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Lacto-Fermented West African Sweet Potatoes

West African Sweet Potato Ferment lacto

I found this recipe of a lacto-fermented sweet potatoes. I adapted it a little bit to what I had. Instead of the green pepper I used my capsicum from hell – I don’t know what it really is, it looks like a small capsicum, is bigger than a Jalapeno and is from hell. In my version it replaced all the chilli needs in the recipe, but I’ll give you the original. I did replace the coriander seeds with ground coriander which is certainly not as good. But the recipe came out really nicely! I used dried tomatoes as prescribed in the recipe, but next time I will simply use my own. (What I could find at Coles was a packet of semi-dried tomatoes and I used half of it).

This recipe is of course very flexible, however, the amount of salt cannot be reduced, otherwise the fermentation does not start. (It seems that the notion that salt is bad for you, is outdated anyway!)

Also, I don’t have a mandoline and really, I want one or one of these wonderful wooden adjustable graters. both of them would have been very handy in this recipe. 

You will need:

You need a straight walled jar or ceramic vessel. Don’t use anything metal and I would not use plastic either. You will also need something to weigh the content down so that the brine which form covers the mix. I don’t like the method with the water-filled zip-lock bag, but this works. I usually try to find another jar shich fits into the first one and fill it with water. Clean stones are possible too.

The Ingredients:

  • 1250 gram sweet potatoes thinly (!!!) sliced
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 green capsicum thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3-4 dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 3 (or more) gloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 1-2 tsp of salt 

How to Prepare:

  • Place all the ingredients is a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Next you need to knead the content with your hands until the brine seeps out, that can take a couple of minutes. You might have to add a little salt, but try so that it’s not too salty.
  • Fill it in a jar, pound the contents down thoroughly. The brine should cover the mix by an inch or so. If it doesn’t pour a bit of unchlorinated (or you kill the microorganisms and the process won’t work) water until it’s covered. 
  • Leave ferment for a couple of days or until you like the taste. Keep refrigerated.

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