I looked it up and it seems a sweet potato is called a Yam in US. But the yam I am talking about is called Suran in India. It is a tuber and has a rough, dark brown skin, which is very tough. The yam needs to be cooked in a alkaline medium as it can otherwise irritate the throat. So Indians generally use tamarind, kokum or lime juice while making a dish using yam. Also according a friend who is very knowledgeable about Ayurveda, yam is supposed to be very good for people suffering from Piles. He says they should eat at least 100 gm of yam everyday.
I love cooking suran in different forms and today I will put up a couple of my favourite recipes.
(1) Yam Salad ( सुरणाची कोशिंबीर)
Yam : 1/2 kg
Green Chillies : 6 - 8 no.
Onions : 2 no.
Grated Fresh Coconut : 100 gm.
Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp.
Oil : For Frying
Salt : to taste
Remove skin and finely chop the yam. Rub with salt and keep aside. Then squeeze out the water and fry till it is brown. Remove and keep aside.
In a bowl, add finely chopped onion, chopped green chillies and mix well with the yam. To this add grated coconut and lime juice. Adjust the seasoning and Serve.
(2) Yam Chops ( सुरणाचे काप )
Yam : 1/2 kg.
Tamarind Pulp : 2 Tbsp.
Whole Wheat Flour : 4-6 Tbsp.
Salt : to taste
Red Chilli Powder : 1 Tbsp.
Oil : For shallow frying
Slice the yam into 2" long, 2" wide and 1/4" thick slices. Coat them evenly with the tamarind pulp and keep aside for 5 minutes. Mix the red chilli powder and flour and add salt as required. Then roll the slices in this mixture to coat them with it and then shallow fry on a griddle.
P.S. : Some people prefer to use rice flour instead of wheat flour.
Another variation of this recipe is to make a paste of dried red chillies, ginger, garlic, tamarind and salt to taste. Coat the yam slices with this paste and keep aside for a few minutes. Then roll in rice flour and shallow fry.