Sweet Potatoes with Cardamon and Chiles

Sweet Potatoes with Cardamon and Chiles

I haven't had sweet potatoes before, and wanted to try them (helped along by some encouraging remarks by Joanne from Eats well with others). After several attempts, I found some at the green market and headed off to the kitchen. There are a lot of flavours in this dish and they all come together in a nice balance of the earthy sweetness of the potatoes, the chile heat and the slight acidity of the lime.

Cheryl Rathkopf's Sri Lankan
Sweet Potatoes with Cardamon and Chiles

Source: World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey


2 very large sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
5 Tbsp peanut or olive oil
3 whole dried hot chiles, broken into halves
2 whole cardamon pods
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
20 fresh curry leaves (substitute fresh holy basil or basil leaves for a different but equally interesting flavour) *
3 good-sized onions (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into halves lengthwise and then into very fine half rings
1 to 3 tsp coarsly crushed dried hot red chiles **
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, or to taste

* Used basil leaves.
** Omitted, because I used very hot bird's eye chiles to flavour the oil.


Peel the sweet potatoes and quarter lengthwise. Now cut crosswise at 3/4-inch intervals to get chunky pieces. Put the sweet potato pieces in a large pot and cover well with water. Add the turmeric and bring to a boil. Stir well to mix in the turmeric. Boil, uncovered, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender but still firm. Drain.

Put the oil in a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the red chiles. Stir once and when the chiles darken, a matter of seconds, put in the cardamon annd cinnamon.
Stir once or twice and put in the curry leaves. Stir once and put in the onions. Stir and cook the onions for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are lightly browned.
Put in the sweet potatoes. Stir and fry for 5 minutes. Put in the crushed red chiles, salt and lime juice. Stir and cook, lowering the heat as needed, until the sweet potatoes are tender enough for your taste.

Remove the cinnamon stick and cardamon pods before serving.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Well, I have had sweet potatoes before and know enough to know those flavors would be just lovely with the sweet potato! I've not ever tried a Madhur Jaffrey recipe that I didn't like either.
Very nice.

Jeanne said...

I've never had sweet potatoes with so many spices before! Sounds wonderful.

Joanne said...

So are you an addict now? This recipe looks amazing. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices and it must have complemented the potatoes so well! I'm so glad you tried them. Super proud of you :P

Debinhawaii said...

They look delicious--I love the combination of flavors, especially the cardamom.

Mary said...

What a lovely combination of flavors you've used in this recipe. I especially like the addition of cardamom. This sounds truly wonderful.