You sweet little potato

I love potatoes.  Who doesn’t it? That doesn’t mean I would lap up French fries or wafers made from sweet potatoes. This until a couple of years when I was tricked into eating sweet potato kebabs at a friend’s restaurant. Chomping into them I looked up and asked “ what are these made of?  Sweet potatoes “ they laughed.  I paused for a bit and thought to myself  I just ate sweet potatoes and I think they are quite yummy?

It took me some time but eventually that day my inhibition for the tuber ended as I returned and regaled over my wonderful taste of the vegetable.

My dislike for the tuber could have been associated with the fact that I connect it to fasting. I have never fasted in my life and the only time I saw these potatoes in abundance in the markets was during shivaratri. The reason that is the only tuber allowed for those who fast during the festival.  Surprisingly around the time I tasted my first sweet potato I saw a lot of sweet potato recipes featured on quick video tutorials on social media. Sweet potato bakes fries pies oven roasted for snacks and many more. Despite knowing the benefits of sweet potatoes I didn’t think it was a super food.

The orange tinged sweet potatoes are Nature’s unsurpassed sources of beta carotene. According to medical and health journals the tuber has the ability to raise the Vitamin A in our blood levels especially in children. Sweet potatoes are not always orange fleshed they can be purple at times.  So it is absolutely safe to consume the tuber with purple stains here and there.  This tuber is known to be rich in important antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. Steaming or boiling before consuming is the best way to benefit from the important properties of this vegetable.

Sweet potatoes don’t take a long time to prepare.  Cutting them into half inch slices and quick steaming them for just seven minutes not only brings out their great flavor but also helps to maximize their nutritional value.  They also pack a powerful nutritional punch. They provide our daily need for  vitamin A in one medium spud along with lots of fibre and potassium.  A lot of chefs work on busting myths about them.  Laura Matthews the head of nutrition at Jamie Oliver in Healthier  Happier You wrote “ sweet potatoes are a source of four essential micronutrients  Vitamin C   thiamine  potassium and manganese  which between them have a whole range of properties that our bodies need to keep us ticking.

Surprisingly this super food doesn’t find much place in our daily menus.  To make sweet potato tikkis wash them thoroughly or scrub them if needed   peeling isn’t required.  Steam and mash.  Add finely chopped onions green chillies grated ginger  chopped coriander leaves and salt to taste.

Knead and mix until you get a fine ball. Keep aside for ten minutes. Make smaller balls out of it flatten it with a gentle press of thumb and roast them on a non stick pan.

Courtesy   The  Hindu    Prabalika M Borah

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