Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Red Lentils and Sweet Potato Main Dish

How do you feel about Indian food? For me, it is a reminder of comfort, of Rochester, of India House Restaurant on S. Clinton Ave. When I meet a new friend who is Indian, I think to myself: I bet she eats good at home. Granted, not everyone is a fan of the spices used in Indian cooking, but if you've ever had curry and ginger and garlic together, you know it can make your mouth happy. Additionally, this has the benefit of being a main dish containing quite a bit of protein (all I hear about from my Dad- how much protein are you getting? Are you eating enough protein?) that is also vegetarian.
Try this recipe I modified from I love the simplicity, the taste, and the gorgeous orange presentation.

Red Lentils and Sweet Potato Main Dish (serves 2 to 3 people as a main dish, 4 to 6 as a side dish)
4 cups boiling water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
a pinch of salt
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and diced
3 small garlic cloves (or more, to your taste), chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 bay leaf
270 grams of red lentils (1 & 1/2 cups)

1. Prepare 4 cups of boiling water.
2. Heat oil in a medium, high-sides sauce pan(you'll need to fit the 4 cups of water and other ingredients in it, so make sure it is big enough). Add onion and salt and saute for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
3. Add sweet potato, ginger, garlic, curry powder, and bay leaf and saute for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
4. Pour in the boiling water and lentils. Stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes.

Serve this with Naan (Indian bread) if you have it. I love this with a side of green peas, and a salad. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables of all time. I can eat one straight out of the microwave (10 minutes, and prick it with a fork beforehand!) and my daughter loves it, too. In fact, whenever I try to serve her regular mashed potatoes, she says, "No! I want the orange ones!"

Orange is a popular color here in the Netherlands, as it is the Queen's family color, so whenever Dutch people are feeling patriotic, they wear orange.
Red Lentils and Sweet Potato is a simple recipe that tastes great and fills me up with protein. Red lentils are available at Rohit, Turkish stores, and Reformwinkels(health food stores) here in the Netherlands. One of my favorite reformwinkels is EkoPlaza on Geldropseweg in Eindhoven.


  1. we make dals regularly here! love this recipe.

  2. Thanks for sharing I have red lentils and potatoes on hand when I did my search, I will let you know how it comes out!