curried-lentils-and-sweet-potatoes Recipes

curried lentils and sweet potatoes

Thanksgiving usually marks the end of my yearly fall fanaticism, and the beginning of the inevitable resignation to winter that goes into full-swing after the New Years. I’m no longer obsessed with the myriad of fall flavors, its squashes and medium-body soups and wines, I just want to stay warm. I hibernate, so to speak. I start cooking meals at home with more regularity; I find excuses to stay in.

chard potato mise

After all of the holiday buzz this curried lentil and sweet potato dish landed exactly on that bridge, a lazy Sunday after a flurry of a holiday weekend. It’s from the New York Times Thanksgiving coverage two weeks ago, from an article by Melissa Clark about vegetarian dishes fitting the meal. But really, it had my name all over it, because the sweet potatoes were made spicy, not saccharine, and the Indian-spiced lentils and greens were exactly the health kick I needed after this weekend of heavy intake, with the ease of a one-pot meal. I don’t need a holiday dinner to find an excuse to make it.

sweet potatoes

I know it’s not easy on the eyes–heck, it would be a great contestant in an ugliest gourmet contest, but as Cathy so aptly notes, the best home-cooked food is rarely ready for its close-up. Honestly, it was so good, we couldn’t have cared less.

curried lentils with sweet potatoes

One year ago: Blondies

Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard
Adapted from The New York Times 11/14/07

Yields 8 to 10 side-dish servings; 6 main-course servings.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, then minced
4 to 5 cups vegetable broth as needed
2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup finely chopped tamari almonds, for garnish (optional), available in health food stores
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish.

1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.

3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds if desired and scallions.

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190 comments on curried lentils and sweet potatoes

  1. Lentils? Indian spices? Sweet potatoes? I have been obsessed with all three individually for so long! And, as if that were not reason enough to make this tomorrow night…

    I just bought tamari almonds.

    Its kismet.

  2. I agree with Jessica that it looks pretty, in that earthy, I-know-it’s-going-to-make-me-feel-good way. And I totally agree about the sweet potatoes. I love mine savoury and spicy. Lately we’ve been roasting them tossed in smoked paprika.

  3. So, I agree with the others, this looks very tasty and pretty. It also looks like the kind of thing I could also sneak some turkey into without anybody noticing it too much, whaddya think?

  4. Hi Deb!

    This actually, truly elicited a grumble from my stomach. This is exactly what I’m in the mood for! However, there is no Swiss Chard to be found in either of my nearby grocery stores! Can you offer a suitable substitute?

    Thanks!!!

  5. Hi Amanda — I’d stir some spinach in at the end. Instead of adding the greens at the between the 25 minute and 30 minute cooking spans, at the 45 minute mark. Not that familiar with other greens, but if you are, I’d cook them in according to the regular amount of time they’d take to soften. Good luck!

    Mary — I bet you could. ;)

  6. This sounds like a great recipe. I’m somewhat obsessed with sweet potatoes since I discovered that I do like them when they aren’t buried in mini-marshmallows. And the cilantro and lime at the end is the clincher for me!

  7. that’s a long list of ingredients right there. but i can see how they would all build on each other. and i disagree. i think it looks pretty good. but i haven’t eaten anything but tea and some fruit and i’m on day 4 !!! so don’t mind me…

  8. Thanks so much for your wonderful recipes. Wanted you to know that I tried out 2 over the weekend – the Pumpkin Bread Pudding was a great hit with my brother-in-law, who tried to hide the dish so no one else could have any. Unsuccessfully. Did you know that people (at least in my family) either love or hate the bread pudding? I think it is all about the squishy bread.

    Also made an apple pie last night for the first time in years. I’ve always had trouble with the crust and gave up years ago. Your crust with vodka worked out great even using all shortening and no butter. I’ll try the butter next time. No one can say I make it like mom, but it’s close! Thanks!

  9. Deb

    This is my first comment to you (having been a reader for a long time)

    Am at home with a broken wrist and i know you probably have a lot to read etc, but I wanted to send you this link to the Guardian Newspaper Guide to Baking – its a UK paper but there are some very yummy things here.

    I’ll be passing on the lentil dish to my dear fiance to whip up, as unfortunately, i can’t chop a thing!

    http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/guides/baking/0,,2210837,00.html

  10. hi deb – i only have canned lentils, so i won’t need to monitor them for cooking. when should i add them in? should i adjust the broth amount too?

