Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sabee Sabee Kumala - Sweet Potato Stewed in Coconut

Sweet Potato Stewed in Coconut
Home Cooking

As soon as I step into a grocery store, I sort of blank out and just put 'whatever' into the basket and walk out with it. On one recent occasion, I wound up with a sweet potato and it's been sitting in my cupboard for a while.

I looked through a bunch of sweet potato recipes and everything sounded pretty appealing. Especially candied sweet potato... o.m.g. yum.

In the end I decided on sweet potato cooked in coconut because I just LURVE coconut milk. Also, the dish sounded sort of rustic and unlike anything I've made before. I imagined it'd be something that I could load up on a plate with rice, curries, meat etc. Island feast style. This recipe is from one of the new cookbooks I got from Doubleday - 'Cook's Companion' by Stephanie Alexander.

Sweet Potato Stewed in Coconut
Serves 4 as sides or 2 as main


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (250ml) of coconut milk
  • 3 small green bananas, halved
  • bit of salt to taste
  • bit of sugar to taste (optional)

1. Peel the sweet potato and chop into 2cm cubes.2. Pop the sweet potato cubes and onion into a small saucepan. Cover with the coconut milk. If needed, add a bit of water.3. Bring to the boil with medium-high. Lower to a simmer and cooked the sweet potatoes for 10min or so.
4. Add the banana and keep stewing the vegetables until tender. After a while, the sweet potato will start breaking down and thickening the coconut. Take the saucepan off the heat when it's the consistency you want. If you leave it on too long, all the sweet potato will break appart and turn into stew.
5. Add salt (and if you like, a bit of sugar) to taste.

I loved this dish so much. It was really my idea of comfort-food - warm, thick, fragrant, hearty and slightly sweet. I would happily sit down to a bowl of this in front of the TV and stuff my sorrows away.

Sweet potato and coconut goes great with rice and it worked really well with the spicy beef curry I served it with.

Charlie was not at all a fan of the banana and kept fishing it out. I didn't mind the banana chunks but I think sweetness is really important here. The sweet potato with coconut milk alone is overpowered by the onion. Sugar helps bring out the sweet potato and banana adds that. So you make up your mind.

Close-up of the sabee sabee kumala

You can use sweet potato, normal potato, taro, yam, pumpkin or a combination of those. If you have any starchy vegetables that need using up, give this dish a go.

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday, I found this recip in our daily newspaper with sweet and normal potato and pumpkin. It tasted very good. I served with basmati rice. Next time I would take no normal potatoes if it is served with rice. Curry spice also fits very well with this.
    Kind regards from Germany. Dagmar