The one and only sweet potato grew shoots. Tiny leaves unfurled on healthy red stalks, emerging from one end of the potato and then getting entwined in each other’s arms, offering support and companionship of live. Spring. Obvious even in the dark forgotten corner of my pantry. Such is the inevitable force of nature. Unstoppable, inspiring and ever moving.
I never knew I had challenged that sweet potato, by shoving it in a corner and forgetting all about it. I had no memory of it. I do not know how long it sat there. But it beat me by bearing life, making even that overloaded basket corner a pretty place.
So I sliced out some parts of it, on the end where new shoots were growing and planted it in a pot. Sweet potato vines are beautiful. They make lush, decorative pots. I have done it last summer, though all the digging after the end of the growing season did not offer me with the present of a single sweet potato which I could say I grew. But I was happy with the lush green vines that made my backyard look good.
Now I was left with about three fourth of a large orange potato and I had to use it up right away. That is when I thought of sweet potato chips.
We have bought a few bags of chips before. Sweet potato chips to be precise. However I have to admit that initially I was not naturally drawn to them. To me sweet potatoes held a different image. The delicate soothing aroma of Indian winters, the roasted sweet potatoes, with the steam escaping from the broken center, sprinkled with chilli salt, is the first. Then comes all the winter time delights of the brown sweet potato dumplings soaking in cardamom syrup. Enclosing them in a bag was quite foreign to me. Then I had to get used to this sweet and savory taste all packed in one in the chips.
Every new taste requires time to grown into. Adding to the time, comes in my obstinate set of tastes and images, which make it even more difficult to accept. It was not love at first sight. But that is not the only kind of love. Getting to love the flavors of sweet potato chips was built on familiarity, time and trust for me. There is no going back from here. I love them enough to make them at home!
The simplicity of it makes it easier to make it a frequently. All you need to do is slice then really thin ( a mandoline really helps, here but I do not have one),
toss them with a little drizzle of oil and then herbs or spices if you want to use and some salt.
Then lay them in a single layer on a tray and bake in a pre heated oven. The tough part of the recipe is the slicing the sweet potato if you do not the right tools. A good solid knife helps, but a mandoline or a similar tool is even better.
Now the idea of sweet potato related recipes are not just limited to winter or the Thanksgiving. They are available all year through and they have a very long shelf life (yes the shoots proved it) and it is loaded with nutrients.
Do give it a try!
Chilli and Rosemary Baked Sweet Potato Chips
- 1 sweet potato
- 1.5 – 2 tablespoon oil (I recommend Olive or Coconut oil)
- sea salt or Himalayan Pink salt ( is what I used), to taste
- chilli powder to taste
- fresh springs of rosemary, chopped (about 3/4 tablespoon or to taste)
Wash sweet potato and pat dry. Slice (or use a mandoline if you have one) into very thin slices as you you do with potato chips.
Combine rosemary , chilli powder and oil. Drizzle on the slices and toss well so each slice is coated with the mix.
Preheat oven to 275F. Line a tray with baking/parchment paper. Place the slices without overlapping in a single layer. Sprinkle salt.
Bake for one hour fifteen minutes to one hour and forty five minutes, rotating the tray once through the baking time. The baking time will vary with the kind of oven and how thick you have sliced your sweet potato. So adjust the baking time. If possible (esp. if you have thicker slices), flip the chips midway once during baking. I did not need to flip them. Test if they are baked at an hour to 1 hour fifteen minutes. The center should darken and most of them should be crisp. Some of the chips, in the center might feel wet, but once they are taken out they continue to cook for a while and and when cooled they will crisp further.
Enjoy as sides, with sandwiches, with yogurt dip of just by itself! They are really good!
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking/Baking Time: 1.5-2 hours
Serves/Makes chips from one sweet potato
Difficulty Level: Very Easy