  11. This looks delicious, Deb, as are most of the recipes you post. Question: where do I find garam masala in NYC? Do you know of anywhere in the Union Square/West Village/Chelsea area?

    Thanks!

  12. Oh.My.God.This.Was.So.Good. I read this post this morning and was immediately able to make it for lunch! I had to pillage my winter garden for a few scrawny leaves of swiss chard, but had everything else on hand. What a fabulous, delicious and healthy dish! So many thanks for warming my cold house with this yummy recipe on such a bleak and rainy day!

  13. Mmmmm, Indian comfort food. I recently discovered how good sweet potatoes are roasted with salt and cumin and eaten with chile relish – your lentil-yam mush looks fabulous as well.

    Good Indian food is hardly ever pretty for the camera, alas.

  14. I’m back!

    I made this tonight for dinner with Deb’s suggestion of Spinach instead of the Chard. Other than this substitution and doubling the garlic, I followed the recipe exactly. And I have to say that as it was cooking and the boyfriend and I were tasting I was LOVING it; absolutely excited for the lentils to be soft enough to stir in the cilantro and lime and call dinner served. Unfortunately once it got to the table and we dug in, I decided that I definitely preferred it before adding the citrus. I don’t know if my lime was particularly potent, but combining zest and juice, I thought it was too much tang banging against the quiet sweet of the dish. The bf on the other hand, couldn’t get enough and has said there will be no problem eating the HUGE pot of leftovers for lunch this week.

    I would make this again for certain, but am nervous removing the lime without adding something else; I don’t want the dish to lose depth. Any suggestions? Deb? Readers?

  15. Hi! I just wanted to say I made the brussell sprouts and califlower recipe off your site for Thanksgiving and it turned out amazing. I can’t believe people don’t like those veggies. Thanks for sharing, it made me proud to actually bring something unique to Thanksgiving instead of “Here, hun…make this and use my recipe.” Peace and joy.

  16. If you soak the lentils for 6 hrs, then rinse them well and let them sprout in a jar covered with a clean knee high nylon secured with a rubber band for 12 hrs, (or until they send a little shoot out) you’ll triple the nutrition in the lentils. They will cook in about 30 minutes total, as well. Sprouted lentils are also great raw in salads, soups, anything really. Save a few to top this recipe as a garnish.

  17. Thanks for posting this warm and comfy recipe on a day that saw my city covered in huge, fluffy snowflakes!

    I made it last night after dinner (to bring for lunches this week). From the few little tastes I took from the pot, it seems to have turned out wonderfully…albeit ugly. Yours was very pretty in comparison to mine.

    I’m wondering if you can tell me what kind of lentils you used? I (without thinking) used the same red lentils that I normally use when I make Indian food, and as such, the stew turned into mushy daal…very yummy, but different from yours.

  18. On a completely unrelated to this dish note, I made the Jacques Pepin gougeres last night and they were freakin amazing! The pate choix was messy as hell but totally worth it. Thanks for another awesome recipe!

  19. I made this dish last night (along with my chicken stock for the noodle soup this evening)…with the Christmas lights up and the candles burning….I can’t even begin to describe how yummy my apartment smelled.

    This dish is WONDERFUL! And so healthy!!! My potatoes and lentils are a little on the mushy side…but it tastes so good. I used kale instead of chard as the market did not have any (strange) and it turned out just fine. I think using spinach would have been one more mushy thing, so I think it worked out. The cilantro and scallions are truly a wonderful topper.

    Thank you so much for sharing this new favorite with me!

  20. Thanks so much for the vegetarian recipe! I’m always on the lookout for these since they can be hard to come by. Now I wish I had picked up some chard this morning at the store…

  21. Jessica — Thank you.

    Hanne — Ooh, I cannot get enough of smoked paprika. I’ve made hash browns twice over the weekend, just as an excuse to eat it.

    Erina — Hmm, I was hoping someone else would weigh in because I am not sure how much water lentils use when they cook, so you know how much to take out. My guess would be 2 or 3 parts water to 1 part lentils, but I’m not positive. Help?

    bean — I’m pretty sure I’ve seen garam masala at Garden of Edens, Whole Foods and other fancier grocery stories. If nothing else, Kalustyans on East 28th (and Lex) and other stores in the area, have a wealth of Indian spices, and other ingredients.

