Pan-Fried Cumin Sweet Potatoes


Greetings everyone! This morning my husband and I are hopping in my sister Heidi and her husband Mike’s truck and skedaddling off to Stevens Point, where our blond bombshell of a sister Erica is getting married on Saturday! I have high, high hopes of a McDonald’s breakfast sometime during our travels. I think they put some kind of addictive grease-drug in those sausage McMuffins, and I love every bite. And the hash browns . . . don’t get me started on the hash browns. It’s like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day all wrapped up into one golden little cakety-akety. I would eat ten of them if that didn’t cause a tornado of pain to ravage my stomach. One will have to do. Or would two be risking it? I’m thinking two.

As we roll on over to Wisconsin, I’d like to say that I’ll be providing realtime reporting via this blog, with live video-feed of all the wedding to-do’s and up-to-the minute journalism detailing every nanosecond of the excitement, family eccentricities, and bridalwear.

Alas, it is not meant to be.

However, I do commit to wielding my camera and shooting like a madwoman so that I can bring forth pictures in the weeks to come. Pax?

In the meantime, I have prepped a few recipes to feed the blogmonster in my absence and get me through Monday morning. See, I’m afraid of what the blogmonster will do to me if he becomes hungry, and it’s best not to find out until I’ve really built up his trust. And though I’m using this recipe for Pan-Fried Cumin Sweet Potatoes to appease him, you’ll have to trust me: it’s not just a fill-in post. It’s actually incredibly delicious. Let’s get started.

I’ve had 2 sweet potatoes languishing in my fridge for the past month. Every time I opened the crisper, they looked at me accusingly–was I going to let them go to waste? Motivated by guilt, I searched out other languishing vegetables in my refrigerator and tossed them all in my cast iron skillet. The results were good enough not only to dispel my guilt, but also to send me into seventh heaven.


(Serves 4)

2 TBS olive oil

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes

1/4 c water

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cumin

Chives or cilantro to garnish

First, gather your ingredients into a friendly assembly. Encourage them to talk amongst themselves and ask some basic “getting to know you” questions.


Now, chop them up. Take any tension in your life and apply it to these vegetables using a sharp knife. Aaaaaah.



Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add your sweet potato cubes and fry 3-4 minutes.


Add the water, turn down heat to low and cover. Cook for 3 minutes. When you uncover the skillet, the water should be gone–if not, cook uncovered until the water evaporates. Now add your salt, pepper, cumin, onion, and jalapeño. Add more oil if needed. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.


By now, your potatoes should be tender but not falling apart, and the jalapeño and onion should be crisp and tender. Put the lovely pile of delights into a serving dish and top with a sprinkling of cilantro or chives.


This dish is good as it is, but if you serve it with Spicy Garlic Sauce (recipe coming tomorrow) you will die and go to garlic heaven. And I say–live dangerously!

Flirting with Death via the Spicy Garlic Sauce

Click here for printer-friendly version: Pan-Fried Cumin Sweet Potatoes

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4 Responses to Pan-Fried Cumin Sweet Potatoes

  1. Heide m. says:

    What a great idea using sweet potatoes for this recipe.

  2. These look delicious! I will definitely be trying this one out next time we get sweet taters at the grocery.
    Send Erica my well-wishes on her big weekend :)

  3. Sarah says:

    I ALSO IMAGINE THE VEGGIES IN MY CRISPER FEELING SAD AND WONDERING IF I AM GOING TO USE THEM!! Sorry for the all-caps, but I had to let you know of this weird connection/similarity! Hope the wedding is wonderful!

  4. thefrenchchick says:

    Thanks you for not sugaring the sweet potatoes. I enjoy sweet potato recipes that use them in their natural state. I really don’t understand why so many people sugar them and the marshmallow topping of them really boggles my mind.

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