This dish has had countless incarnations. It started its life as mackerel kofte in a sauce made with tomato, lime, and cardamom that we fell in love with. It then went through a range of vegan dumplings served in the same sauce. In the end, after an embarrassing number of attempts and every member of the crew giving it a go, we figured that simply roasted sweet potato works best. It is a brilliant combination, but the sauce would also be delicious with chickpeas, tofu, fish, or chicken. In any case, serve rice or couscous alongside.


  • 4–5 medium sweet potatoes, skin on, cut crosswise into 1-inch/2-1/2 cm thick rounds (2 1b 2 oz/1kg)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-½ teaspoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • table salt and black pepper
  • Tomato, Lime and Cardamom Sauce
    • 5 tablespoons olive oil, (75 ml)
    • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (not crushed)
    • 2 green chiles, finely chopped (seeded for less heat)
    • table salt
    • 2 small shallots, finely chopped (3/4 cup/100g)
    • 14 ounces whole peeled tomatoes, blitzed in a food processor or blender until smooth
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1-½ teaspoon superfine sugar
    • 1-½ teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2 limes, finely zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 1 tbsp; cut the remainder into wedges
    • 1 cup water, (240 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped dill


1. Preheat the oven to 500°F/240°C fan. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, maple syrup, cardamom, cumin, ½ tsp salt, and a good grind of pepper. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the rounds are cooked through and the undersides are very nicely browned (this might take longer if your sweet potato rounds are particularly large, or indeed less time if they are smaller; so do keep an eye on them).
3. For the sauce: Meanwhile, put the olive oil, garlic, chiles, and ⅛ tsp salt into a large sauté pan, for which you have a lid, and place on medium heat. Fry very gently for 8-10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the garlic is soft and fragrant (you don't want the garlic to brown or become crisp, so decrease the heat if necessary). Transfer half the oil, chiles, and garlic to a small bowl, leaving the rest in the pan. Add the shallots to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until soft and translucent. Add the blitzed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, cardamom, cumin, lime zest, and 1 tsp salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the water, bring to a gentle \simmer, and then cook for 5 minutes.
4. Transfer the sweet potatoes, browned-side up, to the pan of sauce (not all of them will fit in the sauce, but that's fine, just pile them up haphazardly). Decrease the heat to low, cover, and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
5. Mix the dill and lime juice with the reserved chile and garlic oil and drizzle over the sweet potatoes. Serve from the pan, with the lime wedges alongside.


Yotam Ottolenghi


4 servings




European : Mediterranean