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Burkinabé Sweet Potato Fries

What's the big idea?

Sweet Potato Fries are very popular as a snack or accompaniement to main meals in Burkina Faso, but I must be honest, I don't think this recipe is terribly authentic. Having said that, it's relatively healthy, as the fries/chips are oven-baked rather than fried, and they're absolutely delicious, so who cares?! These are a real family favourite in our house.

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Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 2lb/1kg sweet potatoes
  • 60ml/4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar - I find dark brown sugar works best
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika*
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
* You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar and spice to your taste, as long as you keep the ratios between the different spices roughly the same.

What To Do

  • Preheat the oven to 450F/235C
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chips or disks*
  • Put the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and add the oil. Sprinkle with the salt, sugar and spices
  • Mix well, so all pieces are coated with oil and spices
  • Spread the chips out in a single layer on a baking sheet
  • Bake in the oven for a total of 25 to 30 minutes
  • After the first 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn over all the chips
  • Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until they are well browned
  • Empty out onto paper kitchen roll to remove any excess oil before serving
* From experience, it doesn't really matter how thick or thin you cut your chips; I tend to do them about 8-10mm thick. If you prefer them thicker, just allow a little more cooking time.

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