    Amanda — I’d just skip the lime next time if it didn’t do it for you. It’s not very much and in the end, the dish should suit your tastebuds, not the person’s who wrote it. If you still want a little acidity at the end, you could stir in a tablespoon or so of vinegar.

    Andrea — Because the recipe didn’t specify (which bugged me too!) I just used plain old green ones. Not the French ones, just green. The split do get soft when you cook them (such as the red ones) but I think are still incredibly tasty.

    S. from The Student Stomach — I’m sure regular potatoes would be just fine.

  22. I just discovered your blog with my ‘stumble’ button yesterday. The Orange peel candy was what greeted me. When I saw this, I HAD to make it. Its simmering on the stove now, and on a cold, dark day off boy does it smell comforting.

    And to learn something completely random. My cat likes to eat dried lentils!

    You’ve acquired a new reader. (With a rather odd cat) Thankyou for adding more variety to my dinners.

    MK

  23. This looks absolutely delicious! I think I shall try to make it over the weekend maybe. I’ll just probably cut the amount by half or even 4. Thanks!!!

  24. I love the internet – I perused the NY Times and found this recipe and made it this week, and then while searching for good blogs I found your site. I always have to change a few things because my pantry is not very large. ( I live in Bermuda and just don’t keep much of a kitchen), so I didn’t use the gram masala or cilantro. And I just can’t use olive oil with curry, preferring a 50/50 butter / veggie oil instead. Also a little trick a friend shared when she cooks curry dishes, is to heat the spices in the pan for a minute then add the oil and cook on their own until very aromatic, then add your onions etc. It does intesify the spice flavour. So I did that. I wil certainly keep reading your site. It is very beautiful and your food is AMAZING. Keep on cookin’, kind regards Deborah Robertson ps I liked this but my husband didn’t seem too thrilled – probably won’t make again, but the house still smells wonderful!

  25. I wish I had a camera and I were as terrific at taking pictures as you Deb or my husband are…. then I could post a photo of this glorious food! We are going to have it tonight as a side dish with chicken schnitzels (which i could kill for anytime!!!!) And of course i will then add the chopped fresh cilantro and scallions on top – can’t wait!!!
    I am also proud :) to report that I made the Garam Masala myself :), I have a little grinder and where I live we get all ingredients easily (recipe is from the internet).
    I did not peel the sweet potatoes, I never do, as most vitamines are supposed to be in the peels. The only thing I did not have was vegetable broth as I never make any…. I hardly ever use it and it is not worth my while to keep a jar full for ages in the fridge. This time I added a tiny little bit of Knorr’s instant soup powder :( (what a sacrilege!!) though I hate the stuff and actually stopped using it altogether. Any better suggestions what to use next time – anybody? Could I freeze vegetable broth???

  26. Made it last night. LOVED IT! Thought I’d actually try and follow exactly but, alas, my usual a bit of this and a bit of that kicked in. I substituted mixed baby greens for the swiss chard and lemon for lime and fiddled w/ add’l spices, topped w/ cashews. I served it over tri-colored veggie orzo and had a great main dish. Thanks for the inspiration how to use up left over uncooked sweet potatoes!

  27. I made this over the weekend and it is sooooo delicious. I used spinach instead of char because my grocer didn’t have it. A hit with me and my husband, it will definitely become a part of my regular cooking rotation.

  28. I made this last week and it was delicious. One of my best new recipes in a very looong time. It will become a staple in our house.

  29. Just made this, had to create my own curry powder because I had a scant of some in a spice botttle. Had spinach instead of swiss chard and used key limes.
    Love this recipe and will go back to it again and again. I’m becoming a true fan of your web blog and have continued to pass this along.
    My husband and co- workers love you!

  30. @Ouiser: Try Better Than Bouillon. It is a concentrated paste that comes in several vegetarian varieties, a small jam sized jar makes around 40 quarts of broth. It’s a great staple to keep on hand for broth needs!

    I just finished up this recipe for our post present Christmas feast, it went over very well!

  31. Hi, I’ve never posted before but I’ve been a reader for a while. I know this is an old post but I just made it today and it tasted great. I wasn’t even planning on it, but I went to the grocery store two days ago planning on getting some kale as greens, but it looked wilted and terrible so I bought swiss chard instead and picked up some sweet potatoes on a whim. Well I looked up my tagged recipes for an idea of what to do with the swiss chard and your recipe came up. So I just knew I had to make it and I definitely wasn’t disappointed, the only thing that I didn’t have was cilantro.

