Sunday, October 25, 2009
I knew this dish wasn't going to look very appealing on film. It's not photogenic. Cooked brown lentils appear reminiscent or things I'd rather not talk about on a cooking blog. I realize that these photos might not make you excited to rush and try this recipe, so I have to convince you in words. Because it's yummy! It was my first attempt at lentil-anything and I'm hooked. They're superbly healthy, and when combined with sweet potatoes and earthy spices- delicious!
This is a richly flavored, spicy (in a non-hot way), aromatic dish. (As most curries are.) Find a good quality garam masala (a blend of Indian spices) and it will make all the difference. The original recipe called for the addition of leafy greens, such as Swiss chard. I suppose you could use spinach. I omitted it altogether. I didn't think it would improve the texture of the dish. Definitely top it with a handful of freshly sliced scallions.
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch fresh ginger root, peeled and minced/grated
1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
4-5 cups vegetable broth (I used 4 cups + 1 cup water)
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 lb swiss chard (center ribs removed and leaves thinly sliced) or spinach (optional- I omitted it)
1 tsp. kosher salt, more or less to taste
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, more or less to taste
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lime
scallions, thinly sliced, for serving
1. 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.
2. Stir in 4 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 or water, as needed.) Stir in chard/spinach (optional) and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard/spinach is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.
3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with scallions and serve.
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)