill or mash with a potato masher. Stir potato mixture and enough of reserved cooking liquid into spinach mixture to create a creamy texture.
Note: If you have leftovers, you can refrigerate them, and then the next day form them into patties and pan-fry.