Wednesday, January 18, 2012

cooking challenge week 2: sweet potato and lentil curry

Sweet potatoes, lentils, and curry. Seems like a recipe for success, yes? My second adventure in cooking new things was mostly a success, but there were a few mishaps again. Oh well, you can't learn if you don't make a few mistakes, right? Although in this case I'm not exactly sure what went wrong, so maybe that doesn't actually apply here...

For my second week I decided to cook Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry, based on a recipe I found on I made a few modifications, which I designate in parentheses with the original recipe below. 

Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry
- 2 Tbsp medium curry paste (I used powder but mixed it with some oil)
- 3/4 cup red lentil (I used brown lentils)
- 2 bay leaves (I omitted) 
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, cubed
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated (I just used ground ginger)
- 2.5 cups chicken stock, made with stock cubes
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves ( I substituted about a tsp of thyme)
- salt and black pepper, to taste 

1. Heat a medium saucepan and add the curry paste. Cook, while stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the lentils, bay leaves, onion, and sweet potato, ginger and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the sweet potato is cooked. Season with salt and black pepper.
  • 2. Place the cooked rice on 4 serving plates, spoon over the curry and scatter with coriander leaves.

  • ---
    Overall I really enjoyed this dish, but there were a few glitches that kept it from being perfect. The recipe didn't specify whether the lentils should be pre-cooked or not, so I just added them dry. Despite my hopes that it wouldn't be too much of a problem, the sweet potatoes got done way before the lentils did. Afterwards, though, I think I might know why. The directions says to heat to boiling than reduce to low. Well, I forgot the low part. Nonetheless, though, I'm not sure how the lentils could be cooked to completion without overcooking the sweet potatoes. Another issue was a lack of flavor. It was fine, but I think I should have done more to substitute for the coriander, possibly by (a) either actually buying coriander or (b) using more thyme. Despite these mistakes, this is a great, easy-to-make dish. I highly recommend it! 

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