  32. I made this last night, with French lentils, as that’s what I had on hand. I accidentally added about twice as much stock as needed – picked a bag out of my freezer and didn’t pay attention to the label. So it came out a bit soupier than yours but very delicious.

  33. added some plain greek yogurt on top at the end for tang, instead of lime, and loved it. what a great sunday night dinner!

  34. Nice recipe. Followed everything to the letter, except for the problem with the sweet potatoes. I bought the same type of sweet potatoes I normally buy to get the orange-fleshed sweet potato. I go to start peeling it, and lo and behold, it’s white skinned. Weird. Looked exactly like the orange-skinned potatoes, but were the much-less-tasty white skinned.

    I think it probably took away from the tastiness of the dish, but overall it was still good. I threw in two carrots diced to add some color, as it has a very pallid look to the dish – mostly grey. I’d like to try it again with orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. And I’d like to figure out why the potatoes looked like the orange kind, but turned out to be the white kind.

  35. Just made this last night – very very awesome! It was my first time cooking with lentils and all the flavors really came together. The lime and cilantro at the end are SUCH a nice touch. The crunch of the tamari almonds are a must too! Great recipe.

  36. I made this dish for my husband and friends, but it is special because I chose it as the first food our 6.5 month old son could join us in eating! I had already introduced him to onions, garlic, sweet potato, and swiss chard (our CSA box is directing much of the foods I’m introducing him to). All that was left were the lentils – an excellent first food! I’ve read not to worry about spices and he’d had many of them anyhow, and I figured jalapeno would be fine. Anyway, I separated his portion out before I added salt and no lime or cilantro for him, and I substituted chicken broth (as he’s had chicken) for the vegetable broth. Cilantro prob would have been just fine, but I didn’t do the final touches for him. Anyway, THANK YOU for an excellent first meal that we could share with our son!

    p.s. We’re having a Smitten Kitchen themed potluck on Sunday – really looking forward to it!

  37. I just made this for my week time lunches…and it surely passes the taste test!!! I cannot wait to enjoy it will all the toppings :) I am also planning to make it as part of my family’s thanksgiving dinner. DELISH!!!

  38. I made this last week and my apartment smelled like curry for the next few days -it was glorious!! I was so proud that I could finally make an Indian dish actually taste Indian! Thanks so much. I even brought the leftovers to my office so they could have a taste. Needless to say, everyone started checking out smittenkitchen. I must admit, I’m a walking advertisement for you.

  39. What a delicious fall warming meal for the soul! Easy and filling, perfect on a rainy Seattle day when all you want to do is curl up under a blanket – my hubby and I loved this meal – thanks again :)

  40. I just had to come here and say thank you for this recipe. I’ve been making it once a week for the past few weeks, and it is one of my favorite dinners, and — amazingly — my husband’s too! I’ve been sneaking in kale mixed with the chard, and no one in my family seems to mind. Mine looks much more “gooshy” than the pretty photos here. So — thank you for a delicious & nutritious addition to our lives!

  41. This was a fantastic find for a cold and blustery night. I added mushrooms and tofu for a little more texture, and it was delicious. I’m already looking forward to the leftovers! I had to laugh at your description of an “ugly” dish, as I’ve yet to find one ugly frame on your site. Thanks for all your fantastic work.

  42. I made this and let’s just say I was bordering on depression when it was all gone. Well maybe not that extreme, but it’s definitely going to be in our dinner rotation, seeing as it also makes a great lunch if packed in a thermos and is also my ideal meal. Thank you.

  43. I’ve been on an Indian kick this week making chicken tikka masala and now this for dinner last night. It was great! I employed my husband as the sweet potato cutting sous chef and it all came together in about an hour. I love all of the fresh flavors with the sweet potatoes and lentils. Thanks!

  44. I absolutely loved this recipe but one question — I found that my apartment smelled like the spices for the next two weeks! Any tips on freshening things up? Thank you for all of your postings!

  45. this was delicious, thank you! even my lentil-averse, carnivorous, non-leftover eating girlfriend gobbled it up happily, and took the leftovers for lunch two days in a row! i love the sweet potatoes and the flavor of the lime in this (and that it’s all cooked in one pot!). yum, fast, and healthful!

