Sweet Potato Kuzhambu/ Sweet Potato In Thick Tamarind Sauce

The very popular cookbook ‘Appetite For Reduction’, which I recently acquired, celebrates the sweet potato in various ways. So when I chanced upon a bag of organic sweet potatoes, I remembered the cookbook and glowing mentions of sweet potato dishes on the PPK forums. 

I havent cooked much with sweet potatoes; so when I spoke to my mom in India, I was curious to know how she made it. I was surprised by the simplicity of the recipe she gave me. I proceeded to make it and it went perfectly well with steaming hot white rice. I love brown rice and its health benefits, but for some dishes you just got to have the real deal.




  • Sweet Potato – 2, washed and chopped into 1-inch pieces or thin rounds
  • Tamarind paste (the concentrated kind) – 1.5 teaspoons
  • Cayenne powder – 1 generous tsp (I like my food spicy)
  • Fenugreek powder – ½ tsp
  • Asafetida – a pinch
  • Turmeric – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Rice flour – 1 tbsp
  • Water – to boil and to mix the tamarind

  • oil – 1 tsp
  • mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves – 2-3
  • Cilantro – a small handful, chopped
  • Cover the chopped sweet potatoes in just enough water to cover it and set it on a pot to cook. You could also steam it, but you’ll have to add water in the next stage. Cook until the sweet potatoes are somewhat soft, but they need not be mushy.
  • Mix the tamarind paste well in about ¼ cup of water.
  • Add the tamarind water, salt and all the dry spices to the pot with the sweet potatoes and bring to a boil.
  • Now mix 1 tbsp of rice flour in enough water to make it a thick paste and add to the boiling sweet potato dish. Reduce heat to simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
To season:
  • Heat oil in a small skillet and add mustard seeds. 
  • When it crackles, add curry leaves and turn off the heat. 
  • Add to the sweet potato dish and fold in the chopped cilantro.

Enjoy with (preferably) just cooked hot white rice.