Happy Cinco de Mayo, guys! To celebrate, I have for you today this Mexican Sweet Potato Hash with Black Beans and Tofu that you can eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or roll into a burrito, load on a taco, or scoop up with a chip. It even makes a great drinking buddy.
Better still, it’s a super healthy dish that’s going to take you just minutes to cook up.
I have always adored festivities of any kind. Growing up in India, every calendar year was generously peppered with holidays, and the fact that India is home to many different religions meant there was always something to celebrate, whether it was Holi, Id, Navroze, or Easter. Lucky for me, I inherited even more festivities — many from around the world — when I moved to the United States.
Cinco de Mayo is a particular favorite because I love Mexican food with red-blooded passion. True. It could be because the spices and ingredients used in Indian and Mexican cuisines are so identical — although they create completely different end results. All delicious, mostly healthy, so long as you leave the animal stuff out.
I added some habanero to this recipe because I absolutely adore the fruity flavor of this screaming-hot pepper. I used just half, and for my tastebuds it was just perfect. If you are extremely sensitive to heat, use a smaller quantity and deseed the pepper– the seeds carry most of the heat.
This sweet potato hash is a melange of bold, vivid flavors and textures. There is the smokiness of the cumin and coriander, the fruity spice of the habanero, the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, the chewiness of the baked tofu, the earthiness of the black beans, and the tang of the lime and the fresh, green coriander leaves. I can eat bowlfuls of it at a time.
- 1 inch large sweet potato cut into 1/3- cubes (I don't peel the skin off)
- 1 cup cooked or canned black beans drained
- 1 14 oz block of extra firm tofu. Place in a colander swaddled in paper towels and place a heavy weight on and set aside to drain for half an hour. Otherwise take the shortcut-- I place the tofu in a microwave safe dish and zap it for a minute drain out the water that accumulates in the dish, then place it back in the microwave and zap for another minute and drain again. This pretty much gets most of the water out without breaking out a colander, kitchen towels and all that other stuff.
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium red onion finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tspground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 to 1/2 of an habanero pepper. This is one of the hottest peppers but it adds incredible flavor. Use judiciously, and deseed if you're sensitive to heat. I would advise not leaving it out, but if you must, substitute with a jalapeno.
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- Salt to taste
- Cut the drained tofu block into slices. Spray a foil-lined baking sheetwith oil and place the tofu slices on it in a single layer. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 30-40 minutes until the tofu is golden brown, flipping the tofu slices over once halfway through baking. Cut the tofu into 1/3-inch cubes.
- Heat the oil in a wok.
- Add the onions and garlic and a pinch of salt. Saute until the onions and garlic soften, about three to four minutes.
- Add the cumin, coriander, habanero and stir-fry for another minute.
- Add the sweet potatoes, stir to mix, then cover the skillet with a lid and let the sweet potatoes cook over medium heat until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the black beans and tofu and stir them in. Add salt to taste and cook through until hot, about five minutes, stirring ever so often.
- Squeeze in the lime and sprinkle on the coriander.
- Serve hot or cold.
More Mexican recipes from the archives: