Sweet Potato in Tomato, Lime and Cardamom Sauce




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This is a show stopping recipe — perfect for entertaining yourself, and your loved ones. Tomato, lime, cardamom, and cumin make for a brilliant spice combination that will leave your taste buds dancing. We make it SOS free and I promise, it does not sacrifice in deliciousness, as we add a lot more lime juice and dill than the recipe calls for. Serve with a crunchy salad and you’ll be in heaven! Ottolenghi suggests other options using this flavorful tomato sauce by replacing the sweet potatoes with tofu or chickpeas and served with a side of rice.


For the Sweet Potatoes:

  • 1 TB maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4-5 long, medium sized sweet potatoes, skin on, cut crosswise into 1” thick rounds.
  • The 1” thickness is important so they hold their shape after cooking.
  • The goal is to try to find ones that are all the same size circumference wise, for even sized rounds.

For the Tomato, Lime and Cardamom Sauce:

  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (not crushed)
  • 2 green chiles, (I used serrano), finely chopped (seed for less heat)
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped (¾ cup)
  • 1 (14 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, pureed in food processor until smooth
  • 1 TB salt free tomato paste
  • 1-½ tsp. maple syrup
  • 1-½ tsp. ground black cardamom
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 limes:  1 lime finely zested to get 2 tsp., then squeezed for it’s juices (2 TB, or more)
  • 1 lime quartered, for garnish

To Garnish:

  • 1 TB vegetable stock or water
  • 2 TB. finely chopped dill


Preheat the oven to 500℉, convection. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  1. Bake the Sweet Potatoes:  Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl, and thoroughly coat them with maple syrup, cardamom, cumin and ground black pepper. Spread the potatoes out in one layer on the parchment lined baking sheet, cover with another piece of parchment paper then cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and return the potatoes to the oven for another 10 minutes. Check the rounds with a paring knife to see if they are just cooked through, but still have shape and haven’t gotten completely soft. They will cook more in the tomato sauce.  The sweet potatoes will need more time if they are larger rounds, and less time if they are on the small side. Once cooked, remove from the oven and reserve. 
  2. Make the Sauce: Place the garlic and chilies into a large sauté pan, for which you have a lid, and place on medium heat.  Dry sauté by quickly stirring the aromatics to lightly cook, adding a TB of water or veggie stock to prevent from sticking to the pan.  Stir every now and then for about 8 minutes, lowering the heat as needed so that the garlic becomes translucent and the chilies become soft, adding more liquid as needed.  Make sure not to let the garlic brown as it will get bitter.  Transfer half the chiles and garlic to a small bowl, leaving the rest in the pan. 
  3. Add shallots to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, adding more liquid and stirring until soft and translucent. 
  4. Add the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, maple syrup, cardamom, cumin and lime zest. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the water and bring to a gentle simmer, then cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the sweet potatoes, browned-side up, to the pan of sauce (not all will fit perfectly, just pile them up!).  Decrease the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. To finish:  Mix the dill and lime juice, plus 1 TB water or vegetable stock with the reserved chile and garlic and drizzle the sauce over the the sweet potatoes.  Serve with lime wedges on the side.
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