How Sweet It Is!
Sweet Potatoes are not just for Thanksgiving! You can find sweet potatoes most of the year in most locations. As much as I love the Sweet Potato Casserole at Thanksgiving, marshmallows are not required to enjoy sweet potatoes. A great way to prepare sweet potatoes is to make Gluten-Free Crispy Sweet Potato Patties. Crispy Sweet Potato Patties are smooth and creamy on the inside with a crispy exterior and flavored with fresh ginger, garam masala, and fresh cilantro or parsley leaves.
Sweet potatoes contain some great nutrients such as beta carotene, Vitamin A, fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and blood sugar regulating nutrients. Beta carotene is a strongly colored red-orange pigment abundant in fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene is a well-known antioxidant and eating a diet rich in beta carotene is an excellent health recommendation. Good sources of beta carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, mangoes and papayas.
The United States produces about one million tons of sweet potatoes each year with over half of these coming from the South, particularly my home state of North Carolina!
Sweet potatoes can be broiled, steamed, roasted or baked. For this recipe I microwaved the sweet potatoes so I could easily scoop out the pulp with a large spoon.
The Spice Goddess
I used to enjoy watching Spice Goddess on TV – a show about Indian Cuisine featuring Bal Arneson. For each recipe she prepared, the spices were heated in a skillet to release their flavors and aromas. (I’ve noticed recently recipes from other cuisines using the same technique with spices.) For those of us over 60 spices are important because most of us have lost some of our sense of taste. The recipe for Gluten-Free Crispy Sweet Potato Patties is from this show, only Bal Arneson called them cakes. Being from the South, I decided to rename them “patties.”
Before we get into the recipe, I’d like to tell you about chickpea flour, which is one of the ingredients in Crispy Sweet Potato Patties. Chickpea flour is a creamy, pale yellow flour used in a large part of the world and now available in the United States. Many people who have gluten sensitivities are familiar with chickpea flour, which is made from chickpeas, one of the earliest cultivated legumes in the Middle East. Chickpea flour is also called “besan” (pronounced like basin), “gram flour”, “ceci”, “cece” and “chana”. I bought some at the large Asian Market here in Charlotte. Bob’s Red Mill also produces chickpea flour so it may be found in some health food stores. If you live in a small town, you may have to order chickpea flour on the internet.
Chickpea flour is used in making savory and sweet dishes. In some cultures desserts and cookies are made with chickpea flour and it is also used to make a batter for meats and vegetables in other cultures. The French make a chickpea flour crepe called Socca and the Italians make a similar item called Farinata. India, Bangladesh and Pakistan consider chickpea flour, considered to be high in protein and fiber, a staple in their cooking.
The ingredients, as pictured above, include cooked sweet potatoes, chickpea flour, garam masala, fresh ginger, salt, yogurt and fresh cilantro or parsley leaves. (I used parsley because I’m one of those folks to whom cilantro tastes like soap!) Grapeseed oil is used to fry the Crispy Sweet Potato Patties.
The ingredients are combined in a mixing bowl and blended together with a hand mixer or by hand. The patties are formed about 2 inches in diameter and cooked in the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes on each side.
Here’s the printable recipe for Gluten-Free Crispy Sweet Potato Patties:
- 2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons yogurt
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (for frying)
- Mash the sweet potatoes in a bowl and then add the chickpea flour, garam masala, ginger, salt, cilantro or parsley and yogurt.
- Mix well and then form into small patties about 2 inches in diameter.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patties in batches so they have plenty of room in which to fry.
- Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden and crispy and cooked through.
- The recipe developer suggests serving mango chutney with Crispy Sweet Potato Patties. I like a dollop of vanilla yogurt served with them.
A Note about Garam Masala
Garam Masala, a spice used frequently in Indian cooking, is a mixture of Indian spices which are quite aromatic. If you don’t want to buy it you can make your own garam masala. Click Here to see a recipe for Garam Masala in a recent post I wrote titled Curried New Potato and Pea Soup. The Garam Masala recipe is after the soup recipe in this post.
If you haven’t eaten garam masala before I would recommend that you use a teaspoon and a half in the Crispy Sweet Potato Patties so you can taste this spice and see if you like it before using a tablespoon of it!
Have some healthy and gluten-free Crispy Sweet Potato Patties real soon!
Remember to Savor the Flavor,