Sweet potatoes are very common in the African diet. The leaves of the sweet potato plant are used as cooked greens, and the tubers are very often served fried, just like our French fries. Now, I love sweet potato fries, but that’s not going to work for a potluck. Instead, we’ll bake them sprinkled with a crusty spice blend.
In thinking about how to present sweet potatoes as an appetizer I was looking through my spice drawer and had an “aha” moment. I spied my jar of “everything bagel seasoning.” The bagel seasoning has sesame seeds in it, which are used plenty in African cooking. There are also poppy seeds in the mix, but I swapped them out for nigella seeds. Ginger and curry added to the mix round out the seasoning.
When picking out sweet potatoes or yams try to find ones that are skinny and long. They will make the most uniform wedges. If you end up using fat round potatoes, just try to slice them into wedges approximately the same size.
3 lb. sweet potatoes or yams, unpeeled, sliced into wedges
3 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
1 tbsp. nigella seeds (or poppy seeds)
1 tbsp. dried garlic flakes
1 tbsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
Preheat the oven to 425.
Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges, about 6 to 8 per potato, depending on the size and shape of your potato. Put them into a large bowl and drizzle them with the oil.
Mix all the rest of the seeds and spices together in a small bowl. Toss this mixture over the potatoes and mix all together.
Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once during the baking time.
Notes and Instructions
Recipe and photo credit: Linda McElroy