  46. I made this the other night to pack up in some lunches and was a bit disappointed in it when I tasted it at the time (esp since I had doubled the recipe in light of the reviews), but I had it reheated for lunch today and it was INCREDIBLE, it definitely got better overnight!! I increased the fresh ginger and skipped the cilantro, but the lime part was definitely a nice twist at the end, very fresh!

  47. Ouiser- you can definitely freeze broth. I make veggie broth and freeze it in recycled plastic containers (like for yogurt or cream cheeze) in 2 cup quantities. Then you can just pop them in the pan to defrost! Easy peazy.

  48. I combined this recipe with the Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes, and had a really wonderful dish, which my husband and I ate with pita bread. Here’s what I did; I roasted yams with carrots, apple, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic and spices. Separately I fried onions, added ginger and garlic, then dumped in veggie broth, red lentils and brown rice. When the brown rice was cooked, I gently added the roasted veggies and finished it with pepper and lemon juice.
    Absolutely something I will make again. I had hoped the cauliflower/broccoli would add to the presentation of the dish, but I would conclude I had very little success with that. On the bright side, my husband says, “I rather expect Indian food to be ugly. Think of the pictures they display for fast food Indian style.” And he is correct.
    I really liked brown rice in this dish- my lentils sure did turn to mush, but the rice still had texture. The few pieces of apple were excellent also, but I generally think fruit in cooking is pleasant. The husband just thinks it is strange.
    When I find some, I think amchoor powder would be tasty in place of lime (or in my case lemon.)

  49. Just have to say- this is my FAVE dish. My boyfriend is an avid fan of this site (like me, although I’m not as good in the kitchen!) and made this for dinner a few months ago… we’ve had it about 5 times since! Love it. :)

  50. I have to admit I was skeptical since there were so few ingredients (compared to many Indian dishes), but this was AMAZING! I just had seconds and had to stop myself from having thirds. The only changes I made were no lime zest or juice, but rather adding about 2t of lemon juice at the end. I used brown lentils and had this over basmati rice. So so good.

  51. Love Love LOVE it! I made it twice in the same week! My hubby loved it too, very filling and delicious, the second time around I used coconut oil to saute the onion (instead of olive oil) the slight flavor variation was a huge hit, will be making this a lot! Thanks for the recipe

  52. This was great for my vegetarian husband and great leftovers for lunches to bring to work. It took some time to prep but came out beautifully. I might try adding a little coconut milk next time to make it a little richer. Great recipe!

  53. this is great for dinner the day you make it. but for lunch the next day, with a perfectly poached egg on top? DIVINE.

  54. Made this tonight. Licked my plate clean less than five minutes ago! So delicious!! My meat eating boyfriend scarfed down two bowls so we clearly have a winner!

  55. I clearly have a different idea of what makes a dish “ugly”. Because I took one look at this and whimpered. And now have to go out and buy sweet potatoes.

  56. A good dinner and a nice twist on our usual lentils or sweet potatoes, each usually cooked on their own. They liked being brought together in this way. :) We added more lime and thought the almonds really added a nice touch of crunch.

  57. Deb! Can I first start off by saying that you ARE the reason why I started to cook?! I’m a junior in college and my roommate and I got sick of eating crud so we started looking around for some easy recipes and we landed on your site around 8 months ago! We seriously dig your accesible recipes, especially the Indian food section. We went out and bought a 10 piece cuisinart set and we hit the ground running with your recipes. Thank you for saving us from a future of stale, gross, cardboard-flavored food! The curried lentil and sweet potato recipe is our absolute fave! Our other 8 roomies love you too by the way.

  58. Deb, I made this last night for a Indian themed potluck and it was an absolute hit! Unfortunately I did not find any garma masala at either of the two grocery stores I frequented, but the dish was amazing none the less. Thank you so much for sharing!

  59. Great dish. We served it with a pat of butter on top, which was delicious. I’m always skeptical of trying new lentil recipes because I have so many that I love already, but this will definitely be added to our rotation.

  60. Hands down the best lentil recipe I’ve ever made. Love it. I didn’t have Garam Masala though and so substituted it with Ras El Hanout. Worked wonderfully!

