Saturday, February 6, 2010

Those sub-continent peeps got it goin' on!

I've recently discovered that not only are Southeast Asian dishes delicious (I knew that) but they are ridiculously simple to make (if you ignore the grandma methods...) and REALLY good for you (if you avoid the wonderfully naughty cheese called Paneer).

Here's a modified version of what I can only assume is a favorite dish among the Desis. It's high in fiber, protein, and vitamins, there's almost no fat, and it is even better the next day (see earlier posts about leftovers):

Sweet Potato Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas

2 whole sweet potatoes (or frozen cubed)
Medium yellow onion, diced
1 can chickpeas, drained
8 ounces frozen spinach, or large bundle fresh
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs hot Madras curry powder...or more :O
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
Red pepper flakes to taste
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (tip: always keep the leftover Pho broth!)

In a large skillet or dutch oven, saute the onion on medium heat in a little olive oil with a dash of salt until tender, but not soft. While you're doing this, cook the whole sweet potatoes in the microwave for 5 minutes (poke holes in them first!) or steam them, or bake them...whatever. Let them cool before you try to peel them. Once peeled, chop into 1-inch cubes. If using frozen cubes, skip this step.

Once the onions are tender, add the spices and red pepper flakes, stirring so they don't burn. Add the tomato paste to the pan and let it cook a little before stirring in. Add the chickpeas and coat them with the mixture and cook for a minute or so. Add the broth and the spinach, increase heat to medium-high and cook for a few minutes to thaw or wilt, depending on which type you used.

Salt the mixture and taste, adding more curry or other elements if needed. Add the sweet potato cubes, reduce heat back to medium and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.

Serve over basmati rice or with naan/pita/chapati whatever bread you have.

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