Raw Chilli & Cumin Sweet Potato Chips

Raw Chilli & Cumin Kumara Chips

Alison Murray Dairy-free, Dehydrating, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Paleo, Raw, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian 17 Comments

Looking for crispy, crunchy and crave-alicious raw kumara (sweet potato) chips?

I’ve made 4 batches of this tasty snack in the past 2 weeks – sweet potato chips are the bomb. I can give you reasons to make it like “It’s so simple!” or “Sweet potatoes are healthy!”, but really, when you see food that bright orange how can you not want to dive in and gobble it all up?

I really love that you don’t need to do much in the way of seasoning when dehydrating sweet potato, it’s natural sweetness seems to be even more concentrated. A little sprinkle of good quality salt is all it takes then to transform a sliced sweet potato into crave-worthy chips, but cumin really has a taste unlike any spice. It’s very piquant and earthy which pairs wonderfully with chilli and sweet potato to create an almost nutty, lemony, spicy taste sensation.

Raw Chilli & Cumin Sweet Potato Chips

Besides a dehydrator (or an oven on the lowest temperature) you definately need a mandoline for this recipe. Thin, knife cut slices aren’t going to, ahem, cut it. You need super, super thin slices for a crispy chip – too thick and they will have a softer and more fibrous mouthfeel. Also, don’t be too tempted to add more oil if there doesn’t seem to be enough – I did in the first batch and this will make the dehydrated chips too oily and they will be soggy even when dried. We want crunch!

Raw Chilli & Cumin Kumara Chips
Cook time
Total time
The best kumara (sweet potato) chips you'll ever try. It makes a LOT, so get ready to share them around!
Recipe type: Raw, Snack
Cuisine: Raw, gluten-fre, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan.
  • 1 large sweet potato (at least 500g) with the largest circumference you can find - they shrink enormously!
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Wash, pat dry and then slice sweet potato with mandoline slicer on thinnest setting. Use the hand guide to keep those fingers safe! Place in a large bowl and put aside.
  2. Combine olive oil, cumin, chilli powder and salt in a small bowl. Pour mixture over chips and massage in with hands to make sure each chip is well coated.
  3. Place in single layers on dehydrator mesh screens and dehydrate on 125F/52C for 10-12hours or until they are dried and crispy. For oven users place in single layer on lined baking trays and cook on lowest oven temperature for 10-12 hours, checking regularly for browning or burning.
  4. After drying time remove from dehydrator (or oven) and dive in, or allow to cool completely and store in a airtight container for up to 3 days.
Edit: For truly raw chips, dehydrate no higher than 105F. I use a slightly higher temperature as I find otherwise I end up with fibrous and overly chewy chips.
Linked to Raw Food Thursdays.

Comments 17

    1. Post

      It’s just as easy in the oven, I promise! I’ve often done it in the oven before I got my dehydrator and they come out just as good 🙂
      Make sure you do check the chips periodically as near the end of the drying time – they can go from yummy to over-browned quickly.

    1. Post

      It’s almost a Mexicana taste. Cumin is used a lot in chilli powders for Tex-Mex dishes and it’s quite nutty and a little bit peppery. With the chilli, there’s a bit of heat and it balances well with the sweetness of the chips. The amount of the spices used in the recipe sounds like a lot, but this also does a *lot* of chips (5 trays) to snack on for a few days.
      If you’re a sweet potato lover but don’t want all the fanciness, they are also fantastic just with a good sprinkle of sea salt after they’re dried 😀

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      Generally it’s recommended to keep the temperature at under 120F for truly raw food, but even this temperature is sometimes stated as being an arbitrary estimates on when the ‘life’ of raw foods is endangered. For truly raw chips you would be wanting to heat them at 105F maximum, but I have found this takes forever and makes a very fibrous and ‘woody’ tasting chip that never truly dries out. I am more interested in healthy snack creation and overall I use my dehydrator for food preservation, I’m happier drying them at a slightly higher temperature.
      I follow the recommendations of my Excalibur unit for dehydrating – in this case for vegetables it is suggested at 125F. There is some info available here, but the charts and book that come with the unit are much more in-depth.

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  1. Two questions please. I see you didn’t peel the potatoes, All the other recipes for dehydrating the sweet potatoes called for peeling.

    Most importantly, you say they only stay fresh for three days sealed. I’m surprised at this.

    Will appreciate your advice. Just got a dehydrator.

    Thanks, Rosie

    1. Post

      Great questions Rosie! I can’t say for certain why all the other recipes out there are peeled sweet potatoes, perhaps only that it’s the norm for lots of people peel their vegies. I never peel my vegies, giving them a good scrub in running water after a brief soak in an apple cider vinegar and water bath. The main reason for this is that the skin contains a lot of nutrients including phytochemicals, so the choice not to peel means you get the full nutritional benefit 🙂
      Having said that, if you want to peel the sweet potato first, go for it – it won’t change the final outcome at all!

      Regarding the freshness, it’s all based on my personal experience. After 3 days I’ve always found they go a bit soggy and lose their crispness and crunch. Skipping the oil and just sprinkling the chips with seasoning prior to dehydrating may be the answer here, I’ll have to give it a go one time and see if it makes a difference 🙂
      Thanks for the comment and question Rosie, what yummy things are you looking forward to making in your dehydrator?

      1. Allison, planning to make all sorts of things! Will start with the sweet potato chips. Finally figured I need to start them early in the day because of the time it takes.

        Found the Mr. Coffee unit at a thrift store. Doesn’t have a temperature control, so will be experimenting. Would like to make beef and chicken jerky for my dog. Guy at my meat market recommended a cut the other day – and now I can’t remember which. Their jerky is $18/lb, the cut he recommended was $6.

        Read recently about dried okra and green beans – sound wonderful. We’ve had monsoon rains all summer – way too wet for okra, darn it.

        Would love your and readers fail proof recommendations……..will have to share with two friends who are thrilled I have this and will be borrowing. I’d prefer snacky stuff mainly.


        1. Post

          I’m sure even without a temperature control you will do wonders with it 😀 Just make sure you keep detailed notes of everything you make for future reference!
          I’ve never made jerky, I’m unsure if I’d like it! My boyfriend has been begging me to make some though, so it looks like that’s all about to change hehe. If you’re just starting out there are a couple of good books/ebooks I could recommend. I’ve got a few I flick through now and then for ideas, as well as some charts available with drying times for fruit/veg etc.

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