LAWRENCE MURPHY: Tasty root vegetable counts as one of your five-a-day

Lightly-curried sweet potato
Lightly-curried sweet potato

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Lawrence Murphy is the proprietor of Fat Olives, in Emsworth

Apparently, every person in the United Kingdom eats more than 200lbs of potatoes a year, and we produce 5.6m tonnes of the crop.

It was first brought into the country in 1584 by Sir Walter Raleigh.

The story goes that Queen Elizabeth I was given the leaves to eat, much to her displeasure.

Not off to a good start, but potatoes boomed in the Industrial Revolution when cheap, high-energy food was needed.

It has become a staple in our diet ever since, and we have to import some from other countries as we do not produce enough.

Potatoes contain some vitamins, but not so many as the sweet potato which you can use in the same way.

The sweet potato is a root vegetable that can be roasted, mashed and boiled but contains nearly 70 per cent of your daily required vitamin C, along with loads of vitamin A and magnesium.

The sweet potato is also classed as one of your five-a-day, unlike normal potatoes.

It is in our interest to introduce it into our diets – and it cooks just the same as a normal potato.

Here is a lightly-curried sweet potato dish that you can use as a side or main dish.

Lightly-curried sweet potato

Ingredients

1 sweet potato

1 small onion, finely-chopped

A knob of ginger, finely-chopped

1 green chilli, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely-chopped

A teaspoon of cumin seed

A teaspoon of chopped fresh turmeric

Salt and pepper

100g baby spinach

A small bunch of coriander, chopped

Olive oil

Method

1. Peel and cut the sweet potato into 1cm cubes.

2. Heat a frying pan to a medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil.

3. Add the sweet potato and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the ginger, chilli, garlic, turmeric, cumin and onion and cook for a further 2 minutes.

5. Now add the spinach and season

6. Cook for 1 minute.

7. Add the chopped coriander, stir and serve.