Curried Sweet Potato Gnocchi

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This time of the year is so wonderful – its my first spring and summer in Vancouver and the weather here is so different from all the other places I’ve lived so far. Delhi was too hot, infact there is no such thing as spring there. Pondicherry has 3 seasons – hot, hotter and hottest. Orlando would get spring but there is sunshine throughout the year so it was not as appreciated. Here, other than my allergies I think I pretty much love everything about this season. Its not too hot and not too cold – just as I like it. And the farmers market are absolutely wonderful. A recent trip to the Yaletown farmers market was exciting, colorful and happy. I brought back many fresh vegetables and baked goodies.

I’ve been meaning to make gnocchi for sometime and I developed this recipe with some Indian spices. I didn’t use curry powder (you could if you wanted to) but individual spices in small quantity. If you are at all experimental with food – in terms of cooking different cuisines, chance are you’ll already have all these spices in your kitchen. I used sweet potato instead of a regular potato for the gnocchi and the combination of spices and the mild sweetness from the potatoes taste pretty good. I used a different technique to cook gnocchi this time (saw it on a tv show) and I think it worked pretty well. Instead of cooking the gnocchi in boiling water, I froze them uncooked. When I was ready to make the gnocchi, I took it out from the freezer and without thawing I sauteed it in some olive oil till it turned golden. Then I added my veggies, stir fried that a little and cooked everything with a little bit of water for 3 to 5 minutes….and that was it! This method cuts down one time consuming step of cooking the gnocchi – and gives pretty great results. I don’t think I am ever going back to the old method of boiling gnocchi.

To make the dish taste fresh I paired it with some peas and asparagus and served it with some arugula, finishing it with some lemon juice. An overall balanced dish that is flavorful, hearty and full of spring freshness.

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Serving for 2 people

Cooking time 30 minutes

Ingredients

2 sweet potato

1 cup all purpose flour

1 egg yolk

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp paprika

salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp parmesan cheese (grated)

1/4 cup peas (frozen or fresh)

4 to 5 asparagus, cut into 1 inch diagonal pieces

 

  1. Roast the sweet potatoes at 350 F for 40 to 50 minutes or till cooked through. Remove from the oven, let cool completely and peel. Mash the peeled potatoes with the back of a fork.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add potatoes, egg yolk, 3/4th cup flour, all the spices and salt. Mix together with a light hand to form a smooth dough. Avoid over-mixing as it will make the dough soggy and you have to add more flour.
  3. Dust the counter or a clean working surface with the rest of the flour. Transfer the dough onto the dusted counter and divide into 4 equal parts. Roll each part into a long log/snake like shape of roughly 1/2 inch diameter. Cut these logs into half inch pieces with the help of a sharp knife. If desired – you could lightly roll each piece on a fork or a gnocchi board (if you have one) to create the classic rigged effect.
  4. Line a baking tray with plastic wrap. Carefully place each piece on the tray making sure that they don’t touch each other and freeze the gnocchi for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to make the gnocchi – heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add frozen gnocchi and cook uncovered stirring and tossing gently on both sides till you develop a nice golden brown color.
  6. Once the gnocchi is brown from both sides, add peas and asparagus and stir. Add 3 to 4 tbsp of water and cook covered on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or till gnocchi is cooked through.
  7. Add cheese and stir to mix.
  8. To serve place gnocchi in a bowl, add your favorite greens (spinach, arugula, spring mix etc.). Squeeze a little lemon and serve warm.