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Curried Lentils w/Sweet Potato and Chard

January 3rd, 2008 | 5 Comments »

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Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard

Yield: 8 to 10 side-dish servings; 6 main-course servings.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, then minced
4 to 5 cups vegetable broth as needed
2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup finely chopped tamari almonds, for garnish (optional), available in health food stores
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish.

1. 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.

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, 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.

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

RECIPE NOTES: I am not a fan of swiss chard, so I used spinach instead. I added several diced carrots to the dish as well as the potato and that was delicious. At the end of the cooking time I dumped in a cup of cooked wheat berries (i keep them in the freezer). It adds more nutritional value to the dish and a nice nutty and chewy texture.
I cooked this for at least an hour and I think it could have cooked much more as the lentils still seemed a tad chewy. It’s hard to determine how much time is needed, but the potato was getting mushy and I didn’t want to cook it too much longer for fear they would fall apart. The spinach, if used, can be stirred in just a few minutes prior to serving; it won’t need much to make it wilt. It can be eaten alone, no doubt; we love the rice; so for us that was perfect. We did not top it with almonds.

5 Responses to “Curried Lentils w/Sweet Potato and Chard”

  1. Katie says:

    I think it’s a guy v gal thing: after overeating I crave lentils, beans, spice, veggies. Mon mari turns his nose up and says: where’s the meat? But, then, I’m doing the cooking, aren’t I?!?!
    This sounds perfect…with leftovers for lunch!

  2. marty says:

    This dish looks delicious! I love lentils too :)

  3. aria says:

    that soulds delicious! yum…

    i have such trouble cooking lentils, i’m not sure what my problem is!!

  4. Sam says:

    As I’m reading this entry, I’m getting flashbacks to my time in Santiago, where we’d eat these big steaming bowls of lentils during the winter, often studded with pieces of tender squash and sausage. My 11 year old host brother couldn’t be paid to look at his bowl, but I’d polish off the leftovers like a puppy to peanut butter.
    It was the perfect meal to counteract the cold, wet weather that hits a Central Chilean winter.

  5. kate smudges says:

    This sounds delicious – definitely rib-sticking, which is perfect for these chilly days.

    Hope you have a wonderful new year!