Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sweet Potatoes With Lankan Spices

I made this curry using Jaffna curry powder, a lovely and generous gift from Mae. Jaffna curry powder is hot, dark, and handsome;D - it is a unique blend of darkly roasted spices typically a bit hotter than other curry powders.

Try sweet potato curry as an alternative to the traditional one using regular potatoes as a side dish or a filling for samosas or dosas. Although you can use any type of sweet potatoes, cream colored ones and the variety called Japanese Yam yield a drier curry more suitable for stuffing samosas. Or use a combination of the various types. For more on sweet potatoes and yams, see this post.

Jaffna curry powder is available in the Sri Lankan section of groceries in Indian markets; but if it is unavailable, use another spice mix such as kuzhambu podi, sambar powder, or regular store-bought curry powder.


2 large Sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard seeds
1 Tbsp Chana Dal
1 Tbsp Urad Dal
1 stem fresh Curry Leaves, cut into a chiffonade
1 large Onion, any kind, finely chopped
1 hot green chile, minced
1 Tbsp fresh Ginger, finely minced
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Jaffna Curry Powder
1 tsp Sea Salt
Half a Lime, juiced
4 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, minced


Scrub and wash the sweet potatoes well. It is not necessary to peel them but you can if you wish. Cut them into 1/2" dice.

Heat the oil in a wok or skillet and add the mustard seeds and dal. When the mustard seeds finish popping and the dals are golden, add green chile, curry leaves, onions and ginger with a pinch of salt and stir cook until onions are soft.

Stir in the sweet potatoes with the salt and turmeric; cover and cook until the veggies are tender stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle the curry powder on top and stir cook for a few more minutes until the spices are mixed well into the curry.

Cover and set aside for a few minutes.

Serve warm sprinkled with the cilantro leaves and lime juice. Enjoy!!


Anonymous said...

Do you know how to make a purple pudding made out of yam? This is a Jaffna Tamil dish. Thanks in advance.

Geetha said...

Hello Anon, Purple yam pudding is quite popular not only in Sri Lanka, but also in Philippines! I love eating it but have not made it myself yet. The recipe is simple is what I have been told - about a kilogram of purple yam steamed, peeled, grated and cooked in 2 cups of coconut milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup of butter/vegan spread. Cook the whole thing in a heavy bottomed pan/wok, stirring until it starts to pull away from the sides; turn into a buttered pan and cool. Chill and cut into pieces to enjoy!!