Spicy cheesy baked sweet potatoes
Sweet Potatoes remind me of my days in hostel. It was almost two decades ago (feel like an antique) when I was doing my degree in marketing, one of the cheapest foods available was roasted sweet potatoes with chaat masala and dash of lime.
Chaat masala reminds me of amchur and a funny story - real story.
Last week I went to the nearest Indian grocery store, the store has changed owners, so it has this new guy as the owner. ( local friends, you know which store I am talking about). I had 3 things on my list, but then I always end up buying 5 times more than what's on my list, that's another post.
I was looking for amchur in the spice aisle and out of no where he (owner of the store) crept up on me speaking his native language in fluent loquacious. I politely reminded him in hindi that I am not from his native town...he gave me a sympathetic grin and asked me how he could help me. I was the lesser mortal, first I was not bi-lingual like him and second I was searching .....in his store. "Amchur" was my sheepish response, I was almost apologetic about my existence, let alone have the audacity to buy amchur. He looked around a bit and.... his next question in a heavy native accent, "Why do you need it?" - almost accusingly. I almost felt interrogated and responded in a feeble tone, for choley, sabji, chaat-masala, I rattled a few other names. He disappears into aisles of lentils, rice....
I saw him walk towards me with 2 masala boxes, I was relieved that he found it, they must have changed the place after the new ownership, I though to myself. He walked closer, narrowed his eyes, raised his left brow...."see" ...all I saw was choley masala and chaat- masala. "Amchur" I said loudly. " I know that" was his instant response, followed by "read the ingredients, it has amchur in it, why you need amchur, when it is in it". I was sooo amused....
Yesterday I was buying some fruits and veggies. I saw dragon fruit, usually it is not as fresh...this crop was gorgeous. I thought, I could take a few photos and got a few. When I was at the casher, I asked her to bag it separately, obviously I did not want it to me injured. She asked me why....I told her that I wanted to photography it. She narrowed her eyes ( same eye narrowing, but different store) and laughed ...."just google it, you will get pages and pages of photos....."
Must be my face, maybe, I look like a moron !! Not everyone found my story funny, teen rolled here eyes and said," mom, you should have said something"
Back to the recipe, teen loves cheese, that kid can live on cheese, swim in cheese ...just like her grandpa ( my father-in-law). They have a lot in common and cheese absolutely stands out. They will never refuse cheese in any form, any time of the day....
4 medium sweet potatoes with skin, scrubbed well.
1 and 1/4 cup cheese - mozzarella, asiago, medium cheddar - shredded (or cheese of your choice)
1 jalapeño plus 4-6 for stuffing
1 cup of green n red bell pepper, corn ( I did not have red so did not use it) , sweet potato
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic pods
2 red chili (dried)
salt to taste
5-6 thyme stocks
Scrub the sweet potatoes, trim the edges, cut it into half (length wise). Brush olive oil, salt, pepper add few twigs of thyme and bake for 8-10 min till little tender but not cooked.
Scoop the insides and chop the insides into fine cubes, keep aside.
Take garlic, red chili and olive oil and run it in a blender. Add black pepper and salt. Brush the insides of the sweet potatoes with this spicy oil - generously. Keep aside
Finely chop bell pepper, and one jalapeño (de seeded) mix it with sweet potato.
De seed the rest of the jalapeño and cut half length wise.
Now you can saute the veggie mix a bit ( do not cook it) and spoon it into the scooped up sweet potatoes and de seeded jalapeño.
Bake at 400 for about 12 minutes.
Sweet potato will be almost cooked, now remove from oven, sprinkle some panko ( mix some thyme leaves in it) followed by the cheese mixture. Bake again at 350 for 20 minutes.
Serve hot when the cheese is gooey and melty...