Yams can be cooked in their skins, but larger ones should be peeled, washed and blanched for 10–20 minutes in boiling salted water before being used.
Yams can be used in the same way as sweet or plain potatoes. Serve mashed yams with plenty of butter and seasoning as an accompaniment to meat stews or other vegetable dishes. Make yam chips or bake yams in their skins.

Here’s a sumptuous curry yam recipe for vegetarians, although meat-eaters are sure to love it too!

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Yam Recipe

Sweet potato curry with spinach and chickpeas

2 large yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 kg)
Half a large onion, thinly sliced
1 to 2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
425 g can chopped tomatoes
425 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Half a cup of water
250 g fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
One-quarter cup chopped fresh coriander, for garnish
Basmati rice, for serving

Directions:

1. Peel, chop and steam steam the yams/sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes, or roast in the oven until soft.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1–2 teaspoons of canola oil over a medium heat.
3. Add the sliced onion and sauté for 2–3 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
4. Add the curry powder, cumin and cinnamon, and stir to coat the onions evenly with spices.
5. Add the tomatoes with their juice, and the chickpeas. Stir to combine.
6. Add the water and raise heat up to a strong simmer for about a minute or two.
7. Add the fresh spinach, a couple of handfuls at a time, stirring to coat with the cooking liquid.
8. When all the spinach has been added to the pan, cover and simmer until just wilted, about 3 minutes.
9. Add the cooked sweet potatoes to the liquid, and stir to coat. Simmer for 3–5 minutes to combine the flavours.
10. Transfer to serving dish, toss with fresh coriander, and serve hot on cooked rice.

Photo credits

  1. Recipe photo
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