Recipe for roasted sweet potatoes with Greek yogurt combines savory and creamy


Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables. Their ability to easily migrate from savory preparations to sweeter desserts such as pies makes them a wonderful asset in the kitchen. In my house, you’ll find me baking sweet potato pies even if it isn’t Thanksgiving (and at the holiday dinner, I will skip pumpkin pie in favor of sweet potato pies).

Sweet potatoes make a gorgeous creamy base in soups, and sweet potato fries are a delightful treat, as are roasted sweet potatoes with their outer crunchy shell. If you plant sweet potatoes, the leaves can be harvested and eaten in a myriad of ways from stir-fries to sauteed dishes.

I like to roast sweet potatoes to take advantage of the sugars present inside and let them caramelize by heating. This also helps create a whole new set of aroma and taste molecules that give the sweet potato an extra-special note. In this recipe, I actually cook the sweet potato in two ways. First, I partially steam it in its own water by sealing the root vegetables in an enclosed chamber created by tightly wrapping them in foil, which helps produce a softer creamy inside. Then I roast them uncovered to help achieve a sweet, caramelized crust.

Once the sweet potato is roasted it’s served with a luscious heaping of Greek yogurt infused with at least one clove of freshly grated garlic — if you’re a garlic lover, then by all means add more. This finishing touch of creamy dairy also contains herbs, but it’s the combination of nigella seeds and curry leaves that makes it special. The warm and cool temperatures of the sweet potatoes and yogurt are rolled into one.

Nik Sharma’s first solo cookbook is “Season” (Chronicle Books). Twitter/Instagram: @abrowntable Email: food@sfchronicle.com

Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Yogurt, Curry Leaves & Nigella

Serves 2 to 4

This quick and easy side can also act as a breakfast with a poached or crispy fried egg on top, or a light lunch. This roasted sweet potato dish takes into account a variety of aromas, tastes and textures. Make sure to serve it warm to get a whiff of those wonderful aromas that rise up. Curry leaves can be found in Indian grocery stores.

2 large sweet potatoes (about 14 ounces)

¼ cup unsalted butter plus a little extra to brush the sweet potatoes

Fine sea salt

12 curry leaves

½ cup plain unsweetened Greek yogurt

1 garlic clove, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon nigella seeds

¼ cup thinly sliced scallions

1 green chile, minced (use a hot chile like a serrano or Thai)

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse and scrub the sweet potatoes under running water. Line a baking sheet or large roasting pan with foil. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, place them on the baking sheet cut-side up, brush lightly with butter and season with a little salt. Cover the sweet potatoes with a layer of foil and tightly press the edges to form a tight seal. Bake until partially tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook the sweet potatoes uncovered for an additional 20 minutes until the surface is golden brown, slightly caramelized, and a knife inserted through the center slides through with ease. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes.

While the potatoes cool, melt the ¼ cup of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry leaves, cover the saucepan with a lid and let cook for about 1 minute, swirling the contents of the saucepan until the leaves turn translucent and crispy.

In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the garlic. Taste and season with salt. Spread the yogurt over a serving plate. Put the warm roasted sweet potatoes, cut-side up, on top of the yogurt. Pour the melted butter with the curry leaves all over the sweet potatoes. Heat a small dry skillet or saucepan, over medium heat. Add the nigella seeds and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute, and sprinkle them over the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the scallions and green chile on top and serve immediately.



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