Baked Sweet Potatoes with Red Chillies and Garlic

June 2, 2010

chili garlic sweet potatoes

Organic brown rice, organic rice bran extract, tocopherols (Vitamin E), alpha-amylase (enzyme) and electrolytic iron. That was my daughter’s foray into the world of solids.  Rice cereal.  That makes me so sad.  After a few days of tightly closed, pursed lips, I tasted the cereal myself.  While Surya was watching me.  Alert: novice error.  I had to feign an “mmmmm delicious” face.  It was awful.  So I decided to fast forward to pureed sweet potatoes.  Sadly, those haven’t been much more well received, but I’m chalking the lack of enthusiasm up to her getting used to a spoon and a new texture.  And to the idea of food!

While Surya was noshing on her pureed sweet potatos, we had some sweet potatos of our own.  Ours had just a few more bells and whistles.  Cracked red chillies and soft nuggets of garlic hidden within the natural sweetness of the potatoes. If only Surya could have had a little nibble from our sweet potatoes.  There would have been no spoon confusion.  I’m pretty sure she would have been opening wide for a second bite.


Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chili Garlic

~About 5-6 servings~

I was thinking about cooking with sweet potatoes, but hesitated because I’m not a huge sweets person.  The natural sweetness seemed to be begging for a pairing with spicy heat.  When my brother suggested cooking them in chili oil with some garlic, I was a little skeptical about how garlic would pair with the sweetness  But the savory, garlicky nuggets went perfectly with the almost caramelized tasting sweet potatoes.  I usually just add dried red chillies whole to dishes, but I broke them up here so they could properly challenge the sweetness of the sweet potatoes.  Breaking the chillies releases more of the heat b/c the seeds get released.

4 medium sized sweet potatoes, washed
1/2 yellow/white onion, roughly diced
4-5 cloves garlic, diced
3-4 dried red chillies
1 teaspoon chat masala
Salt to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes to prevent them from exploding in the oven.  Place on a cookie tray and bake for about 1 hour.  They should be tender but not mushy.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool until you can handle them.  Slit them in half and use a spoon to scoop the insides out into a small bowl.  Lightly mash them with the back of a spoon.  I left a few pieces chunky for texture.

2. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 5-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue cooking until the onions are glassy and the garlic is soft but not browned.

3. Add the red chillies and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes.

4. Add in the sweet potatoes and mix well.

5. Sprinkle with the chat masala and salt to taste.  I used about one and a half teaspoons of salt.

Chat masala gives a tangy, tart taste to the sweet potatoes.  If you don’t have it in your spice cabinet, try a teaspoon or so of lemon juice.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

MayMoh June 2, 2010 at 9:41 am

I’m a sweet potato lover. I would love this.

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Apu June 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Looks delicious!! Sweet and spicy -yumm!!

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Srimathi June 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Your sweet potatoes looks yummy. I was thinking it would go well with some methi paratha.

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Stephanie June 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I’d consider giving her yours–maybe without the masala? It’s close to single ingredient and brings her a variety of flavor. My son LOVED onions as a baby, after we soothed his teething with the stalk of a scallion. (Though the transition from burps that smelled sweetly of mommy’s milk to onions was rough on me!)

My guy didn’t like solids until about 11 months. He’d close his mouth to a spoon except when big sister would play-feed him with an empty one! But he’d sit in his highchair and scrape his little teeth on a whole peeled apple, or chew on a scallion.

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nithya June 4, 2010 at 9:13 am

@Stephanie – I agree! I’ve decided I need to step it up on the taste factor for her. While I want her to taste the naked vegetable itself, I can’t help but wonder if she thinks it’s bland! We just got the go ahead to add some flavor and spice since her 6 month birthday was yesterday. Also, in the last few days, she’s been opening up for the spoon. I think she actually likes the rice cereal over the pureed mangos we gave her, so who knows – maybe she’ll have a savory palate. Works for me!

I think some variety of garlicky lentils might be next. Which I won’t mind sharing with her 🙂

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chitra June 3, 2010 at 6:58 am

Looks yum.. new to me..

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Parita June 5, 2010 at 7:37 am

I love sweet potatoes..this is fantastic recipe!

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Vaishali June 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm

This looks incredible. Nice use of chaat masala.

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