625 g (1 1/4 lb) sweet potato, cut into 1.5-cm (3/4-inch) cubes
2.5-cm (1-inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)
250 g (8 oz) long-grain rice
350 ml (12 fl oz) hot vegetable stock
200 ml (7 fl oz) coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut shavings or desiccated coconut
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan or casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Add the sweet potato, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds and chilli, if using, and fry gently for 5–6 minutes, until lightly golden.
Add the rice and stir for a minute until well coated. Pour in the hot stock and coconut milk, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, season generously with salt and pepper and cover with the lid. Simmer gently for 15–17 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a dry frying pan for 3–4 minutes, until golden. Tip on to a plate to cool.
Fluff up the rice with a fork and spoon into shallow bowls. Scatter with the toasted coconut, and serve immediately.