sweet potato

What is Sweet Potato? Uses, Benefits, Recipes with Shakarkand Viewed 23650 times

Also Known as
Shakarkand

What is Sweet Potato, Shakarkand?

Sweet potatoes popularly known as shakarkand or shakariya in India is a naturally sweet root vegetable. It is found
throughout the year though especially during winters you will see roadside vendors selling roasted shakarkand sprinkled with lemon juice and chaat masala.

The sweet potato has yellow or orange flesh, and its thin skin may either be white, yellow, orange, red or purple. Sometimes this root vegetable will be shaped like a potato, being short and blocky with rounded ends, while other times it will be longer with tapered ends.

While buying sweet potatoes, you should look for ones without any cracks and soft spots. A good way of storing them is to keep them loose in a brown paper bag with multiple holes in a cool, dark place away from heat.

It is wonderfully sweet and can be used to make Indian dessert recipes like Shakarkand Halwa. Just like potatoes, it is a popular faraal (fasting) food ingredient. You can make various Indian vrat recipes like Sweet Potato Khichdi, Sweet Potato Tikkis with Tomato Raita or Sweet Potato Rabdi.

Boiled and mashed sweet potato
Wash sweet potato thoroughly in enough water. Boil enough water in a deep pan and add clean sweet potatoes to it. Cover the pan with a lid and cook them on a medium flame until tender. The time will vary depending on the size and the number of sweet potatoes. Cool slightly and peel them with your hands. Place the sweet potatoes in a broad vessel and mash them using a potato masher or with your hands.
Boiled sweet potato
Wash sweet potato thoroughly in enough water. To use peeled or unpeeled sweet potatoes here is your choice. Boil enough water in a deep pan and add clean sweet potatoes to it. Cover the pan with a lid and cook them on a medium flame until tender. The time will vary depending on the size and the number of sweet potatoes. If you had used unpeeled sweet potatoes, peel them and use as required. Boiled sweet potatoes can be used for pies, cookies, casseroles etc.
Boiled sweet potato cubes
Wash sweet potato thoroughly in enough water. Boil enough water in a deep pan and add clean sweet potatoes to it. Cover the pan with a lid and cook them on a medium flame until tender. The time will vary depending on the size and the number of sweet potatoes. Cool slightly and peel them with your hands. Place it on a chopping board and using a sharp knife cut it into half vertically from the centre. Cut the half portion into another half vertically. Then from each portion make vertical slits of desired thickness at regular intervals. Line all the slits together and cut at regular intervals horizontally to get sweet potato cubes. The cubes are usually 1/2 to 1 inch in size.
Chopped sweet potato
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes using a peeler. Place it on a chopping board and using a sharp knife cut it into half vertically from the centre. Cut the half portion into another half vertically. Then from each portion make vertical slits of at regular intervals of approximately ¼ inch in diameter. To get chopped sweet potatoes, line all the slits together and cut horizontally at approximately ¼ inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the sweet potato to be "roughly chopped," make the pieces slightly larger.
Grated sweet potato
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes using a peeler. To grate the sweet potato. Hold the grater in one hand and the sweet potato in the other hand. Now place the sweet potato on the blade (of desired thickness of the holes) of the grater and push it downwards using the force of your hands to get grated strands of sweet potato. Be careful to keep hands and fingers away from the grater. It can be grated thinly or thickly using a grater as required by the recipe.
Parboiled sweet potato long slices
Wash sweet potato thoroughly in enough water. Boil enough water in a deep pan and add clean sweet potatoes to it. Cover the pan with a lid and cook them on a medium flame till they are 80% cooked. The time will vary depending on the size and the number of sweet potatoes. Cool slightly and peel them with your hands. Place it on a chopping board and using a sharp knife cut it into quarters by first cutting vertically from the centre and then horizontally. Cut each portion vertically to get slices of desired thickness.
Sliced sweet potato
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes using a peeler. Place it on a chopping board and using a sharp knife cut it into quarters by first cutting vertically from the centre and then horizontally. Then on each piece make vertical slits of at regular intervals to get thick sliced sweet potatoes, although all the sliced sweet potatoes need not be exactly of the same size.
Sweet potato cubes
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes using a peeler. Place it on a chopping board and using a sharp knife cut it into half vertically from the centre. Cut the half portion into another half vertically. Then from each portion make vertical slits of desired thickness at regular intervals. Line all the slits together and cut at regular intervals horizontally to get sweet potato cubes. The cubes are usually 1/2 to 1 inch in size.
Sweet potato fingers
Sweet Potato fingers are referred to thin long strips of sweet potato, which are of approx. 1/4 to1/2 inch thickness. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes using a peeler. Place it on a chopping board and using a sharp knife cut it into quarters by first cutting vertically from the centre and then horizontally. Cut each portion into another half vertically to get slices. Then from each slice make vertical slits of at regular intervals of approximately ¼ inch in diameter to get sweet potato fingers.

