THIS WEEK’S ROADDUDE FOOD:
Red Curry Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
Most of my cooking on the coast of Maine in winter is with an eye towards comfort food, warm and tasty, though often with an eye towards meals I can prepare later on the road in my camp kitchen, too. This week I cooked up a nice pot of Red Curry Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach.
Because I’ve been cooking up a storm of chicken and beef dishes lately, my daughter suggested I change it up and do a lentil dish of some sort.
This is a tasty Indian dal style dish, with red lentils cooked in a Thai arrangement of fresh ginger, red curry paste, turmeric (and red chile if you like).
Enhanced further with coconut milk, browned sweet potatoes, fresh spinach, and coconut flakes, and served over a bed of Basmati rice with some toasted Naan, this is a great winter dish that will have your kitchen smelling like heaven and your bellies feeling grateful.
I modified it only by not using the red chile pepper suggested and used red bell pepper instead, though only as additional garnish to the cilantro. The Thai red curry paste I used has ‘chilli pepper’ as primary ingredient and still provided more heat than my daughter was expecting. I loved it, though, and the dish checked all the boxes for her vegan partner as well.
I’m eager to try her Tomatoes, Peaches, and Corn with Burrata salad when I get down to the borderlands soon.
Here’s Lidey Heuck’s Red Curry Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach recipe:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 med-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 med yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (sub yellow curry paste for a bit less heat)
1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste at the end
1 can (13oz) full-fat coconut milk
1 bag baby spinach (5oz)
1/2 lime, juiced
1 red chile such as Fresno or serrano, halved, seeds and ribs removed, then minced (optional)
Fresh cilantro leaves as garnish
Unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted for serving (optional)
Steamed Rice, if desired. We love Basmati for meals like this. I keep a container of Texmati in my pantry for camp cooking and will use it when I cook this on the road.
– In your favorite soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Add the cubed sweet potatoes, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Browning the sweet potatoes before cooking them with the lentils brings out their sweetness, balancing the heat from the chile and curry paste. When sufficiently browned, transfer to a plate and set aside.
– Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot and heat to medium-low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, garlic, ginger, chile (optional) and turmeric, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
– Stir in the lentils, stock, salt and browned sweet potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil over high. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
– Add the coconut milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the lentils are creamy and falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes.
– Add the spinach and stir until just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice and season with salt to taste.
– Ladle into bowls, over rice if desired, and top with cilantro and coconut flakes.
Let me know if you try this, how you like it, and if you changed it up at all.