Selecting, Storing and Cooking
When you buy, be sure to choose kumara that are firm, smooth, clean and blemish-free with even skin colouration. Handle them carefully to prevent bruising and store them in a cool dry place. For the most nutrition value, always select kumara with a deep skin colour. And never buy kumara with any signs of decay.
To maintain quality, remove kumara from the bag and store in a cool, well ventilated dark place. DON'T STORE KUMARA IN THE REFRIGERATOR. If you put them in the fridge they can develop a hard core in the centre. Likewise kumara don't like high storage temperatures, which causes them to sprout. You can store for longer periods by wrapping each kumara in newspaper or even burying them in dry sand or sawdust!. For best flavour and freshness, use your kumara within a week or two after purchase.
Kumara can be prepared in exactly the same way as potatoes. It's not always necessary to peel them. Scrub thoroughly and trim off any bruised or woody portions using a stainless steel knife. (A mild steel knife can cause the flesh to discolour).
Cooked kumara freeze well if you wrap them unpeeled in foil or freezer wrap and store them in labelled freezer bags.
Prick the skin and place in 180ºC oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
Prick kumara and cook on high, turning each kumara halfway through cooking time. Remove when cooked, wrap in foil and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. Cooking times:
• 1 medium: 3-4 minutes
• 2 medium: 5-6 minutes
• 3 medium: 7-8 minutes
• 4 medium: 8-9 minutes
And try any combination of these toppings: pineapple pieces, oranges, nuts, apple pieces, dates, grated cheese. Delicious if drizzled with orange juice.
TO FRENCH FRY
Boil for 10 minutes, peel and cut into strips. Heat oil and cook until golden. Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with brown sugar, salt or nutmeg.
Cut into 1cm thick slices. Brush each side lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn the 'chips' until both sides are lightly toasted.
Place whole unpeeled kumara in boiling water and cook 35-45 minutes. Drain, peel and mash.
TO STIR FRY
In a shallow pan, heat vegetable oil and add kumara strips. Saute for 5 minutes or until brown and tender. Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt or sugar.
TO BARBEQUE GRILL
Wrap medium-size kumara individually in heavy duty aluminum foil. Place on the grill and cook for about 45 minutes or until tender. To hasten, boil 10 minutes before wrapping in foil.
Wrap medium size kumara in heavy duty foil and place in the coals for about 45 minutes or until tender. To hasten, boil 10 minutes before wrapping.