Uighur Noodles with Peppers and Sweet Potatoes

Between yesterday's post and today's, I think I've really got a good colorful meals thing going on. This one's a quick and easy weeknight meal -- I find that Asian noodle dishes are really good for that (and for some reason I always end up making them on Thursdays, when I'm starting to run out of steam for the week). For those of you who don't read the news, Uighurs are a minority ethnic group living in northwestern China. Their cuisine is very different from most Chinese cooking and uses an interesting mix of spices that sometimes resembles a blend of Indian and Middle Eastern flavors. Try it!

Uighur Noodles with Peppers and Sweet Potatoes
From Vegetarian Times
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 8-oz package dried udon noodles, cooked and set aside, or 12-oz package precooked udon noodles
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Place sweet potato cubes in microwave-safe bowl, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power 4 minutes.

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell peppers, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, and Aleppo pepper, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and 1 cup water. Cover, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium-low. Uncover and cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in noodles, and season with salt if needed. Serve garnished with cilantro.