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East Indian Seasoned Sweet Potato Dish



  • 1-1/2 lbs (.7 kg). small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tbsp (60 ml) sunflower or peanut oil
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) panch phoran (see notes)
  • 2 or more cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt
  • Cook the sweet potatoes in a large pan of boiling water for about 15 minutes, or until soft.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and stir-fry the panch phoran spices for 1 minute.
  • Add the onion and stir-fry for 5 minutes more.
  • As soon as the sweet potatoes are cooked, strain them and add to the pan or wok with the chopped cilantro.
  • Stir-fry until the ingredients are well blended and heated through.
  • Season with salt to taste and serve immediately topped with an additional sprinkling of fresh cilantro.
Panch phoran is a Bengali five-spice mixture consisting of equal quantities of whole spices mixed together without dry-roasting or grinding.The mixture is used in one of two ways--it may be fried in oil to impart flavor to the oil before adding the main ingredients, or fried in ghee and stirred into cooked dhal or vegetable dishes just before they are served.

If panch phoran is unavailable, replace the 2 t. of the spice in this recipe with 1/2 t. white cumin seeds, 1/2 t. fennel seeds, 1/2 t. fenugreek seeds, 1/2 t. black mustard seeds, and 1/2 t. black onion seeds (kalonji).

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