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Monday, February 16, 2009

Post-Racial Sweet Potato Chaat

This is not pie, it's a whole other thing you can do with sweet potatoes.

The recipe came from American Masala, predictably enough. I made my Goan curried tofu, too, but I've reciped and photographed it to exhaustion (I'm told), so I'll spare you the gory details of it. It's basically identical to the one I made for Melissa's party, but with half the coriander because I ran out.

The Sweet Potato Chaat was a new one for me. I bought the tubers while I was at my dealer buying herb (you DEA types stand down, at worst I've offended your jack-booted colleagues at the USDA).

Weird looking, but obviously sweet potatoes. I got curious about what I had in the oven and went online and found that I had, indeed, managed to buy sweet potatoes. According to one site, Camote, though according to another Camote has an orange flesh. That site claims I was cooking White Delight sweet potatoes, and yet another site I failed to bookmark had some other name for these puppies. I even found a site that showed an orange fleshed Camote and a white fleshed variety called simply a 'sweet potato.'

But these oddballs from Ambica Foods were white inside. The internet a marvel of reliable information.

I guess rather than really know what variety of sweet potato I used, I should just embrace the post-varietal age we live in.

These are a lot less sweet than the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes I'm used to (and what was pictured in the book), but the recipe still basically worked.

Bake the potatoes at 450ºF for an hour, until the skins are baggy, then set aside to cool. Strip the skins off and cube.

Heat about a quart of canola oil in a Wok or otherwise to about 325ºF-350ºF and fry the cubes in shifts, maybe a fourth at a time (figuring about 2-1/2 pounds of tuber starting out).

Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a 350ºF oven if you want to obey the book. I just dumped them in a bowl and planned to serve at room temperature.

Juice two limes, tossing the lime juice in the finished potatoes and then toss with:

1 tablespoon toasted cumin
1 tablespoon Chaat Masala
1 tablespoon salt

The book says 1 to 2 tablespoons for the above, but I can't take dishes that have overwhelming amounts of cumin, so I cut bot that and the Chaat in half (Chaat is cumin intensive itself). I cut the salt to the lower end in a rare fit of common sense.

Served it up with my patent-pending Goan Curry Tofu, with some tomato chutney for the sweet potatoes, an excellent combination itself.

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