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Besar Candied Yams

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Besar Candied YamsOrange juice and our Besar spice blend are delicious additions to classic candied yams. This bright and colorful side dish is simple to prepare and full of festive flavors. Don’t get me wrong, I love marshmallows as much as the next sweet tooth, but I like to save mine for cocoa and s’mores. For these candied yams, gone is the cloying sweetness and in it’s place you have a perfect pairing of orange and Besar. The spices in this blend are toasted, bringing out the richest flavors of cinnamon, coriander and fennel with hints of cumin and wisps of pepper and chile. The dish is easy to make and holds well, perfect for a Thanksgiving side dish. Since it is made on the stovetop you won’t lose a minute of oven time. We kept it simple but you can add crunchy or colorful toppings like toasted walnuts or pomegranate seeds for a more festive presentation.

Besar Candied Yams

Ingredients

  • 3 lb garnet yams, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-2 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Besar, plus a sprinkle for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • zest from 1 orange

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add a pinch of salt and the yam chunks. Boil until the pieces are just fork tender, about 8-10 minutes. Be sure not to overcook.Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over low heat, then add the Besar and salt. Maintain low heat for a minute to allow the spice flavors to infuse into the fat.
  3. Add the brown sugar, orange juice and zest, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to remove any brown sugar lumps.
  4. Transfer the drained yams into the pot and stir to coat. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced to a thin syrup and the yams are cooked through, about 10-15 minutes more. The syrup will get a bit thicker as it cools.
  5. Serve warm.

Notes

Be sure not to overcook the yams during the first stage Many thanks to Hank Shaw, his Mom, and the folks at Simply Recipes for this inspired recipe, adapted with our own holiday flavors 🙂

https://www.silkroaddiary.com/besar-candied-yams/

Besar


 4 Comments

  1. Phil says:

    Two-inch pieces are very large, and larger than the image seems to show unless that is a two-inch-wide dinner fork. 5 to 10 minutes would be an *extremely* fast reduction from two cups of sweetened orange juice to a syrup sufficient to coat this quantity of yams. At 20 minutes, with chunks closer to 1 inch, mine are nearly covered in liquid that is the consistency of brown gravy. By 25-30 minutes, it seemed thick enough, but that was enhanced significantly by the yams beginning to fall apart. And two large yams can weigh three pounds. Even ignoring the resultant volume of syrup, more than a cup of brown sugar seems like an enormous amount of sugar for that much yam–that’s only about 7:1 yams by weight.

    If I made this again, I would definitely keep the yam chunks on the smaller side, and would try maybe 6 to 10 pounds of yams and double the besar.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Phil- thanks for the feedback and sorry you didn’t get a better result. We’ve changed some of the wording in the recipe to hopefully help future cooks. We suggest staying with the larger chunks of yam to avoid them falling apart in the second stage of cooking and be sure not to let them overcook in the boiling stage. As for the syrup, the cooking time will vary a bit so we made a note that it will thicken additionally after you remove it from heat to detail that the goal during cooking should be a thin syrup. Glad you liked the flavor of the besar- we like bold flavors as well and have incorporated your suggestion to add more!

  2. Fatima says:

    Can you bake the yams in the skin and prepare from that point? I hate boiling yams or sweet potatoes because I feel so much flavor is lost to the water.

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