Living the Good Life…

My food blog & cookbook in progress

Taterlicious homous

Sweet potatoes have been a lot on my foodie radar for many months now. And here is one of the ways it acted out yesterday, at the height of the season when they are at their most popular, just before Thanksgiving. The picture is one I pulled off the web, which actually looks like the final product of the recipe that follows (think mint instead of chives):


First though, the tributes, dedications and explanations. The title or the first part is a homage in a way to a neat culinary tour that my cousin Lakshmi and I did of Savannah. This is the first time either of us have embarked on such an adventure here, although I’ve visited her before. In any event, Taterlicious was the name of a seasonal brew in one of the gastro-pubs they took us to. The food item was the famed southern fried green tomato (although we learned that its origins were not actually southern) topped with the crab salad. The more interesting offering though, was the drink that paired the food. It was a sweet potato ale that they served with a rim of pumpkin-pie spice. Not being much of a beer drinker, I drank mine until the spice was all gone. The only time before this I’ve had a drink made of sweet potatoes was at a specialty makkoli place in my hood in Seoul (which I actually drank down to the last drop but that’s another story).

Back to the ‘licious luscious taters… the inspiration for a sweet potato homous came from a random e-mail I received, but the idea seemed to natural that I went with the title and came up with the following version based on ingredients at hand.

Roasted a sweet potato (or yam or whatever you call them) in an oven along with a head of garlic till both were well cooked and softened. Here in the US the tubers are a rich fall orange in colour, same as the ones I’d get from the roasting carts in Cairo; I’ve seen pale yellow, nearly white ones in India and a purple, so called Japanese version in Hawaii. Then working in batches, I pulsed the cubed potato in a food processor with the squeezed-out pod of garlic, and a fist full of cooked or canned chick peas (garbanzo beans) and a goodly tablespoon or more of a harissa that just happened to floating around in Lakshmi’s pantry. Added some squirts of fresh lemon juice (lime works just as well), some torn mint leaves for good measure and continued to process with olive oil until the the hommous was well blended. Enjoy! With chips, pita bread, or as Kumi did slathered on croissants or me rolled into a paratha. It’s all good 🙂

Addendum: Another variation that occurred to me when I saw all the roasted squash/pumpkin dishes over Thanksgiving, is to to use it instead of the sweet potatoes. But then keeping with the seasonal theme and availability I I also effected some other modifications, and the end result is more of a pesto or guacamole or even a spiced nut butter, but yummy in the bargain. I call it a squashamole. Do give it a try:

Toast a couple of handful of pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas) or sunflower seeds or a combination thereof (I went with the last) and put in a food processor with several cloves of garlic. The garlic can be completely raw or do as I did and toast them skin and all along with the seeds before peeling and adding to the mix. Add the roasted root veges, lemon (or vinegar), salt, pepper and spices to taste, and process adding olive oil to bind and smooth out the puree.

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