Thursday, November 19, 2015

Italian-Japanese Sweet Potato "Chaat"

I bought a sack of homely-looking Murasaki sweet potatoes at Trader Joe's:

I peeled, sliced, oiled, and dusted them with cumin and black pepper, and threw them in a 425 degree oven. While they roasted, I plotted!

For an upcoming project, I've been writing about North Indian chaat. This is where they festoon crunchy/starchy items (like samosas) with various sauces, chutneys, and doodads...
" a five-year-old gone beserk in the kitchen. The chaat treatment turns blah snacks into filling flavor/texture riots."
It occurred to me that the chaat treatment could embrace any number of capricious additions. So I ransacked my pantry, and found some small San Marzano tomatoes (which may be immortal), tiny green chili peppers, cilantro, scallions, and a profusion of condiments.

I coarsely chopped the tomatoes, and (more finely) the peppers and scallions. I removed the cilantro leaves from the stems, and tossed it all along with the sweet potato chunks, lightly dousing it all with balsamic vinegar (well, not exactly balsamico; I used this balsamic must, which I see is no longer being the way, everything from Academia Barilla is fantastic; many people confuse it with regular Barilla, which is mass-market, but the Academia stuff is their prideful just-for-aficionados line).

The result tasted awfully expensive:

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