One evening when my son returned from work he handed me a parcel saying his friend from Canada brought it for him, but actually it was for me. When I opened it I found a beautiful glass bottle of maple syrup, with a maple leaf engraved on it. Manoj had brought this for me seeing my cookery posts, and had this lovely thought of bringing this present.
I was totally new to maple syrup, and was surprised by its mild sweetness and woody flavour. I was not familiar with recipes using maple syrup and again Manoj sent an outline of a recipe that he uses. I found that the maple syrup is not strong enough to overpower the distinct flavour of the Indian sweet potato. I have standardised the recipe but I have not used dates or dried fruits as suggested by Manoj as my son does not like them.
In Tamil Nadu, sweet potatoes are boiled with a pinch of salt and they are eaten as such – even street vendors offer them that way. My mother used to make an after-school snack for me and my sisters by mixing sugar and a small amount of ghee with the boiled and mashed sweet potato, shaped into balls. Apart from the energy (120 calories per 100 gms) contributed by the sweet potatoes, they do not have significant amounts of either vitamins, or minerals. The Indian sweet potato is creamish in colour as opposed to the orange sweet potato of the west i.e., it is very low in carotene.
- 500 gms Sweet Potatoes
- 1 ½ C Milk
- 4 T Condensed Milk
- 4 T or more Maple Syrup
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Pressure cook the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Cool, remove skin, and mash with a potato masher or wooden ladle.
- Boil the milk in a large saucepan.
- Lower heat and add the sweet potatoes and salt, and blend using a wire whisk. Remove fibre that gets caught in the wire whisk.
- Add the maple syrup, and stir. Check for sweetness.
- Add sufficient condensed milk to arrive at desired sweetness, and also to thicken the mixture.
- Blend well, and remove from heat. Cool.
- Leave the dessert in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. Pour a tablespoon of maple syrup on each serving for enhanced flavour and presentation.
- If condensed milk is not available, white or Damerara sugar can be used. Stir for longer time to thicken the mixture.
- Manoj had also suggested using peanut butter instead of condensed milk.
- The Indian sweet potato contains long, stringy fibres. A wire whisk helps remove the fibres to give a smooth consistency to the dessert.