sweet potato

What is Sweet Potato? Uses, Nutritional information, Recipes with Shakarkand Viewed 20189 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
Boiled sweet potato
Wash sweet potato thoroughly in cold water. Drop clean sweet potatoes into enough boiling water to cover them. Cover pan and return water to boiling as quickly as possible. Lower heat and cook until tender. Peeled or unpeeled sweet potatoes, either cut into chunks or not is one's choice. The time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes or chunks - from 5 minutes for small chunks to 30 minutes for whole potatoes Boiled sweet potatoes can be used for pies, cookies, casseroles, glazed, candied or frozen.
Boiled sweet potato cubes
To get boiled sweet potato cubes, first boil the sweet potatoes, cool, peel and using a sharp knife, dice or cube the sweet potatoes by cutting them into uniform strips. Line up the strips with your non-working hand and cut them into square pieces. Cube them as per the recipe's need regarding the size of the cubes.
Chopped sweet potato
Sweet Potatoes need to be peeled. Take a sharp knife and then cut it into half vertically from the centre. Cut the half portion into another half. Chop the sweet potato by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in length, although the chopped sweet potato doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the sweet potato to be "coarsely chopped," make the pieces slightly larger.
Grated sweet potato
Wash and peel or unpeel as preferred. To grate the sweet potato, rub it against a grater. These shreds will range in size according to size of the holes in the grater. It can be grated thinly or thickly using a grater as required by the recipe.
Parboiled sweet potato long slices
Sliced sweet potato
Peel or Unpeel sweet potatoes. Then, cut the apple in half. Slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe demands.
Sweet potato cubes
Dice or cube sweet potato by cutting them into uniform strips. Line up the strips with your non-working hand and cut them into square pieces. Cube them as per the recipe's need regarding the size of the cubes, (for example, "cut into ½-inch cubes").
Sweet potato fingers
Sweet Potato fingers are referred to thin long strips of Sweet Potato, which are of approx. 1" thickness. To make sweet potato fingers, peel and wash the sweet potatoes, cut the sweet potato into half and then cut each half into thin strips of approx. 1" thickness. You can get 10-12 fingers from one medium sized sweet potato.

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
· 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)