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Indian inspired

February 2, 2010

I wouldn’t deign to call this dish Indian, just as I wouldn’t call my quesadillas Mexican.  I don’t know enough about real Indian or Mexican cuisine to claim that name for my food.  But I’ve had take out and read a thousand or so cookbooks, food blogs, and recipes, so I figure “inspired by” is acceptable.

Spiced sweet potatoes:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed & cubed
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS garam masala
  • sprinkling of sea salt


Heat the oven to 375°F; melt the butter in a large baking pan while you scrub & chop the sweet potatoes.  Remove the buttered pan from the oven and add sweet potato pieces, garam masala, and salt.  Mix well.  I object to both the cost & waste of aluminum foil, so I poured in about half a cup of water to keep the sweet potatoes moist in the early stages of baking.  Pop in the oven and stir every 10 minutes or so, testing for fork-tenderness after 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make some amazing Indian-spice-inspired chickpeas and peas:

  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • ½ tsp whole cumin
  • ½ tsp whole yellow mustard seed
  • ½ tsp whole coriander seed, toasted and then ground
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • splash of red wine vinegar or preferred deglazing method
  • half a dozen whole canned tomatoes and about ¼ Cup of extra juice
  • 2 Cups canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • squeeze of ¼ of a lime
  • frozen peas, as preferred

Melt the butter over medium high heat; add onions when hot.  Cook quickly, stirring often.

When some onions start browning, toss in cumin, mustard seeds, ground coriander, and garlic.  Cook over high heat until seeds starting popping.  Don’t be afraid of the sweet, sweet browning of the onions or the bottom of the pan.  Trust me.

When the seeds start popping, quickly stir in the garam masala and toast briefly.  Then deglaze with a slug of red wine vinegar, followed by about a quarter cup of water.  Cook off the vinegar and water, then add the tomatoes one at a time, crushing them between your hands, or your spoon if you’re squeamish.  Add the extra tomato juice and cook over medium high heat until the tomatoes are well-incorporated.  Stir in the chickpeas and no more than half a cup of water.

Cook over medium high heat until the water and remaining tomato juices reduce.  Stir in squeeze of lime and frozen peas.  Cook until peas are heated through.

Finish off you meal with not-so-sweet coconut mutant muffin-cakes!  (recipe to follow)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2010 5:41 pm

    These sweet potatoes look oh so good, thank you for the recipe!
    The chickpea recipe sounds so delicious too!

    • February 4, 2010 8:25 am

      Thanks! They were very tasty–and reheated wonderfully, too. Let me know if you make them and how they come out. Thanks for reading!

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