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Colour me fooled

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sweet potato
Nature is lovely and generous – provided you're nice to her too – but she can also be deceptive.

The sweet potato above has, as you can see, purple skin. Would it be incorrect to think that the flesh might also be purple? Well, as it turned out, it was a mistake to think so. Because you skin the potato and find it's not purple.

When I made kuih keria for the October Daring Bakers challenge, I used local sweet potato. The skin was brown, but the flesh was orange and I got the much desired orange-coloured doughnuts.

The ones above are touted as Japanese sweet potatoes, but after reading up on the variety, it made me think that the ones I had bought might have been mislabelled.

But then, colour no longer remains a concern when you cook the vegetable and end up with a dish – like the one below – that reminds you of the wonder of nature, and all is good in the world again.

Baked sweet potato with za'atar and chilli
These potatoes are baked with za'atar and cayenne pepper. There are of course many recipes for the za'atar spice blend, but I am using one that I put together because I happen to have all the spices at the time I saw the recipe (can't remember where now). It's only a small amount so there's less possibility of it going stale. I have also used it on grilled chicken and sprinkled on to flat breads brushed with melted ghee. Here's my blend:

2 tablespoons sumac
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
  • Mix all the ingredients together and store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator. Use within 2 weeks.
To make the dish, peel some sweet potato and cut into thick slices. Place in a baking tray, sprinkle with za'atar, cayenne pepper and salt (all to taste) and drizzle with vegetable oil. Toss well to coat evenly and bake in a moderately hot oven for 12-15 minutes or until tender.

* In the next issue of The Thymes, which coincides with the publication of Don't Call Me Chef in The Star on Dec 6 – the theme is the tiffin lunch – I'll be posting on a dish made with sweet potato that can be toted to the office/school.

1 comment:

  1. I got surprised by white "sweet potatoes" once too. I'm a big fan of simple, sweet applications of traditional orange yams/sweet spuds but that dish up above looks delicious! Thanks for stopping by my site, I hope your bread turns out fabulous if you decide to try it. ☺


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