Monday, 29 November 2010

Indian Spiced Kumara

We here at Adventures are happy to be featuring ingredients riding on the crest of popularity. Last week it was ingredient of the moment quinoa. All gluten free and trendy. Today it's kumara. It's in vogue. It could save African children from dyingKumara is the Maori word for sweet potato, and is replacing sweet potato as a term in Australia as well as New Zealand. I like the sound of it. Kumara.

I love kumara, and I love dates. So this recipe for Sweet Indian-Spiced Sweet Potato cried out to me for me to make it when I saw it a week or so ago. It's almost low GI, well, medium GI probably, possibly low GI. And it tastes great, so that's good. Of course, I tinkered, through both necessity and desire. And it was good.

Kumara is medium GI (61). Dates are low GI- although I'm not sure how this can really be- (39-45), a veritable health food. I like to think of medjool dates as nature's caramel.

The observant among you will notice slightly more than 6. No point in cooking with dates and not having a cooks treat. 

Indian-Spiced Kumara

2 kumaras, diced
6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 tblsp sultanas
1 tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/3 cup water

Steam kumara in microwave until tender. Set aside in a bowl.

Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until creamy.

Pour sauce over the kumara, stir to combine. Season if desired.

The original recipe had sugar but I used wondrous sweet medjool dates, and it really was quite sweet enough, I think it would have been cloying with added sugar, it was more than fine without.
It's probably a bit silly to use both garam masala and curry powder. I can't imagine that this is a tradition use of indian spices by any stretch. But I didn't have any chili powder in the house. And it worked out ok.

This was a really versatile dish. I served it with couscous (medium GI 65) and green veg (asparagus and zucchini this week), and it made a great work lunch. My lunch is almost vegan, well apart from the butter I use to cook my couscous, but you could avoid that, I don't want to.

I used some for my pizza this week.

Indian spiced kumara, red onion and capsicum pizza

I turned leftovers into wraps on the weekend, the sweet note was really nice then too.


  1. I grew up eating kumara multiple times a week because Mum always roasts it alongside potato. Must say, never had it with dates though! I'd always heard the dates are really high GI because of the sugar, but then again I'm hardly a GI expert! :P

  2. Most dried fruit is low GI, which does seem counter intuitive I think. I would have expected dates to be high GI, but it's a big WOOOHOOO from me if they aren't.

  3. I use kumara in my vegie slice that I bake to take to work...

  4. I agree, how can medjool dates be low GI? I mean they're so sweet and delicious! I'm happy to believe though if it means I can eat more of these :)