In Thailand and other Southeast-Asian countries, in addition to regular sweet potato, purple yams are popular. Although usually deep-fried, for this recipe I decided to try baking them, which means they're healthier plus simpler to make for most North American cooks. Purple yams can be found at most Asian markets in the fall, but if you can't get them, the sweet potato is just as delicious on its own, or you can substitute regular yams. Carrots are good mixed in too! Just toss with a little oil, add a few spices and pop in the oven for 45 minutes. So easy, so good.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- SERVES 4-6 as a side dish
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3-4 purple yams (purple yams are quite small) OR substitute 1 medium-sized regular yam, peeled and cubed
- 1 large carrot, chopped or sliced thickly
- 3 Tbsp. coconut oil OR olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (adjust according to how spicy you want it)
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds (whole)
- 2 Tbsp. brown rice syrup OR maple syrup
- salt (to taste)
- black pepper (to taste)
- handful of chopped fresh coriander (leaves and stems)
- optional: 1 red chili, de-seeded and minced for garnish
- optional: 1 tsp. butter (not strictly Thai, but I find this adds a delicious note of flavor)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place chopped vegetables in a flat casserole dish, such as you would use for lasagna. Pour oil over, then sprinkle with the cumin seeds, ground cumin, and cayenne pepper. Toss well to mix.
- Add 3 Tbsp. water and place dish in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.
- When vegetables are soft, remove from oven. Leaving them in the baking dish, add the butter (if using) and drizzle over the syrup. Top with salt and pepper and toss well.
- Do a taste-test, adding more salt if desired. Add more syrup if you prefer them sweeter. If too sweet or too salty, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Garnish with the coriander and chili (if using), and ENJOY!