Sweet Potatoes and Lentils in Coconut Milk
1 1/2 cups Black Puy lentils
3 bay leaves
1 large sweet potato (16 oz)
2-3 tbsp canola oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
2-3 green serrano peppers, or other hot chile, cut into strips lengthwise
1 dozen curry leaves, torn
1/2 tsp sambar curry powder
1 can unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Boil 1 1/2 cups lentils for 25 minutes in 6 cups of salted water and bay leaves. Drain and rinse with tepid water. At the same time, you can boil sweet potato in a separate pan for 30 minutes. Peel and cut into 1-inch chunks.
Heat oil on medium high in a 5.5 quart stew pot or Dutch oven. When the oil is hot, sauté onion, garlic, cumin and fennel seeds. After 2-3 minutes, add diced celery and ginger. Sauté for 4 minutes more, then chilies, curry leaves and sambar curry powder and ¼ tsp salt.
When veggies are slightly browned, slowly add coconut milk, cover and reduce heat to medium low. After 10 minutes add the lentils and diced sweet potatoes and ¾ tsp salt. Let simmer another 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Add cilantro and lime juice.
Can be eaten as is, or served over plain rice.