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Make your sweet potatoes sing with this quirky recipe

Pick the season's most flavour-packed vegetable for yummy and healthy-ish baked fries

Roasted sweet potato fries coated with semolina and served with pesto and sriracha yogurt. (Image courtesy: Fast Fresh Flavourful by Natasha Celmi)

My love for sweet potato fries began at a nondescript burger joint in Australia three years ago. The sweetness of these yummy tubers contrasts beautifully with the savoury seasoning. The addition of semolina (suji) gives the dish an irresistible crunch. A far healthier alternative to the traditional fries, these are a family favourite. I’m sure your family will love it too!

Quick tip: Make a garlicky version by mincing 2 garlic cloves in the spice mix.



2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp paprika (optional)

½ tsp chilli flakes

½ tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp semolina (suji)

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut like fries

Pesto yogurt, to serve

2 tbsp minty pesto

2 tbsp thick yogurt

Sriracha yogurt, to serve

2 tbsp sriracha sauce

4 tbsp thick yogurt

Pinch of salt

Combine the sriracha sauce with the thick yogurt. Add a pinch of salt. If you are using it as a dipping sauce, use as it is. For a salad dressing, whisk in 1-2 tbsp of water till you have a pourable consistency. Consume by the next day.


1. Make the pesto yogurt by combining the pesto and yogurt. Keep aside or refrigerate for later.

2. Preheat the oven to 220°C. In a large bowl, combine the oil, paprika, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Add the sweet potatoes (they should be washed before cutting and free of any moisture) and semolina and toss well with your hands. Line a baking tray with butter paper and spread the coated sweet potatoes in a single layer.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning over once or twice until the sweet potatoes are tender inside and golden brown outside. Remove from the oven. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot with pesto yogurt and/or sriracha yogurt.

Make ahead/leftover: Cut the sweet potatoes up to a day ahead and refrigerate them in a Ziploc bag. Season and roast before serving. Alternatively, roast the potatoes earlier for 20 minutes and store at room temperature. Roast further till done just before serving.

The front cover of Fast Fresh Flavourful published by Notion Press.
The front cover of Fast Fresh Flavourful published by Notion Press.

Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed in many ways. Cut it in cubes and roast in the oven with some rosemary. Bake them whole like a jacket potato and top with yogurt, hummus and salad. Steam sweet potatoes, add chaat masala, chilli and a dash of lemon juice to make a yummy shakarkandi chaat. Make a delish sweet potato mash and top off with some olive oil and pesto, or add it to a tomato or pumpkin-based soup for added texture and flavour.

The recipe has been excerpted from the book, Fast Fresh Flavourful by Natasha Celmi.

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