Tangy Sweet Potato with Cumin

Tangy Sweet Potatoes with Cumin
Is this the simplest recipe I’ve posted so far? It may well be. Very few ingredients—none of them hard to find, most probably already in your pantry; easy prep; and past the the first few minutes on the stove you can mostly ignore it till it’s done (and that’s in not very much time either). The interplay of cumin and sweet potato is what this is about—a little bit of chilli powder adds a spicy counterpoint and if you have a lime and/or chaat masala on hand, squeeze and/or sprinkle them over at the end to give it a tangy kick as well. A very good side-dish with dal and chapatis, but would also go very well with roasted meats made in a non-Indian style. In fact, I’m considering serving it alongside turkey at our Thanksgiving dinner this year (and I’m also considering Indianizing the roast turkey this year—more on that later). 



  • Sweet potatoes, 2lbs, peeled and diced
  • Yellow waxy potatoes, 1/2 lb, peeled and diced
  • Cumin seeds, 2 tblspns
  • Chilli/Cayenne powder, 1/4-1 tspn (to preference)
  • Turmeric powder, 1/2 tspn
  • Salt to taste
  • One pinch sugar (optional)
  • Oil




  1. Heat the oil in a large pan till just below smoking point.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and stir till they darken and split (this will happen very quickly).
  3. Add the diced sweet potatoes and potatoes and stir to coat thoroughly with the cumin seeds.
  4. Add the turmeric, salt and chilli powder and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the pinch of sugar, mix in, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook till done.
  6. Squeeze the lime over, sprinkle the chaat masala (if using) and serve.


  1. If you made a big batch of the tamarind chutney (and why wouldn’t you have?) you can pour a few tablespoons of it over as well.
  2. Adjust the chilli powder up or down but do use some and don’t use too much.
  3. You could make this just with sweet potatoes but I like it with a bit of potato in there as well.
  4. Likewise you could make this just with potatoes but the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes takes this to another level.

Tangy Sweet Potatoes with Cumin

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