Want crispier and tastier fries? Try using sweet potatoes!

Published: March 11, 2013
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Sweet potato fries stay crispy and crunchy longer then regular fries, so don’t hold back- enjoy these tasty treats to the max! PHOTO: FARAH S KAMAL

Sweet potatoes; these nutrition packed starchy root vegetables are readily available in Pakistan. They are cheap, yet fairly neglected in our cuisine.

The only place we see these nowadays is on the roads where the one odd cart vendor sells roasted sweet potatoes, more commonly known as shakarkandi, outside schools and shopping centres.

Sweet potatoes have never really made their way to fine dining restaurant menus and are seldom even cooked at home! Owing to its tropical and mostly warm climate, Pakistan is blessed with this bounty of nature mostly from November until March.

Most of us associate this vegetable with possible weight gain owing to the fact that it is full of carbs. However, what we fail to understand is that these are actually good carbs! In fact sweet potatoes are high in fibre, very filling and lower in calories than any cereal with only 90 calories per 100 grams!

Sweet potatoes contain sugars that are released gradually into the blood ensuring a balanced and regular source of energy. This is done without increasing blood sugars that cause fatigue and weight gain. They also consist of a substantial amount of minerals including magnesium which is a relaxing, anti-stress mineral and potassium that helps regulate the heartbeat. They are a good source of vitamins, like B6, that helps reduce the chemical homocysteine related to degenerative diseases; it is also rich in vitamin C and D.

Over the past few years during my travels to North and South American regions, I was delighted to see sweet potatoes on many menus. From cafes to fine dining restaurants – including popular steakhouses and BBQ joints – Italian and American eateries all featured sweet potato fries and mashed sweet potatoes as popular sides.

Back home in Karachi, I could not help but crave a plate of sweet potato fries or a salad topped with grilled slices of sweet potato so I decided to experiment with them only to realise that they are equally good when puréed, steamed, fried, mashed, baked, or grilled. They add great flavour and texture to soups and stews, taste amazing when grilled and added as sides or to salad.

One of my all-time favourite recipes made with sweet potatoes that goes well with all kind of grilled, roasted meats or can be enjoyed entirely on their own, are sweet potato fries. I now regularly serve them as sides with many of my main courses that I cook and serve at home.

Here is how you can go about it:

Ingredients:

Sweet potatoes – ½kg

Washed, skin and cut lengthwise

Rub them in a bit of salt.

Deep Fry Batter:

-Corn flour- two heaped tablespoon

-Chicken or beef cube to make 1 cup of fresh stock

-Salt n pepper to taste

-One egg

Mix the batter ingredients in a bowl with a hand beater lightly until they are well mixed. The batter needs to be more on the dry side than smooth or runny. Roll the fries in the batter to coat them lightly but unevenly. Heat vegetable oil (two to three inches) to 375 degrees and fry them in a deep pan or electric deep fryer. Take them out when light golden.

Spread on a kitchen paper towel and serve.

Sweet potato fries stay crispy and crunchy longer then regular fries, so don’t hold back- enjoy these tasty treats to the max!

PHOTOS: FARAH S KAMAL

This post originally appeared here

Read more by Farah here

Farah S Kamal

Farah S Kamal

An education and development consultant, who is currently leading the iEARN programs in Pakistan. Photography is her hobby and passion and she tweets @fskamal (twitter.com/fskamal)

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