Masala is a spice mix used liberally in Indian cooking. The term comes from an Arabic word meaning “seasoning”.
In this recipe we share our special blend of spices to create an earthy mix, which we rub on sweet potatoes before oven roasting them. Sweet potatoes are also known as yams in many parts of the world including parts of Africa. In Chinua Achebe’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel, Things Fall Apart yams are the staple food in the diet of the Ibo people. They are also the symbol of a man’s worth. In the story a bad harvest is compared to a “sad funeral”. That said there is something equally sad about not yet having tasted this sweet yet earthy comfort food, which is especially tasty when rubbed with our special blend roasted masala.
Recipe by: GOLD Restaurant
Serves: 8 (side dish – sweet potato rub)
Preparation: Masala (10 minutes), sweet potatoes (5 minutes)
Cooking: Masala (5 minutes), sweet potatoes (45 minutes)
T = tablespoon
t = teaspoon
- 8 medium-sized sweet potatoes
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 150 g coriander seeds
- 125 g cumin seeds
- 5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
- 5 g whole cloves
- 20 g cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 25 g crushed black peppercorns
- 25 g turmeric
- 25 g ground ginger
- 5 g ground peri-peri spice
To prepare the masala
- Place the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom into a dry frying pan on a low heat.
- Roast for two to three minutes, tossing lightly until the mixture is aromatic.
- Remove from the heat and mix-in the pepper, turmeric, ginger and peri-peri powder.
- Allow to cool.
- Grind as finely as possible in a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder.
- Sieve and grind the coarser bits once more – discarding the coarsest morsels.
- Store in a screw-topped jar in a cool cupboard, refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.
To prepare the sweet potatoes
- Keeping the skins on cut each sweet potato lengthways into four wedges.
- Rub with olive oil and the with the roast masala mix.
- Roast in the oven on 180°C for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked through.
Tip: Masala can be stored in a screw-topped jar in a cool cupboard, refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.