Garam (Masala) Don’t Scarum-My Recipe for Indian-Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Okay, so that was my first of what I assume will be many Elvis Presley references. I am just gonna lay it out on the table..err blog, rather, right now…

I am a huge Elvis fan. I first saw the Elvis: That’s the Way it is documentary on the anniversary of his death when I was 17 and immediately became a huge Elvis fan. I started to memorize every detail about his life and career. As a Millennial, many people my age were dismayed by my fervent interest in Elvis. Some people had never even heard any of his music before (gasp). But I quickly remedied that 🙂

Why is this relevant, you ask? Well anyone who knows about Elvis’ career knows that not only did he sing (amazingly, I might add), but he starred in 31 feature films and 2 documentaries during his over twenty year career. Some of these films were quite well received and memorable (GI Blues, Blue Hawaii, King Creole, Viva Las Vegas) and even  made music history (google “jailhouse rock first music video”), while others were just plain silly and almost difficult to watch (Kissin’ Cousins? Come on, Elvis, you’re better than that). And despite the fact that the reviews and profits got worse and worse over the years, and some story lines were questionable to say the least, they kept making more films because people still watched them because they wanted to hear Elvis sing (DUH!) and Elvis wanted to make him some mon-ayyyy. I am one of those people.

But anyway, I digress. If you haven’t already figured it out, the Elvis plug is a play on the title of my blog post “Garam (Masala) Don’t Scarum”. You see, Harum Scarum is the name of an Elvis movie with probably one of the most ridiculous story lines I’ve ever heard of (as difficult as it is to say for an Elvis fan), but I won’t get into all that.

So get the joke yet? “Harum” sorta rhymes with “Garam”? Funny, right?…Anybody?!?..okay, moving on…

Garam Masala is a very aromatic Indian spice blend that varies from region to region. You can read more about making it here:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/garam-masala-240907.

It can really pump up almost any simple, unseasoned dish and make it really flavorful. When I cook with it, it makes me feel like a BOSS in the kitchen because it has such a intoxicating aroma. My husband mixes it up at home and we use it to make a variety of Indian/Pakistani dishes.

But the other day I was stuck in a sweet potato rut. Unable to decide what spices to flavor my sweet potatoes with before roasting, I had an idea to use some Garam Marsala along with a few other Indian spices. The result was spicy, exotic, and delicious. Sadly, I can’t say the same for Harum Scarum. RIP Elvis.

So that’s how these Indian Spiced Sweet Potatoes came about.

Garam Scarum (1)
Nom-Nom Indian Spiced Sweet Potatoes Roasted to Perfection

Indian Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Serves 3-4 as side dish

• 2 large sweet potatoes, about 1.5-2 lbs
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tbsp garam masala
• 1 tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds, ground
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1/2-1 tsp red chili flakes (1 tsp is quite spicy)
• salt and pepper as desired

Putting it Together:

Garam Scarum (2)
Hunka Hunka Sweet Potaotes!

Rinse and peel the sweet potatoes. Chop into desired shapes with about equal thickness so that they cook evenly. (I had a long sweet potato that I cut into “french fry” shapes and another into round slices). Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or olive oil. Lay sweet potatoes out flat on baking sheet, trying not to overlap slices with one another. Lightly brush sweet potatoes with some olive oil or cooking spray.

Combine spices in a small bowl or ramekin and mix well. Sprinkle spice mix over potatoes and rub potatoes with seasoning to coat them evenly. Sprinkle salt and black pepper on potatoes as desired.  Roast potatoes at 400°F on a greased baking sheet for 30-35 minutes (until tender), flipping potatoes half-way through. For less spicy potatoes, decrease the amount of red chili flakes. Store any leftover spice blend in a plastic bag in a cool, dry place.


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