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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Date, Tamarind and Tahini Dressing: A side that's not afraid to steal the show

Spicy, crispy, crunchy, creamy — this recipe from Dhivya Subramanian has it all.

Spicy, crispy, crunchy, creamy — this recipe from Dhivya Subramanian has it all

A roasted sweet potato salad with tahini dressing and topped with herbs on a serving platter held by two hands.
(Photography by Dhivya Subramanian)

This salad, with its spiced, oven-roasted sweet potatoes, is a loose interpretation of the beloved sweet potato chaat you find on Delhi's lively streets. What truly makes this dish shine is the layering; imagine crispy potatoes drizzled in a zingy tahini dressing, then generously sprinkled with crunchy peanuts. It's like a concert of flavours and textures right in your mouth, and it's absolutely scrumptious.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Date, Tamarind and Tahini Dressing

The key to this recipe is mise en place, or in other words, making sure you have everything ready before you start cooking. Gathering the ingredients is the hardest part; once you've got it all prepped, the dish comes together in a flash!

Ingredients

Sweet potatoes:

  • 3 small sweet potatoes (approx. 620g-700g total), peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (such as Kashmiri lal mirch or paprika)
  • ½ tsp amchur or dry mango powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 3 medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp red chili powder (such as Kashmiri lal mirch or paprika)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½-inch piece ginger, grated
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup warm water

Spicy peanuts:

  • ½ cup peanuts
  • 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp red chili powder (such as Kashmiri lal mirch or paprika)
  • ½ tsp amchur or dry mango powder

To garnish:

  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • A handful of cilantro, finely chopped

Preparation

Sweet potatoes:

Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the sweet potato cubes to a bowl along with the olive oil and spices, and toss until well-coated.

Arrange the sweet potatoes on a baking tray and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden. 

Dressing:

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, add all the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. 

(Note: The dressing will thicken as it sits. If needed, add a couple tablespoons of water to thin it out before dressing the salad.) 

Spicy peanuts:

Heat a small pan over medium-high. When hot, drizzle in the oil. Add the peanuts and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add the salt, chili powder, and amchur and cook for another minute. 

Remove the pan from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Carefully transfer the peanuts to a heat-safe cutting board and roughly chop them.

Assembly:

Arrange the roasted sweet potatoes on a platter, then drizzle with a few tablespoons of the dressing and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.

Before serving, toss the salad and add additional dressing, if desired. 

Makes 4 servings as a side dish.

Produced in collaboration with CBC Creator Network.

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