Sarkaravallikizhangu Podimas (Sweet Potato Curry)

I am not very fond of sweet potatoes. Especially the sweet taste. But I do stoically consume the tuber once in a while as I know that it is really good for health. Every night, when I plan the menu for the next day, I try to avoid sweet potato – until Hari tells me that it will be spoilt soon. So, you can see the resistance I put up against the innocent vegetable!
But I am fond of podimas (a type of vegetable crumble). The most common podimas is made with potatoes. On occasion, raw banana is also used. I am very fond of both these. So, once evening, while discussing the menu, it suddenly struck me that one could actually made a podimas with sweet potato. I immediately asked Hari to try it. The end result was so good that my resistance to the vegetable has almost vanished. It is the only way I prepare sweet potatoes now. Except during Christmas season when I bake cakes using it.
Do try out this podimas – you will be delighted with the end result. And it is quite simple to prepare too.

Sweet Potato Podimas

3 medium sized sweet potatoes (I cook it with the skin)
3 green chilis, chopped fine
1 tbsp grated ginger
A pinch of turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1 tbsp lemon/lime juice
Salt to taste
To Temper
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1 tbsp split black gram (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1 tbsp Bengal gram (chana dal, kadalai parupu)
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
1 sprig finely chopped curry leaves
2 dried red chilis, each broken into two (optional)
To Garnish
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (optional)
2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
Wash the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks
Transfer to a pressure cooker and cook for 1 whistle (if you do not want to use a pressure cooker, then just boil the chunks till they are soft)
Mash the sweet potatoes and set aside
Heat a wok and add the mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add all the other ingredients mentioned under ‘To Temper’ except the red chilis (if using)
When the lentils turn golden brown, add the red chilis (if using) and roast for a few seconds
Now add the green chilis, mashed sweet potatoes, ginger and salt
Cook on low flame for about a minute
Now add the lemon juice and grated coconut (if using)
Remove from flame and garnish with coriander leaves
Serve hot with steamed red/brown rice or Indian flat breads

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