Around the World in 80 Plates: Cardamom-Mashed Sweet Potato with Pepper Relish, Tanzania 6/80

To be honest, this is an odd one.

Cardamom isn’t a staple in our kitchen and while we love potatoes, our mash is usually made with white spuds, not sweet potato. Throw some zingy pepper relish on top and it’s even more out of our usual repertoire.

Let me tell you: this is strange, but it does work.

The ingredients themselves are common enough, it’s just the combination that’s unique.

Cardamom-mashed sweet potato with pepper relish

Cardamom-mashed sweet potato with pepper relish

Said to have originated in the Mkomazi National Park on the border of Tanzania and Kenya near Mount Kilimanjaro, this is certainly a different take on your standard mashed potatoes.

Make the relish ahead of time so it can sit in the fridge overnight, or at least for a few hours, to let the flavours develop.

Be sure not to rush the caramelising of the onions – they take time, so be patient.

Don’t be put off by the combination of cardamom, sweet potatoes and zingy relish.

Give it a good and let me know what you think.

Cardamom-Mashed Sweet Potato with Pepper Relish

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 4-6
Cardamom-mashed sweet potato with pepper relish

Cardamom-mashed sweet potato with pepper relish


For the relish:

3 chillies (or to taste)
4 tomatoes
1 onion
1 red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

For the sweet potato mash:

1 onion, sliced
butter, for caramelising
1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced
250g sweetcorn
175g peas
200g spinach
1 tsp ground cardamom
salt and pepper


To make the relish:

  1. Chop chillies, tomatoes, onion, red pepper and parsley
  2. Combine, seasoning as needed
  3. Let sit in the fridge overnight or at least for a few hours

To make the sweet potato mash:

  1. Melt butter in a heavy pan
  2. Caramalise the onion
  3. Cook sweet potato in boiling water until soft
  4. Drain and mash
  5. Boil sweetcorn and peas until tender
  6. Once tender, add spinach to wilt it briefly
  7. Drain
  8. Combine sweet potatoes and caramelised onion
  9. Sprinkle with cardamom, salt and pepper
  10. Stir in corn, peas and spinach
  11. Serve the mash hot, topped with cold relish

This recipe was taken from Pease Porridge.

Note that this recipe uses UK measurements, temperatures and ingredients. It can certainly be made outside the UK but ingredients may differ slightly, go by different names or need to be substituted altogether.

If you change this recipe to make it work outside the UK or if you have your own, please share in the comments!

Check out more recipes in my Around the World in 80 Plates series.

Fancy more posts about Africa? Look no further.

Inspired to cook some international dishes? I’ve got your recipe needs covered.

Feeling hungry? Don’t look at these posts.

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