Indian-Spiced Sweet Potato & Lentil Cakes


These addictive spiced cakes from The Beauty Chef Gut Guide can be prepared for dinner and are also great as a lunch box snack. Apart from being high in fibre, sweet potatoes and lentils are good sources of inflammation-fighting resistant starch and vitamin B5 (which helps maintain a healthy digestive tract).

The pervading spice in this recipe is cumin, which adds such a beautiful, flavoursome note to any recipe. Studies show that it may help relieve some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

  • 850 g (1 lb 14 oz/approx. 2 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 3 cm (11⁄4 in) chunks
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1⁄4 cup) ghee or extra-virgin coconut oil, plus extra for roasting the potatoes
  • 375 ml (121⁄2 fl oz/11⁄2 cups) water
  • 110 g (4 oz/1⁄2 cup) dried red lentils, thoroughly rinsed
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 11⁄2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 large handfuls coriander (cilantro) stems & leaves, coarsely chopped
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cucumber raita:
  • 1⁄2 Lebanese (short) cucumber, cut in half lengthways, seeds scooped & grated
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 250 g (9 oz/1 cup) sheep’s or goat’s yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas Mark 6).
  2. Arrange the sweet potatoes in a medium roasting tray and drizzle with some ghee. Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, put the water and lentils in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking, until all of the water has been absorbed and the mixture resembles a thick porridge. Set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee in a small frying pan. Cook the shallots, ginger, garlic and chilli until softened. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  5. Transfer everything, including the roasted sweet potatoes, cooked lentils, 1 tablespoon of the arrowroot and lemon juice, to a medium bowl. Using a potato masher, mash and stir to combine, leaving some chunky bits of sweet potato. Add the coriander, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  6. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 8 cakes, approximately 7 cm (23/4 in) in diameter.
  7. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to firm up, then lightly dust with the remaining arrowroot to coat.
  8. Heat the remaining ghee in a large frying pan over a low–medium heat. Cook the cakes for 3–4 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through. Set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel and cover to keep warm.
  9. To make the cucumber raita, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Serve with the cakes.