The Sweet, but often unsung Hero.

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My memories of the sweet potato were that it was a stand-in for it’s more popular cousin… the ordinary potato. It was bought when potatoes were scarce or expensive. But very seldom was it bought because people preferred it to ordinary potatoes.

Today, it’s a different kettle of fish. The lowly sweet potato has taken it’s rightful place in dishes across the culinary spectrum. Even expensive restaurants have sweet potatoes, in some form or other, on their menus.

So without further ado, get in the kitchen and pay tribute to the humble sweet potato by trying one of the following recipes. Enjoy!

Crispy chicken with roasted sweet potato mash

A firm family favourite that’s appropriate for all ages


  • Sweet potato mash:
  • 3 large orange or regular sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Grated peel of 2 limes or 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Glug olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) softened butter
  • ½ punnet (10g) fresh coriander or parsley, chopped
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • Crispy chicken:
  • 1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
  • 2 tsp (10ml) Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp (10ml) paprika
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) chopped parsley
  • 4 (about 100g each) chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • 3 cups (240g) cornflakes, crushed
  • ¼ cup (60ml) grated parmesan (optional)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Dressing:
  • 1 cup (250ml) plain double-cream yoghurt
  • 1 mini cucumber, grated
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • Squeeze of lemon or lime juice
  • Salt milled pepper
  • 2 sliced spring onions, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the sweet potato mash, place sweet potatoes, lemon or lime peel and garlic into a baking tray and drizzle with oil.
  3. Toss to coat and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  4. Blitz or mash sweet potatoes until smooth and stir through butter and herbs.
  5. Season well.
  6. To make the crispy chicken, combine buttermilk, mustard, paprika and parsley in a bowl.
  7. Marinate chicken in mixture for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Blitz cornflakes and parmesan (if using) and set aside.
  9. Heat oil in a large pot for deep-frying.
  10. Dip chicken strips individually into cornflake crumbs and deep-fry for 4-6 minutes, or until cooked through.
  11. Drain on kitchen paper.
  12. Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl.
  13. Serve chicken with sweet potato mash and dollops of yoghurt dressing and garnished with spring onions, if you like.

Lentil and sweet potato salad

Enjoy this plant-based salad – it’s hearty enough to keep you warm in the cool autumn weather.


  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) honey
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) ground cumin
  • 1 tsp (5ml) paprika
  • 2 cups (500ml) black lentils, cooked
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • ½ cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • Juice (60ml) and grated peel of 1 lemon
  • Handful rocket, for serving
  • Dollop labneh or double-cream yoghurt


  1. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges and place on a baking tray.
  2. Drizzle with oil, honey, cumin and paprika.
  3. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes.
  4. Combine lentils, onion and cucumber.
  5. Whisk together oil, juice and peel of lemon, and pour over lentils.
  6. Serve sweet potato and lentils with rocket and labneh.

Sweet potato and chicken curry soup

Dinner in minutes


  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) oil
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tsp (20ml) curry powder
  • 1 tsp (5ml) each ground cumin and coriander
  • 3-4 leftover sweet potatoes, sliced
  • Juice (80ml) and grated peel of 1 orange
  • 4 cups (1L) chicken stock
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • Chilli, for serving (optional)
  • Fresh coriander, for serving
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. Heat oil and butter in a medium-sized pot until butter is melted.
  2. Fry onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
  4. Stir in curry, cumin and ground coriander and cook for a minute.
  5. Add sweet potatoes, orange juice and grated peel, and stock. Cover and bring to the boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Blend until smooth using a stick blender.
  8. Stir through the chicken, chilli (if using) and coriander. Season.
  9. Serve soup with bread.

Sweet potato pie

An American favourite.


  • 2 cups (250g) peeled and diced sweet potato
  • 2 cups (250g) peeled and diced pumpkin
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) oil
  • 1 cup (250ml) cream
  • 1 cup (250ml) butter, for greasing
  • 1 roll (200g) short-crust pastry
  • 1 extra-large egg white, beaten
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tsp (5ml) oil
  • ¾ cup (100g) dark brown sugar
  • Juice (60ml) and grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp (3ml) ground nutmeg
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Whipped cream, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Toss sweet potato, pumpkin and oil together in a roasting tin. Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Blend with cream until smooth.
  4. Grease a 25cm pie dish with a little butter. Gently press pastry to line the dish.
  5. Brush with egg white and bake for about 10 minutes. Don’t allow to brown.
  6. Allow pastry to cool. Combine sweet potato mixture with remaining ingredients and pour into the pastry shell.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
  8. Cover with foil if edges become dark. The filling will remain slightly wobbly in the middle.
  9. Place on a rack to cool.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, dusted with cinnamon.

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