Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry and Raw Kale Salad

I went to Costco Sunday with a new friend so we could split a bunch of produce that we wouldn't normally be able to get through with only one of our households. Amongst our purchases, a box of sweet potatoes. Now, you'd think given we only have half a box we'd be able to use them up with no problem. Well, there were still an awful lot of potatoes for just 2 people. This is the first recipe (attempt) at whittling down that mere half box o' spuds. Served this up with a raw kale salad, which I'm reposting in hopes that it will give someone else the incentive to try it. :-) I'd never considered eating kale raw until coming across this recipe. It's so good! There were tons of curry leftovers...let's hope they thaw well, since into the freezer they went after I had some for lunch yesterday. (I can now report back that they thawed out beautifully, so definitely a freezeable dish.)

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry:
Nigella Lawson

2 medium red onions, peeled and roughly cut
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 birds eye chile or Thai chile or hot pepper (seeded or not seeded according to taste)
2 1/2 inches piece gingerroot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
3 cardamom pods, light crushed or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
(Garam masala...not in original recipe, but I added this at the end because I wanted a little more spice)
2 lbs sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces (about 3 medium)
1 3/4 cups light coconut milk
1 tablespoon tamarind paste (I use tamarind concentrate, so don't have to let it soak in hot broth...if you have that, just add the veg. broth with no heating required)
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth (hot)
2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
~2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
cooked rice (optional)

In food processor, combine onions, garlic, hot pepper and ginger. Pulse until finely chopped. I thought I'd over done the mincing, but it came out really great.

Pour oil into large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add chopped onion mixture and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add hot pepper flakes, ground ginger, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to mix. Add sweet potatoes and stir until well covered in spices. Stir in coconut milk.

Dissolve tamarind paste in hot vegetable broth and add to pan (or just add tamarind concentrate). Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until sweet potatoes are just tender, about 30 minutes or more. Taste potatoes to make sure they are cooked all the way and allow additional cooking time of necessary.

Add chickpeas and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust salt to taste. Transfer to bowl and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with rice if desired, but this is very filling on it's own.

Raw Kale and Garlic Salad:
This recipe is from Erin at the Southern Dharma Retreat Center with a few additions.

1 lb kale (Just buy one large bunch)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2-2 cloves garlic, minced. Adjust to taste. (I used one clove for 1 bunch of kale)
1/2 teaspoon salt
~4 Tbs lemon juice (use less to begin with, but I like it perky)
avocado slices
1+ tomato(es), diced

Wash and dry kale after having striped the leaves from their ribs. Cut the leaves up fairly finely.
Mix in olive oil and massage with clean hands for ~2 minutes. I didn't cut the kale up as small the first time I made this and it took a lot longer to massage the leaves. In a smallish bowl mix together the garlic, lemon and salt, stirring until salt dissolves. Pour over your kale and toss to coat. Pop it into the fridge for a bit if you have the time to let it marinate a bit, then serve with avocado slices, tomatoes and a little fresh cracked black pepper.

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