  61. Wow! Add this to the list of new favorites.

    So mine did turn out a bit more like mush than your picture–very tasty mush mind you–but I will say if you thnk your photo is ugly (which I don’t), don’t even ask to see my final product photo. :)

    I substitued kale for the chard (just using what I had on hand) and was very happy with the results…it does give me an excuse -happily- to make again with chard and see how that goes.

    Thanks for reinvigorating my kitchen!!
    -Sara

  62. Wow. I’m a sucker for anything Indian and this had so much flavor! Served it as a meal over brown jasmine rice and felt so relieved to eat something healthy after way too much indulgence over the holidays. Hubs and I loved it and it’s going straight into my stash of favorite and faithful recipes. Thank you!

  63. Made this last night. It was insanely delicious! I used spinach instead of Chard because that’s what I had, but wow was this good. ;-) I was looking for a way to prepare lentils that would be spicy and yummy. I haven’t always been a fan of lentils in the past, but now I am a convert!!!!!!! Thanks!

  64. I made this last night for dinner and it was a huge hit! It is about 10 degrees outside and just what we needed! I didn’t have swiss chard, but instead I had some Bok choy that needed to be used. I love the story and photos that accompany the recipes. Even my husband has began to visit you website, but don’t tell his friends.

    Thank you!!

  65. I hadn’t made Indian food for awhile and made this last night when a fussy vegetarian friend came to dinner. She was very impressed and took some home, which is unbelievable. It was amazing although I used water as no veggie stock when I looked in the freezer. The lentils took longer to cook than indicated ( I know it just varies,) so next time I will add chard later as it was a little overcooked.
    I made a hot/fragrant curry powder mix which was great; I have been very excited since I realized that the mincing attachment for the immersion blender grinds spices better than the coffee mill.
    Served with a whole wheat jalapeno/garlic flatbread courtesy of Mark Bittman, this was my favorite lentil dish ever.!!

  66. I’ve been looking longingly at this recipe for months and finally made it this morning for tonight’s dinner. Once it cooled I took another taste. It was so delicious I had to pack it for lunch. Then I got to the office and had it for breakfast. Yum! Thank you for the great recipes and inspiration. I like what you do with vegetables.

  67. I made this for dinner tonight, and it is delicious! I’m a vegetarian and am always looking for good, nutritious 1 pot meals, and this one’s going into the regular rotation. My husband thought it was a little mushy (maybe I overcooked it a little?) but the almonds & scallions give it a little crunch to make up for it. I used kale instead of swiss chard and forgot to get a jalepeno so I just did without.

  68. ooh! suddenly I know what I’m going to do with my sweet potatoes and swiss chard…by the way, I’ve become obsessed with your cumin junkie recipes. Especially the channa masala and the curried cauliflower and potatoes. Totally addictive.

  69. Just made this dish and it was delicious!! Great flavor and really satisfying, especially when eaten with warmed Naan. It’s a ‘must make.’

  70. I have now made this twice; each time with different results. I accidentally bought regular sweet potatoes this time (not orange flesh), and let me tell you that makes a huge difference in ugliness factor and taste. Better with orange, definitely (less ugly too). It’s also soupier this time, not sure why. But tastes good still…even if not as good with orange yams

  71. I’ve made this recipe 4 times in the last month. I absolutely love it. It smells and tastes amazing. I can’t get enough. Thanks!

  72. Did you know that you hadn’t indexed this under beans and legumes? I was looking through your beans and legumes recipes, and only found it because it was referenced in your red bean curry. I’m glad I found it though and am looking forward to making it this weekend!

  73. I’ve been perusing your blog for a while now and this is the second recipe I’ve made and I’m so happy to see you mix in some great vegetarian recipes. This is very good… made it on a whim assuming it would work great for a pot luck tomorrow night! Thanks!

  74. Hi there! Just discovered your website thanks to this recipe. I made it tonight for my roommate and I. It was DELICIOUS! Thanks so much. I’ll be checking out the rest of your site for other culinary attractions!

  75. I just spent a nice, quiet evening making this for lunch tomorrow.
    Ask me if I’m digging into a huge bowl of it right now.

  76. Hi! This was more delicious than I could’ve imagined (and I imagined it to be pretty darn good!). Thank you so much for this, and every other rock-star recipe that you put on these piquant pages!

    Heres the thing –
    I made it in to a soup by accident.
    (Sometimes I forget to measure when I’m super pumped about a dish :/ )

    But it worked! and worked well at that. I totally recommend adding about %50 more broth for a good winter soup.

