Week 20: Steamed Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Butter + Warming Spice Stew + Sage Tea

The cold is really starting to settle in at night, and I’m looking for comfort food. What a perfect time for sweet potatoes to show up in our shares! This week I prepared 3 recipes that are comforting, nourishing, and perfect for when you feel you need some extra warmth. The stew and tea are particularly good for when you might be dealing with a cold (my current state).

Steamed sweet potatoes are a new phenomenon for me – I love how easy they were to cook, and how tender and flavourful they are. I paired them with tahini butter and lime, and I’m never going back. However, you could just as easily steam your sweet potatoes and then keep them in the fridge to add to salads, grain bowls, burritos, or when you need a quick snack. I’m going to have some today with sautéed greens.

The stew, digaag qumbe, is a Somali recipe I found on bon appétit by Hawa Hassan. The warming spices (cardamom, turmeric, and cumin) create a dish that is flavourful and comforting, while a whole pile of veg (potatoes, carrots, tomato, pepper, onion, garlic, spinach) make for a hearty meal. The chicken can be swapped out for chickpeas instead.

And after all my cooking and clean-up was done, I settled down with a cup of sage tea. I’ve had a bit of a sore throat and mild congestion, and this cuppa is just the ticket. Not only is sage a wonderful seasoning, but also an excellent medicine. It is warming, drying, astringent, mildly bitter, and antibacterial. It’s perfect for soothing sore throats and unhappy belies. This cuppa is great after a big meal; sage is a wonderful digestive herb, especially helping with digestion of fats. This simple tea is just three ingredients (or four with cayenne), and is a cup of comfort.

More Magnificent Meal Musings:

Steamed Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Butter

Steamed sweet potatoes are flavourful, fluffy, and cook within 20-35 minutes (depending on the sizes of the veg). Paired with this tahini butter, these steamed sweet potatoes are elevated into a side dish worthy of a thrice weekly appearance, if not more. I'm in love.

This recipe is unchanged, and comes from bon appétit.


  • 5-6 sweet potatoes, of varying sizes, scrubbed
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • Kosher salt freshly ground pepper
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Toasted sesame seeds and lime wedges for serving


  1. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a medium pot fitted with a steamer basket. Halve sweet potatoes crosswise if large/long and place in steamer. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and steam until fork-tender, 20–35 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, smash together butter, lime juice, tahini, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl with a fork until smooth, about 3 minutes. Season tahini butter with kosher salt and lots of pepper.
  3. Arrange sweet potatoes on a platter or a large plate. Let cool until you can just handle them, then split open and generously spread tahini butter over. For the long skinny ones, I simply sliced them into medallions. Season with sea salt; top liberally with sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges.

Warming Spice Stew (Digaag Qumbe)

This Somali stew is called digaag qumbe, and this recipe comes directly from Hawa Hassan via bon appétit. I've made a couple of adjustments according to what veg I had on hand. Serve over rice or on its own. It's filling and delicious!


  • 1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red or green pepper seeds and membranes removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño seeds removed if you want less heat, coarsely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp ghee, neutral cooking oil, or olive oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 small potatoes cubed
  • 1 – 2 carrot(s) cut into small coins
  • 2 lb. skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into 1-2" pieces
  • 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1 cup cilantro coarsely chopped, plus whole leaves for serving
  • 1 bag spinach, roughly chopped


  1. Blend tomatoes, bell pepper, and jalapeños in a blender or food processor until almost smooth; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add ginger, cumin, curry powder, turmeric, and cardamom; season generously with salt. Cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add reserved tomato mixture to pot and stir well to combine. Stir in yogurt and tomato paste, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.

  5. Add potato and carrot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are nearly tender, 15–18 minutes.
  6. Add chicken, coconut milk, ghee (if using), and 1 cup cilantro. Stir to combine, then simmer until chicken is tender and sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach. Season with salt.

  7. Divide rice among bowls. Spoon chicken, vegetables, and sauce over. Top with cilantro leaves.

Sage Tea

Sage is warming, drying, aromatic, astringent, antibacterial, and perfect for sore throats and unhappy belies. This cuppa is great after a big meal; sage is a wonderful digestive herb, especially helping with digestion of fats. This simple tea is just three ingredients, and is a cup of comfort.


  • 5-7 sage leaves
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1.5 cups freshly boiled water
  • pinch of cayenne (optional!)


  1. Place leave sin a teapot and pour over the water. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes.

  2. Pour into a mug and add the lemon, honey, and cayenne if using. Enjoy!