Sweet potato nachos with crispy onions

With everyone having some vegan friends these days, an easy plant-based recipe will come in handy for most of us at some point. These vegan nachos are great for everyone to share. The spiced nuggets of sweet potato, creamy chipotle cashew cream and crispy deep-fried onions are an absolute treat – your non-vegan friends won’t even know!

vegan nachos
Faith Mason


500g (1lb 2oz) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm (.in) cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
100g (3.oz/2⁄3 cup) unsalted cashew nuts
140ml (5fl oz/2⁄3 cup) cashew or any other nut milk
2–3 tsp chipotle chilli paste
300ml (10fl oz/1 1/4 cups) sunflower oil
1 whole large red onion, finely sliced into thin rounds
Tortilla chips: 2 x 200g bags shop-bought
1–2 limes, quartered
Fine salt and black pepper
Salsa to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/400°F/gas 6.
2. Place the sweet potato on a baking tray, add the oil, cumin, coriander and chilli powder and toss together before arranging the sweet potato cubes in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for
20–25 minutes or until tender.
3. Meanwhile, place the cashew nuts in a bowl of boiling water and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Drain and place in a blender or the small bowl of a food processor. Add the nut milk, 2 teaspoons of the chipotle chilli paste and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and blitz until completely smooth. Taste the mixture: if you like it a little spicier, add more of the chipotle paste. Spoon into a bowl and set aside.
4. Line a baking tray with kitchen paper (paper towels). Pour the sunflower oil into a large, deep heavy-based saucepan and set over a medium heat. After around 10 minutes, bubbles should begin to rise to the surface; this means the oil is hot enough to fry in. In batches, fry the onions in the hot oil for 2–3 minutes or until just beginning to darken and curl up. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on the kitchen paper, then sprinkle over a little salt to keep them crisp.
5. Pile the tortilla chips onto a serving plate and top with the roasted sweet potato, drizzle over the cashew cream and spoon over the salsa. Finish with bundles of the crispy onions and squeeze over the limes to serve!

Recipe from Mexicana! by Esther Clark (HarperCollins, £14.99)