Tamarind and chilli-glazed sweet potatoes

Tamarind and chilli-glazed sweet potatoes

Anjum's Quick & Easy Indian
Lisa Linder

This is a brilliant combination of flavours: sticky sweet, spicy and tangy. Sweet potatoes are so healthy that I often make myself eat them, but I need lots of contrasting flavours to make their sweetness – cherished by others – palatable to me… except when I make this dish, which I find hard to stop eating. It makes a vibrant accompaniment to most dishes.


Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2-4 dried chillies
1 tablespoon urad dal
10 fresh curry leaves
10g root ginger, finely chopped, (peeled weight)
2 teaspoons tomato puree
500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 5 cm chunks
2 teaspoons caster sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons tamarind paste, or to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and chillies and cook until the popping starts to calm down. Add the lentils and curry leaves and, once the lentils start to colour, add the ginger and cook for 30–40 seconds. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for another minute or so.
  2. Add the sweet potato and some salt, then pour in enough water to come three-quarters of the way up the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook for 10–12 minutes, or until they start to soften.
  3. Uncover, add the sugar and tamarind and stir well, cooking off the excess water and stirring the potatoes all the while. You should end up with a sticky glaze which has coated the potatoes. Taste and adjust the salt, tamarind and sugar to taste and serve.
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