I woke up this morning craving -nay, requiring– vegetables. Since the back yard is still half covered with thick, dingy ice floes I’m not quite in full-on salad mode. (At this point I’m not fully convinced spring is going to actually come – I’ll believe it when I see something green poking through.) My brain was trying to push me toward butter chicken, so I compromised with this veggie-based curry of sorts. I’ve seen a lot of curried sweet potato-legume (lentil, black & kidney bean) concoctions in the past month, so I may as well go ahead and make one and get it out of my system. This one came from the New York Times, by way of SmittenKitchen.
I meant to make naan, but my timing was way off. (Timing is not my forte. It’s particularly apparent at Thanksgiving and other multi-course meal events where there are a lot of witnesses.) I’m kind of glad I didn’t – had I made it I would have eaten three easily, and then sat around all night digesting dough. When I abandoned the naan idea, I put on a pot of basmati rice instead. (Perhaps naan tomorrow – something will need to go with the surplus of lentils.)
Really, there’s a serious lot of leftovers. 1 1/2 cups of dry lentils plus 2 pounds of sweet potato made a massive pot. Lunch is taken care of for a week, anyway. To go with I roasted some cauliflower – tossed around in a bit of oil and roasted at 400F for about 15 minutes. I have fulfilled my vegetable quota (for once). And I feel good for having eaten it all. (If I’d only stop eating these mini eggs.)
Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard
adapted from the New York Times, by way of SmittenKitchen. Bump up the curry powder if you like things spicier.
1-2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
4 to 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 bunch Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup chopped almonds (tamari almonds, if you can find them), for garnish (optional)
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. (If the mixture seems dry, add more stock as needed.) Stir in the chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the chard is cooked, another 10 minutes.
Stir in cilantro and lime juice and serve immediately, plain or over rice, garnished with almonds.
Serves 6 (or so).