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Sweet Potatoes and Lentils in Coconut Milk


1 1/2 cups Black Puy lentils

Kosher salt

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.

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