As soon as the weather turns cold, many makeshift food stalls pop up on the roadsides of Lahore; Chinese soups, roasted peanuts and shakarkandi ki chaat (warm sweet potato salad) become the most popular street foods.Shakarkandi Ki Chaat is slow roasted sweet potatoes over coals, peeled, cubed and topped with salt, spices and orange or lemon juice, all this the expert vendors do in minutes and serve it over a banana leaf or in a newspaper cone with toothpicks inserted in the sweet potatoes for convenient eating as you go about your business. The smoky aroma of coals mingled with cooked sweet potatoes and fresh citrus is very hard to resist as you walk by, and there really is no need to resist because this is as healthy a snack as one can wish for and keeps the tummy filled up for a long while.

Creating this in the comfort of your own kitchen, more hygienically is very easy. Sweet potatoes can be boiled, steamed or baked in the oven, from these options I prefer baking because it gives tender, more smoky flavoured and firm cubes of shakarkandi. The seasoning can vary with taste, can be made more or less spicy, but spicy and tangy go really well with sweetness of shakarkandi. If you have the ingredients in your spice cupboard, you can make your own chaat masala to sprinkle over it. In the recipe below, I decided to stick to simple seasoning so that everyone can enjoy!

Sweet potatoes are getting popular as health food world wide and this no fat, no sugar, no dairy recipe keeps it as simple as anything delicious can be. If served in style and in individual small portions, these spicy baked sweet potatoes can make excellent tapas or starters. If you like this recipe, also try my Sweet Potatoes Hash with Eggs.


2 medium sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Juice of one orange
Juice of two lemons
1 small onion, sliced
1 green chilli pepper,finely chopped
A small bunch fresh coriander or mint, finely chopped
Pomegranate avrils for garnish (optional)

This Is What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.Wash and pat dry sweet potatoes.

Prick them with a fork or knife in a few places to let the steam out and keep them from bursting in the oven.

Bake them for 40 to 50 minutes or till a knife inserted slides through easily.

Peel the sweet potatoes when they are cool enough to handle. Cut into bite size cubes.

Mix salt, cumin powder, black pepper and red chilli powder in a bowl.

Sprinkle the spice mix over sweet potatoes. Pour the juice of orange and lemon over.

Add sliced onions and chopped chilli and coriander/mint.

Toss the bowl to mix everything.

Garnish with pomegranate avrils.

Serve warm.

Serves 4

One Reply to “Shakarkandi Ki Chaat, Roasted Sweet Potato and Orange Salad”

  1. Looks amazing, sounds amazing, and I bet it tastes amazing! I’m looking forward to trying this out over the weekend.

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