How to Select Sweet Potato, Shakarkand
Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. Avoid those that are displayed in the refrigerated section of the produce department since cold temperature negatively alters their taste.

Culinary uses of Sweet Potato, Shakarkand in Indian cooking

Sweet potato boiled and sprinkled with lemon juice and mixed with chatpate Indian spices like jeera powder, chilli powder, sanchal to make Mumbai Roadside Sweet Potato Recipe is a popular snack not only in Mumbai but, all over India. 

They are used in making Indian mixed vegetable subzis like Sambhariyu Shaak and Oondhiya. These are traditional Gujarati preparations where masalas are tossed or stuffed inside vegetables and then pressure cooked till perfection. They are extremely flavorful and can be relished with piping hot puri or roti. Gajbaje, an authentic Konkani sabzi made in a coconut curry is a unique mix of vegetables like amaranth stem, taro leaves, bamboo shoots and jackfruit seeds.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries are addictive and can be served along with your favorite burger. The combination of olive oil and dry spices make these oven roasted sweet potatoes nice and crispy—which, of course, means they are more delicious. 


· You should peel them before eating since sometimes the skin is treated with dye or wax; if preparing the sweet potato whole, just peel it after cooking.
· As the flesh of sweet potatoes will darken upon contact with the air, you should cook them immediately after peeling and/or cutting them. If this is not possible, to prevent oxidation, keep them in a bowl covered completely with water until you are ready to cook them.
· Purée cooked sweet potatoes with bananas, maple syrup and cinnamon. Top with chopped walnuts.
· Steam cubed sweet potatoes, tofu, and broccoli. Mix in raisins and serve hot or cold with a curried vinaigrette dressing.
· Desserts made with sweet potatoes are an autumn favorite but can be enjoyed year round.
· Try making sweet potato pie, bread, muffins or pudding.
· Baked sweet potatoes are delicious even when served cold and therefore make a great food to pack in to-go lunches.
· Sweet potatoes can be baked, boiled, fried, broiled, canned or frozen. They can also be cooked in the microwave oven.
· A freshly baked or boiled sweet potato is delicious and nutritious. You need only to add a pat of butter or serve it plain.

How to Store Sweet Potato, Shakarkand
Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to ten days. Ideally, they should be kept out of the refrigerator in a cool, dry, dark place not above 60F, which would fit the characteristics of a root cellar. Yet since most people don't have root cellars, we'd suggest just keeping your sweet potatoes loose (not in a plastic bag) an storing them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated cupboard away from sources of excess heat (like the stove)

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato, Shakarkand
· Sweet it is for your health to eat sweet potatoes! Not only do they taste like dessert but it has surprisingly lots of health benefits.
· Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A.
· They are also a very good source of vitamin C and manganese.
· In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron.
· Sweet potato is the richest low-fat source of vitamin E.
· It contributes to heart health and is a good source of dietary antioxidants.
· It can help to regulate high blood pressure and also helps anaemia.
· It may also protect against inflammatory conditions.
· An Antioxidant-Rich, Anti-Inflammatory Food
· Sweet potatoes - the antidiabetic food.

Nutritional Value of Sweet Potato, Shakarkand
½ Cup sweet potato cubes is about 75 g
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy - 90 calories
Protein – 0.9 g
Carbohydrate – 21.2 g
Fat – 0.2 g
Fiber – 2.9 g

Vitamins:
18 mg of Vitamin C = 45% of RDA (about 40 mg)
3191.6 mcg of Vitamin A = 66.4% of RDA (about 4800 mcg)

Minerals:
34.5 mg of Calcium = 2.4% of RDA (about 400 mg)
20.2 mg of Magnesium = 8.6% of RDA (about 350 mg)
37.5 mg of Phosphorus = 6.2% of RDA (about 600 mg)
294.7 mg of Potassium = 6.2% of RDA (about 4700 g)