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Dinner Together: Belly-warming curry satisfies on crisp autumn nights

This Lentil, Chard and Sweet Potato Curry recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free. (Lorie Hutson Special to Food)
This Lentil, Chard and Sweet Potato Curry recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free. (Lorie Hutson Special to Food)

There are big rewards to this simple recipe: A house resplendent with the fragrance of curry and the promise of a belly-warming dinner. Plus, the one-two punch of antioxidants from sweet potatoes and greens, nestled in a hearty lentil dal.

Invite all of your friends and family to this dinner. The recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free, and it can be vegan if you use a yogurt alternative or leave it out.

Don’t fuss about whether the recipe is calling for sweet potatoes or yams, just use whatever you like best.

Like more heat? Throw in the rest of the jalapeño.

Don’t have yellow lentils on hand? Use whatever you’ve got. Commenters on the Forks Over Knives website had good luck with both green and red lentils.

I only wish I had doubled the recipe the first time.

Lentil, Chard and Sweet Potato Curry

Adapted from Forks Over Knives

1 small onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped

1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala

1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

3 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)

1 1/2 cups yellow lentils (toor dal), rinsed and picked through

3/4 cup plain yogurt or vegan yogurt

Juice 1/2 lime

1 bunch Swiss chard, center stems removed, leaves roughly chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Place the onion in a large, shallow saucepan and sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 3-4 minutes) adding water 1-2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for about 1 minute. Add the jalapeño and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the ginger, curry powder, garam masala and turmeric (if using). Stir to fully combine and cook for about 2 minutes more, adding water as necessary.

Add the broth, sweet potatoes and lentils. Stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover again, this time leaving the lid open a crack. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft and the lentils have soaked up most of the liquid.

Add the yogurt, lime juice and chard and cook until the chard is just starting to wilt. Add the salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine and remove from the heat. Serve warm. This can be served over rice or quinoa, if desired, or with naan.

Yield: 4 servings


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