2 June 2006

Lentils Curried with Sweet Potato and …. Rhubarb??

Posted in food at 9:01 pm by Tricia

Ingredients Spiraling clockwise from top left: sliced sweet potato, Chimayo powdered red chile, diced rhubarb, yellow and red lentils, curry powder, and fresh ginger.

Recently I described my first experience with rhubarb. After such an auspicious start, I planned to keep buying rhubarb as long as the season lasted. But I also wanted to try something different, something unique, something … edgy. So when Brendon announced his Great Lentil Challenge!, I knew I had to return to a recipe I came across a couple of weeks ago: Lentils Curried with Rhubarb and Sweet Potatoes.

According to this version at recipesource, the recipe originally appeared in the July/August 1994 issue of the Vegetarian Journal. I was missing a few ingredients – such as an entire cup of red lentils! – so I modified it somewhat. My rendition appears below.

The dish was very tasty and worth the effort (and abundance of pans :^). The other adults at dinner all praised it, and had fun identifying the mystery ingredients (I’d just told them it was a “lentil dish”). The sweet potato was very present, but not overwhelming – same with the fresh ginger. Unfortunately, the rhubarb didn’t play as much of a starring role as I had hoped. I would occasionally taste it above the lentils, but not often enough. If I make this again, I would use a higher proportion of rhubarb (maybe as much as 2 cups, or just cut the lentils so the spicing remains the same).

We had lots of leftovers since I served this as a side dish, so I might make lentil patties (lentil cakes?) with what remains. They’ll certainly be tasty! And I’m certainly inspired to try some other non-dessert rhubarb recipes!

Lentils Curried with Sweet Potato and Rhubarb

1 cup red lentils (I used 1/2 cup red, 1/2 cup yellow)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup rhubarb, diced
1.5 Tab honey
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp powdered red chiles (not chili powder)
finely diced ginger root (2 tsp? I didn’t measure!)
salt and pepper to taste

Cover lentils with water in a deep pot. Bring to a boil, then add raw sweet potato slices. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until soft (30 to 40 minutes).

While lentils are cooking, heat oil in a skillet. Once hot, add rhubarb. Reduce heat and cook until tender (about 5 to 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in honey and seasonings. If this is finished before the lentils, set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When lentils are done, remove from heat and drain if necessary. Mash potatoes into lentils with a fork. Mix together with the spiced rhubarb mixture. Pour into an oven-proof dish and bake at 400 degrees until piping hot (about 20 minutes).

Curried Lentils The dish before going into the oven. With all those red and orange ingredients, I expected something a little less drab – at least it wasn’t drab tasting.

The original recipe says to garnish with 1/4 cup shredded coconut, but I didn’t have any. I did serve with chutney and brown rice, but nobody used the chutney (maybe I should have made rhubarb chutney!)

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  1. Brendon said,

    Very, very nice!

  2. Catherine said,

    Wow! What an original combo! I’m not crazy about sweet potatoes – do you think I could substitute?

    I really like how you describe the competing flavors.

    Great post!

  3. jonskifarms said,

    Catherine, I’m sure you could substitute, although I’m not sure what would be the best choice! Plain potatoes would give a similar texture without the sweetness. I wonder if frost-sweetened parsnips or carrots would work? Certainly worth a try!

  4. Vicki said,

    super interesting flavor combination ~ sounds wonderful! good luck. :o)

  5. meloy said,

    Very interesting… I am not one to follow recipes, but I am very curious about this..

  6. melody said,

    Very interesting… I am not one to follow recipes, but I am very curious about this..

  7. moseswilbur said,

    Nice rhubarb (and in interestingly named vegetable, I might add…)

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