Hot Sweet Potato and Parsnip Stew

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      15 min

Appears in

The New Vegetarian

The New Vegetarian

By Colin Spencer

Published 1986

  • About

There are two kinds of sweet potato (sometimes called yams in the US) - one with yellow/white flesh, the other orange. The latter are a beautiful colour and look especially good in curry or spiced dishes. Do not overcook them; they cook more quickly than ordinary potatoes and should not be allowed to get mushy, which they will do very willingly. This recipe is more West Indian than Far Eastern. Eat it with brown rice or cous cous as one of several spiced dishes.


  • 120 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup sunflower or corn oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon mace
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 25 g/1 oz root ginger, sliced (size of a golf ball)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 225 g/½ lb sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 225 g/½ lb parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 450 g/1 lb tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice or juice from 2 lemons seasoning to taste


    Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the mustard seeds and mace until the seeds pop. Lower the heat and add the chillies, garlic, ginger, garam masala and onion. Fry gently for a moment or two, taking care not to burn the spices. Add the sweet potatoes and parsnips and stir well. Bring to boiling point, then cover and simmer for a few moments. Add the tomatoes and lemon juice. Stir again thoroughly, then simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season. If it needs pepper, add some, but it should be spicy and hot enough.