Hindi Name: Shakarkandi
Shakarkandi or sweet potato is a starchy, sweet tasting root vegetable. Its leaves and shoots both are edible though the starchy tuberous roots are most commonly consumed. It can be baked at home as a snack or as a dessert. They are mostly consumed by boiling and adding dome dressing. Shakarkandi can also be used to make into a vegetable dish. They are a very common food crop in rural areas because their cultivation is not very expensive. Dulce di batata is a traditional sweet potato-based dessert in South America.
They can be eaten boiled, roasted, pan-fried or even deep-fried. Although the leaves and shoots are also edible, the starchy tuberous roots are by far the most important part of the sweet potato.
In China, sweet potatoes, typically of the yellow variety, are baked in a large iron drum, and sold as street-food during winter.
In Japan, boiled sweet potato is the most common way to eat it at home.
In Malaysia, sweet potato is often cut into small cubes and cooked with yam and coconut milk (santan) to make a sweet dessert called bubur caca.
It is often used as a dessert across different cultures; it is popular as a snack as well. All parts of the plant are used as animal fodder.
1. They are high in vitamin B6 that helps reduce the chemical homocysteine that has been associated with degenerative diseases, like the prevention of heart attacks.
2. They are a good source of vitamin A & C which helps in warding off cold and flu viruses and is essential in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation.
3. They contain Vitamin D that plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
4. Sweet potatoes also contain iron that is important for a good immune system and for maintaining a healthy hemoglobin level.
5. Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium which is essential for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function.
6. It contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients.
How to Buy
Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. Avoid sweet potatoes that are displayed in the refrigerated section since cold temperature negatively alters their taste.
How to Store
Ideally they should be kept out of the refrigerator, but in a cool, dry, dark and well ventilated place not above 60°F /15°C. This should keep the sweet potatoes fresh for up to 10 days.
Did you know?
Sweet potatoes are native to Central America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man.