I made this sweet potato puree with ginger and berbere because I wanted to play with some North African flavors. There’s a bit of heat from the pepper, the ginger, and the berbere. If you don’t know it yet, berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend of chilis, spices with warmth, and fenugreek. Every Ethiopian family makes its own blend, from what I have read. You can buy it as a blend now. Or, you could use Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe. We also have a recipe in Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. We always have berbere in the house.
Honey and ginger dance well together, so I used a small amount of honey as sweetness to play with the heat. And the cardamom adds a slightly mysterious flavor. People tend to think of cardamom for Indian food or Scandinavian cookie, but it is an old, old spice that has traveled around the world. Cooks in the countries across North Africa use black cardamom more often than green, but black cardamom is harder to find here than green. So, using green cardamom here, combined with the heat in the berbere and lots of black pepper creates a taste you’re not going to forget.