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Light Meals, Sides & Soups + Condiments & Staples
Spicy Kumara Fries + Whipped Feta, Yoghurt & Fresh Chili Aioli

Spicy Kumara Fries

Spicy Kumara Fries

 

Kumara are such a sweet and tasty alternative to regular potatoes especially when combined with smokiness and plenty of spice.

These Spicy Kumara Fries are generously coated in smoked paprika and chili flakes, along with fennel seeds for a pop of aniseed and then rounded out with fresh thyme. This moreish combination is offset by the lovely sweet caramelisation that takes place when kumara is baked, so ensure you cook your fries for long enough to achieve this – you may need longer than is stated depending on your oven. If your oven has fan bake use it, as this will aid the cooking process and give you crisper fries. 

**If you are cooking this as a main for a light lunch rather than a side dish, increase the quantity of kumara to 1 kilogram, and be a little bit more generous with the spices and oil. 

 

Serves 4 as a side dish 

Ingredients 

  • 800 grams kumara, cut lengthways into approximately 1.5 cm wide chips 

  • 4 - 5 tablespoons rice bran oil 

  • 2 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika 

  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds 

  • ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes 

  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 

  • Large handful of fresh thyme, tough stems removed and leaves finely chopped 

  • ½ teaspoon flakey sea salt 

 

Method 

  1. Preheat oven to 190C  

  2. Pour oil onto a large oven tray and add the kumara. Top with the spices and thyme and mix it all together using your fingertips to coat the kumara fries evenly with the oil and spices. 

  3. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, turning the fries a couple of times as they are cooking, until they are golden brown and crispy. 

  4. Season well with salt. 

  5. Serve on the side of burgers such as my Beetroot & Black bean Burgers, or eat as a snack or light lunch dipped into my Whipped Feta, Yoghurt & Fresh Chili Aioli

Spicy Kumara Fries with Whipped Feta Yoghurt and Fresh Chili Aioli
homegrown kumara harvest in Karamea, New Zealand

Me proudly displaying my first ever harvest of kumara.  This photo was taken at our previous house which was situated down a frosty valley,  but the kumara were grown on the frost free land we live on now, which we had bought the year earlier.  

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Ingredients
Whipped Feta Yoghurt and Fresh Chili Aioli with a side of spicykumara fries

Whipped Feta, Yoghurt & Fresh Chili Aioli

This is such a tasty aioli that you will probably want to put it on everything - I know we do - and the great thing about it is that it is much lower in fat and therefore healthier than traditional aioli.  

Because it is super versatile it can be used in many ways. It could be served as a dip with vegetable sticks for a healthy snack, it could be a tasty addition to a gourmet style sandwich, or it could be a side to any hearty meal that would benefit from the moreish spicy feta flavour it imparts, such as with my Italian Style Rissoles with Smokey Red Lentil & Tomato Sauce.  

The recipe calls for smoked paprika, as it goes so beautifully with the saltiness of the feta and the chili spice, but if you don’t have it, you could use regular sweet paprika instead, it just won’t have the same smokey undertone. 

The aioli will thicken once refrigerated, so if you require it to be very thick be sure to make it in advance so you can allow plenty of time to chill it. 

 

Makes approximately 1 ½ cups 

Ingredients 

  • 100 grams large fresh red chilis such as Poblano or Jalapeno 

  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil 

  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced 

  • 100 grams feta 

  • 1 cup unsweetened Greek yoghurt 

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 

 

Method 

  1. Chargrill the chilis over a naked gas flame until the skins are blackened, using metal tongs to hold and turn the chilis as you char them. Alternatively, place the chilis into a cast iron frying pan or similar and dry fry over a high heat until the skins are completely blackened. 

  2. Let the chilis cool slightly and remove their skins. I do this by scraping them in a downward motion with a teaspoon. The skins should come off quite easily. Sometimes after people have scraped charred skins off chilis they then run the chilis under water to wash any residual blackness or skin away – please don't do this as you will be washing off all the beautiful charred flavour you have worked so hard to achieve! 

  3. Remove the tops off the chilis then cut them in half and remove the seeds. Place the chilis aside. 

  4. Put the olive oil and garlic into a small cold pan. Gently heat until the garlic just begins to sizzle – don't let the garlic colour at all. Remove from the heat. 

  5. Place the chilis, feta, yoghurt and smoked paprika into a food processer that has the blade attached. Scoop the garlic from the oil and add that too. 

  6. Blend well, scraping down the sides of the blender as you go.  

  7. Once the mixture is smooth, slowly pour the olive oil in while the motor is still running. Keep blending until you have a silky-smooth aioli. 

  8. Place into a covered container and refrigerate until required.  

  9. This aioli will keep for up to week and a half in the fridge. 

Whipped Feta
ingredients
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