This side dish used to be a popular addition to meals when I was growing up. We used the pale flesh sweet potato (second pic) that is more dry and not as sweet as the orange version (first pic). You can also make mashed sweet potatoes using the same seasonings. Note: Regarding the urad dal, there's no need to soak it beforehand. But it does need to be toasted to a golden brown color before proceeding to step 4 or else it will be hard. It can also be left out without affecting the taste much (as a kid with plenty of cavities I used to prefer them left out).
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Urad Dal
- 3 curry leaves
- 1 dried red chili, cut into half inch pieces
- 1 green chili, sliced
- 1⁄4 inch gingerroot, finely chopped
- 1⁄8 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 pinch asafetida powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon jaggery, crushed
- 1⁄4 cup water
- salt, to taste
- cilantro, to garnish
- Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Put it in a bowl of cold water and set aside. See note.
- In a pan, heat the oil.
- Add the cumin, mustard and urad dal.
- When the mustard splutters and urad dal has changed color, add curry leaves, red chili and ginger.
- Stir for a minute then add the turmeric powder.
- Stir and now add the sweet potatoes.
- Dissolve the asafoetida in the water and add to the pan.
- Add salt to taste.
- Add the crushed jaggery only if using the pale sweet potato as the orange one is sweet enough.
- Mix well, cover and let cook until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- Serve garnished with chopped fresh corriander leaves.
- NOTE: If you would like to make mashed sweet potatoes, boil them first in lightly salted water until tender enough to be mashed with a fork.
I was hoping to find a good recipe that combines two of my favorite things--Indian food and sweet potatoes! I don't know if I did something wrong, but the urad dal ended up being too hard. Maybe I was supposed to cook it first--or at least soak for longer. Anyway, it was a delicious dish--thank you!