Sweet potato sauce is a semi-liquid food preparation involving sweet potatoes. This term may also suggest sauces which are teamed with sweet potato based dishes. Sweet potatoes are starchy and sweet tasting root vegetables which are used as staple in some tropical areas across the world. Africans incorporate this vegetable in a large number of their soups, sauces and regular dishes.
This sauce is served as a dip along with breakfast food items like black bean cakes, pizza or turnover dishes.
Fresh sweet potatoes are peeled and cubed prior to the sauce preparation. Sometimes, they are boiled and mashed before blending with other ingredients. The choice of ingredients will depend on personal taste preferences. Tomato juice, red chili sauce or red chilies, lime juice, and spices like cumin, cinnamon and salt are used for making this sauce. At times, the sauce is served after garnishing with cilantro and other available herbs. Milk and garlic cloves are also a popular addition to this sauce. The pasta dishes are tossed into the sauce before serving. In a simple way, the sauce is prepared by mashing the boiled sweet potatoes and sautéing it with milk, garlic, paprika and salt.
In Thailand, sweet potato sauce is prepared by cooking the boiled sweet potatoes with ingredients like coconut milk, curry paste, Daruma wasabi, lemon juice, and frozen peas. The flavors are adjusted by adding salt and pepper towards the end of cooking time. This sauce is served with homemade ginger pasta.
Dipping Sauces for Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries consist of baked or fried created from strips of sweet potato. As the fries are sweeter in nature so the choice of dipping sauce purely depends on the taste preferences of an individual. Fruit and yogurt are common ingredients used in the preparation of sweet dipping sauces whereas onions and mayonnaise are added to prepare tangy and hot sauces. The texture and flavor of the spicy dipping sauce can be enhanced by the addition of ingredients like blue cheese, ketchup and spices. Some sauces are also prepared with unconventional sweet and spicy combinations like jalapenos and fruit. Yogurts, lemon juice, soy sauce, and olive oil are considered some healthy additives to these dipping sauces. Sometimes the sweet potato fries are also served with soy sauce.
Amukeke or dried sweet potato slices are a common breakfast items in the northeastern African country of Uganda. These slices are served with peanut sauce. In Asian countries like Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore, the leaves of sweet potato plant are used in the preparation of various sauces.
Sweet potatoes are enriched with various vitamins and minerals. Some of the important health benefits offered by this root vegetable are-
- Lowered Homocysteine Levels – Sweet potatoes are enriched with vitamin B6 which helps to lower the homocysteine levels in the body. The homocysteine is associated with many degenerative diseases like cancer.
- Skin Nourishment – Sweet potatoes are enriched with vitamin C, which helps in boosting the bone health and also aids in the formation of new blood cells. Vitamin C also leads to production of collagen which nourishes the skin cells and helps to maintain their elasticity. It also helps to overcome strain and stress induced during day to day life activities, thereby, inhibiting their impacts on the skin.