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Friday, January 30, 2015

Colombo Coconut Sesame Sweet Potatoes

Rummaging through my happy place, I found a long lost spice that had been living in obscurity, way back there, hidden and forgotten.  I think I may have only used it once, but Colombo spice powder is a type of Caribbean curry powder, often used with coconut milk to cook chicken.  Not only did I rub it all over my chicken legs before roasting them, but I also wanted to spice up my side dish, sweet potatoes.  The interesting part about this typically Caribbean spice is that it's mostly an Indian import to the area that was adapted to local tastes during colonial times.
No matter where I go or how open I am, the things I tend to fall head over heels for are almost a constant.  That said, I have a whole continent in my constant, but there's no denying it.. curry and spice run through my veins.
Serves 2-3 as a side
1 large sweet potato, cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cubed same size as the sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Colombo spice powder (or other curry powder you have)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp dessicated coconut
Pinch fleur de sel
1/4 tsp piment d'espelette powder
Few cracks green pepper
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp black sesame seeds
chopped cilantro
1.  Heat the oil in a wok or heavy based pan.  Add the sweet potato and carrot cubes along with the colombo spice powder.  Stir to coat and cook until lightly colored, about 8-10 minutes.
2.  Add the coconut, garlic, piment d'espelette, pepper, and pinch of fleur de sel.  Stir to distribute, then add the water, lower the heat, and cook covered for about 5 minutes.
3.  The potatoes should have softened and should be tender to the bite.  Add the sesame seeds, stir, and serve.

Garnish with some chopped cilantro.
I served mine with some green beans and chicken roasted in a Colombo spice powder rub.

I loved the heat of this dish and the texture of the cooked creamy sweet potato coated with the toasted coconut and sesame seeds.  I love that the sesame seeds came out of nowhere but felt like they belonged to the territory.
I love the way this dish makes me feel.
I love the way I can make my own senses burst on a whim...
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