I made some steamed beni imo and was feeling ho-hum about mashed beni imo or a soup. I wanted something crunchy, like roasted beni imo or beni imo chips, but I don’t have a real oven. We only have a fish grill, which works great for… um… fish. And nothing else. So, I made sweet potato cakes in a pan.
These can be made with any ol’ variety of sweet potato. Beni imo is my fav, it’s local, and that’s what I had in my pantry. I went with Indian spices, but it’s a pretty flexible recipe, so use whatever strikes your fancy. Garam Masala is a combination of roasted spices. If you don’t have this on hand, I have a recipe for it here! It will only take a few extra minutes and is totally worth it. Plus you can store it for several months.
After spending several weeks in southern India this year, I kinda have a crush on south Indian food. Lots of coconut! Great for cooling pitta during summer time. I’m pretty sure it’s summer time in Kerala all year long. And in Okinawa for 10 months a year…
The Recipe: Sweet Potato Cakes
- ¼ cup diced onion
- ¼ cup chickpea flour (or coconut, wheat, whatever floats yer boat)
- ½ inch piece grated ginger
- 2 cups cooked sweet potato
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp ghee + 2 tbsp for cooking
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- Juice and zest from 3 shikuwasa or ½ a lime
- ½ tsp black pepper
Mash the sweet potato, add all the ingredients and mix well. Form the mix into thin patties. Heat the 2 tbsps of ghee in a large pan over medium heat. When the ghee is very hot, add the cakes, and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. You’re looking for a brown and crispy crust.
The Recipe: Coconut Chutney
- 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- ½ cup of boiling water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 heaping tbsp urad dhal (lentils will probably work here too)
- ¼ inch piece of ginger
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 dry red chilies
- 4 curry leaves (if you don’t have this, it’s ok to omit)
- 1 tsp black mustard seed (if you don’t have this, use whole cumin instead)
Bring the water to a boil and pour over the dry coconut in a blender and cover to retain the heat. Dry roast the urad dhal then add to coconut along with the ginger and salt. Blend well and pour into a bowl. In a pan, heat the ghee. When it’s very hot, add the mustard seeds and when they start popping, add the red chilies and cook for 30 seconds or so. Then add the curry leaves. These may sputter a bit, so be careful. As soon as the curry leaves start turning brown, pour this over the coconut in the bowl. This will splutter some, and then just mix everything together.
Top your sweet potato cakes with some coconut chutney and cilantro and serve with a side of green beans or another veggie. I made a side of Sasage (long bean). I left it long instead of chopping. It was fun to eat like noodles. I cooked this in a pan with a lil ghee, water, salt and pepper.
Pitta- This is sweet and cooling, making it nice for pitta. Add a side of bitter greens if you are trying to balance your dosha.
Kapha- This is going to be a bit heavy and cooling for you. Add a fresh chili pepper to the coconut chutney: just blend it with the rest of the ingredients. Have a small amount with a large serving of sautéed bitter greens.