Thanksgiving usually includes sweet potatoes, leaning either sweet or savory. Inspired by the pumpkin choka (a savory puree) served in Trinidad, where my husband is from, I came up with this sweet potato choka as a new spin on our Thanksgiving sweet potatoes. It also makes the perfect make-ahead dish. Choka is popular for breakfast in Trinidad, and also eaten as a side dish with curries. You can make it with any winter squash (I recommend butternut or kabocha squash) The orange-colored flesh of these squash attests to the high levels of carotenoids they contain, providing benefit against heart disease and other chronic diseases. Whole cumin seeds add flavor, crunch and health benefits to this comforting dish.
Recipe is below.
You can also watch me make it on IGTV!
Trinidadian Sweet Potato Choka
2 T ghee, divided
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seed, divided
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes (about 2 cups)
½ cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
For serving: roti, naan or paratha
1. Warm a 2 quart pot over medium heat and add 1T ghee, then cook onion with a pinch of salt until translucent, then add garlic and 1 T cumin seed and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sweet potatoes and coat in the onion mixture, then add water (just enough to barely cover) and bring to a low boil.
3. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until mashable. Add more water if needed to cook completely.
4. Mash cooked sweet potatoes with a wooden spoon or fork . This should have the texture of a coarse puree. Add salt and pepper to taste, and cook for another minute. Transfer to a serving dish.
5. Pour remaining ghee in a small frying pan and warm over medium heat. Add remaining cumin seeds and toast in the ghee until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Drizzle immediately over the choka.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, so you’ll find many Thanksgiving recipes on this site! Enter “Thanksgiving” in the search box to find more ideas to fill your holiday table. I’ll be sharing more ideas this week, so check back soon! If you’re on Instagram, also check out my account @spiceboxtravels, where I’ve been sharing more Thanksgiving ideas!
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