Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes

One of the reasons I like this recipe from Smitten Kitchen is because of the interesting combination of flavours. It a has a little bit of heat from the curry powder, ginger and jalapeno that is nicely balanced out with warm sweet potatoes and lentils. While a little curious about the addition of almonds, they're an excellent addition- adding texture with a bit of crunch and bite.

This is also a no-fuss, one pot meal, and who doesn't like the sound of that? Healthy, hardy and delicious, this is the perfect dinner on a cool evening.

Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard (serves 4)

(Source: New York Times 11/14/07)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, then minced
3 cups vegetable broth or water as needed
1 pound yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 bunch Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
salt, pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup finely chopped tamari almonds
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish.

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeño. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Stir in 3 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.

Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds if desired and scallions.

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