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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Spices and Cilantro (Sabzi)

4 Servings

45 minutes

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In the Indian kitchen, sabzi refer to cooked vegetable dishes flavored with aromatics such as onion, ginger and garlic as well as fragrant spices. In our recipe, a nutty, fragrant mix of toasted coconut, sesame seeds and sizzled aromatics coats oven-caramelized roasted sweet potatoes. The contrast of crunchy seeds and creamy potato is deliciously compelling, as is the balance of sweet, savory and spicy flavors. To up the chili heat, leave the seeds in the jalapeño before chopping. If you like, for a touch of acidity, serve with lemon wedges.




Don’t add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds to the skillet at the same time as the coconut and sesame or the spices will end up overdone and taste acrid.

45 minutes


  • 2

    pounds orange-flesh sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 5

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided


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David C.
October 3, 2022
Made it tonight and liked it. Quite easy. One thing - it would help if you put tips like serving with lemon wedges somewhere in the list of ingredients and text of the recipe. I completely missed it tonight and only noticed it when looking at the comments.
Betsy D.
February 1, 2024
Delicious pairing of f;avors
This is a great dish with favors that you might not think to pair together but they work wonderfully together. Sweet, spicy, savory . . .
Kristina Kerr W.

This recipe was quite tasty and I'll put it in regular rotation as a side dish. I added a squeeze of lime juice before I saw the note about lemon wedges, so I agree that the acid at the end helps. Sometimes I feel like Milk Street recipes call for a ton of (sometimes unusual or expensive) ingredients without a strong flavor payoff, but this recipe worked.

Dennis R.

This was delicious! Will definitely make again. Question, though, about how the tip, "Don’t add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds to the skillet at the same time as the coconut and sesame or the spices will end up overdone and taste acrid" jibes with the directions which say that after cooking the coconut and sesame seeds for 2-3 minutes, one should add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, and jalapeno. Can anyone out there make sense of this? If so, please explain.

Lynn C.

Hi Dennis -

The coconut and sesame seeds take longer to brown than the mustard and cumin seeds - 3-5 minutes vs. 1-2 minutes. If you add the mustard and cumin seeds at the same time as the coconut and sesame seeds the mustard and cumin seeds will have overcooked and become burnt and bitter tasting. I hope that clears it up!

The Milk Street Team

Dennis R.

Sorry. My error. The syntax is now clear to me. I think I forgot how to read for a short while.

Kim D.

This is fantastic! Easy and quite tasty. Have made it several times.