Featuring the Purple Asian Yam


Inaccurately thought of as a sweet potato, the purple yam is as rich in its violet hue as it is in potassium, B6, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.

Unlike other roots, the Dioscorea alata (the scientific name for our purple yam) grows on a vine above ground. Whereas sweet potatoes grow in the ground, like potatoes do.

Originally cultivated in the Asian tropics, this tuberous root vegetable has been consumed since the ancient period. Known to many cultures in Southeast Asia, this beauty has many names.

For example, in the Philippines, this pretty tube is referred to as ube (pronounced ubi), and its often compounded into a purple powder used to make desserts.

In India, it’s called the violet yam, or ratalu.

Regardless of the label, it is used widely in ice cream, cookies, cakes, purple yam tortepastries and savoury dishes too.

Traditional folk medicine used the purple yam as a laxative and a treatment for fever, gonorrhea, leprosy, tumors and hemorrhoids.

This gem of nature’s best can be found in local Asian or Chinese supermarkets and sometimes in grocery stores.

Today, we baked up some purple yam fries to go with our breaded chicken and it was a delicious meal, especially knowing this superfood’s health benefits.

Here’s the recipe:

Purple Yam Friesfoodiesgalore.com purple yam fries


  • 1 medium-large purple yam
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Canola Oil, to coat


Scrub the purple yam well and leave the skin on.

Using a good knife, cut the yam into french fries.

Coat well with all the seasoning’s and oil.

Line a flat baking sheet with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 375º.

When ready, bake the fries for about 70 to 80 minutes, tossing them a couple of times during cooking time.

These fries go exceptionally well with hot chili sauce or Dijon mustard 🙂