Meat free days are worth doing every now and then to boost your vegetable intake, add a variety of nutrients to your diet and to try something new in the kitchen. As a winter warmer this chickpea, lentil and sweet potato curry hits the spot. It is fairly quick and easy to whip together and not to mention it tastes pretty good too.
Legumes like these are unfortunately a food we don’t eat enough of. They are a good source of energy, protein and fiber, B vitamins and iron plus a few other nutrients and phytosterols. Including them in your diet can benefit blood glucose control and lower cholesterol. For vegetarians they provide a crucial source of protein and iron.
Using canned beans, lentils or chickpeas can save time and effort and nutritionally they match the dried options. For this midweek meal I used tinned, if you opt for the dried version follow the instructions of soaking and cooking separately and add to the curry at the end. The ingredient list may seem long but most of it is taken up by the spices. Use your favourite mix for curries and play around with them as you want. You can use canned tomatoes which will save you time but I prefer the taste of the fresh fruit.
Ingredients1 Tbsp coconut oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 chili, chopped 1 tsp curry powder 1 tsp coriander 1 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp cumin 2 cloves, ground 1 cinnamon stick 3 curry leaves salt and pepper 500 g tomato, chopped 1 cup of water, or vegetable stock 1 large sweet potato, cubed 1 tsp white wine vinegar 1 Tbsp sugar 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 tin lentils, drained and rinsed 1 cup chopped coriander leaves
- In a large pan heat your oil and add the onion. Fry for a 2 minutes and add all your ground spices. Adding them now will add a nice depth of flavour and you want the spices to cook out nicely especially of you go for the tinned tomato option.
- Add the chopped garlic, chili and tomato and fry for 5 minutes before adding the water or stock. If you have been a little light with the spices choose the stock for some extra flavour. Bring to a simmer and pop in your sweet potato, cinnamon stick and curry leaves.
- Cover and let cook until your tomatoes are nicely reduced and the sweet potato soft, about 20 minutes.
- Add the vinegar and sugar and taste. Season with salt and pepper and taste again. Adjust the seasoning as you desire to get a nice balance of heat, acid, salt and sweet.
- Fish out the cinnamon stick and curry leaves. Pour in your chickpeas and lentils and heat through.
- Taste again and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Serve with brown or wild rice or a wholewheat roti and garnish with the chopped coriander.
Let me know how it turns out. Enjoy.