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Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard, and Roasted Cauliflower


I woke up this morning craving -nay, requiring– vegetables. Since the back yard is still half covered with thick, dingy ice floes I’m not quite in full-on salad mode. (At this point I’m not fully convinced spring is going to actually come – I’ll believe it when I see something green poking through.) My brain was trying to push me toward butter chicken, so I compromised with this veggie-based curry of sorts. I’ve seen a lot of curried sweet potato-legume (lentil, black & kidney bean) concoctions in the past month, so I may as well go ahead and make one and get it out of my system. This one came from the New York Times, by way of SmittenKitchen.

I meant to make naan, but my timing was way off. (Timing is not my forte. It’s particularly apparent at Thanksgiving and other multi-course meal events where there are a lot of witnesses.) I’m kind of glad I didn’t – had I made it I would have eaten three easily, and then sat around all night digesting dough. When I abandoned the naan idea, I put on a pot of basmati rice instead. (Perhaps naan tomorrow – something will need to go with the surplus of lentils.)

Really, there’s a serious lot of leftovers. 1 1/2 cups of dry lentils plus 2 pounds of sweet potato made a massive pot. Lunch is taken care of for a week, anyway. To go with I roasted some cauliflower – tossed around in a bit of oil and roasted at 400F for about 15 minutes. I have fulfilled my vegetable quota (for once). And I feel good for having eaten it all. (If I’d only stop eating these mini eggs.)

Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard

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April 8, 2009

adapted from the New York Times, by way of SmittenKitchen. Bump up the curry powder if you like things spicier.

  • Makes: Serves 6 (or so).


1-2 Tbsp. canola oil

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Tbsp. grated ginger

1 1/2 tsp. garam masala

1 1/2 tsp. curry powder

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

4 to 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth

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 bunch Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced

1 tsp. salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 cup chopped almonds (tamari almonds, if you can find them), for garnish (optional)


1In 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.

2Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. (If the mixture seems dry, add more stock as needed.) Stir in the chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the chard is cooked, another 10 minutes.

3Stir in cilantro and lime juice and serve immediately, plain or over rice, garnished with almonds.


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14 comments on “Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard, and Roasted Cauliflower

  1. heidileon
    April 9, 2009 at 1:06 am

    i think Spring is kind of late everywhere this year, so hearty vegetables stews are so right in time, and since i love lentils this is a Heidi likes recipe. (even think you can substitute the lentils per cooked chickpeas)

  2. Elaine
    April 9, 2009 at 6:24 am

    I will confess to hopping on the tikka masala/naan bandwagon last night myself. Yours does look more balanced, that’s for sure. Tasty, too–chard and lentils sounds like an excellent team. It’ll be so nice when this heavy-food-justifying cold weather is over!

  3. Cathie
    April 9, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Hi Julie,

    I did try the salad route last night for dinner….it was ok; you are right it’s too early. To compensate for the light meal I ate a few (maybe too many) mini eggs. But now you’ve got me wanting butter chicken…….Have a Hoppy Easter!

  4. Susan
    April 9, 2009 at 6:51 am

    I met a friend last night at a local pub and had beer and wings – ouch! This looks much healthier, I will definitely make it this weekend – perhaps for a non-traditional Easter dinner? Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Kate
    April 9, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Saw this on smittenkitchen and thought it looked good. Because of your post, I am going to try it substituting parsnips for the sweet potatoes.

  6. rea
    April 9, 2009 at 7:46 am

    happy easter! i think we should take a moment and thank god for Bernard Callebeut.

  7. Cheryl
    April 9, 2009 at 8:15 am

    I’m with you on the Mini-eggs – I should never be allowed to pay for gas, that’s my weak spot for buying those little things.

  8. Barb
    April 9, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Whatever you do, whatever you decide to cook, Happy Easter everyone! (Hot Cross Buns sound good)

  9. pauline
    April 9, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I am going to make this for dinner tonight. I just hope I can sub the lentils for green lentils. Going to make this in a couple of hours so yell loud if you can’t.

  10. JulieVR
    April 9, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Oh yes – I used green lentils! They look a bit more brownish after they’ve cooked, but they started out a sort of army green.

  11. Kevin
    April 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    That looks both healthy and tasty!

  12. pauline
    April 9, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Julie I made it. Just as it is didn’t do rice maybe I should have. I loved it. Hubbie well he is a meat & potatoes guy and grumble grumble grumble lol. told him he had better get used to it. My son moved out today and guess what we are going to have more vegetarian meals, we eat way too much meat. I made him smile when I said we could drink more wine.

  13. KelleyK
    August 3, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I made this tonight – so yummy and definitely will make again. I didn’t make rice. I served it with the roasted cauliflower and naan bread.

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