    Thanks for such an inspirational site!

  77. Made this with butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes since that’s what my garden was loaded with this year. Very good. I recommend adding the squash about 10 minutes after the lentils go in as it cooks quicker than SP. Topped it with the scallions and some gomasio (one of my faves with squash) as I didn’t have almonds. BF is a die hard meat eater and ate 2 servings over brown rice. He’s even taking leftovers in his lunch tomorrow. “who care what the guys at the mill say” Love it!! Thanks for a bang on recipe.

  78. I made this the other night for some family that was in town, and it was SO good. It’s possibly one of my favourite smitten kitchen recipes to date! I will definitely be making it on a regular basis. Thanks Deb!

  79. I am making this right now. My changes.. I didn’t peel the sweet potatoes, didn’t use extra virgin cos it isn’t good at high heat. Shucks! Just read the comment about coconut oil.. why didn’t I use it when it’s sitting there!!!! I added fresh turmeric as well because it’s so health giving. Don’t have swiss chard but have heaps of mustard leaf, so that’s going in too. Will serve with brown rice, yoghurt, cucumber, raw garlic and dill as per my Armenian grandmother’s recipe. Yum Yum

  80. Aha, no scallions but plenty of wild onions in our pasture so they’re gonna form the garnish. No tamari almonds but thinking of making some from slivers and tamari that I have.. why buy when you can put things together yourself!!!

  81. this freezes wonderfully. Just came home from a trip (to NYC!) and thawed a bag I’d reserved a month or so back. Bare-pantry, post-vacation lunch was never so good.

  82. Delish! I didn’t have any of the stuff for the garnish so I added some toasted cumin seeds instead to give it a little extra kick – it was awesome!

  83. This recipe completely surprised me! I wasn’t expecting such an array of ingredients to create such amazing taste. There is so much flavor depth to this dish that I never want it to end. I made it for my “only eats pasta” family and it was a hit! Thank you so much for letting us into your kitchen and sharing this divine recipe.

  84. Wow! I made this last night for my boyfriend and I, we loved it!! It’s so filling and flavorful and I love the zing from the lime. Thanks :D

  85. I haven’t read any critiques about this recipe…I made it last night for dinner, and while I enjoyed the combination flavours to a certain extent, I found it almost had too many flavours for one dish. I definitely would leave out the added garnish of scallions and tamari almonds, or just add plain toasted almonds to the top. Those two additions, in my opinion, made for too many things going on in my mouth that didn’t quite go together. I would also use less lime juice. Anyways, I am having it today as leftovers and am enjoying it more the second time around now that it has had time to mellow and the flavours have fused together more (and minus the garnish)!

    p.s. I suggest serving it on top of Quinoa!

  86. I made this last night and it was pretty darned good! I did make changes based on what I had on hand. Used split peas instead of lentils (thought the split peas WERE lentils when checking inventory!!), kale instead of chard, and added mushrooms. Just about doubled the spices and added cumin.

    This is an awesome recipe and could totally be customized to your tastes and what’s on hand. I can only imagine it would freeze super well to boot!! I’ll be making this a LOT for healthy lunches. It’s just jam packed with “super foods” (I always picture a butternut squash with a cape).

  87. oh wow. again (every time i want to try something new and great i just reach for one of your recipes. as simple and as great as that) scallions were too hot for me, had no tamari almonds. thought it was going nowhere special until the addition of rind and juice (had no lime, used lemon). served on bed of basamati rice. definitely my favorite new way to cook chard. and vegan too. oh boy.

  88. Cooking this right now for a baked potato Pot Luck tomorrow. Thought it would be something different to pu on a baked spud! We’ll see how it goes. Smells delish!

  89. I make this recipe all the time here in East Africa after finding it originally on a different website. Although Smitten Kitchen is my all-time favorite! I have to change it up due to particular ingredients not being available. We use yellow split peas, collard greens. and pumpkin (about double the amount since it’s so soft) with chicken stock. Also no almonds or scallions so we top with thick yogurt.

  90. I just made this and it’s amazing! I changed a few things though –

    Instead of olive oil I used Coconut Oil and I soaked the lentils in some water while I went to the store so that cut cooking time by a third and then halved the recipe (cooking just for myself – I can only eat so much!).

    Gotta say though, BEST dish I’ve made in a while! Thanks! :-)

  91. I just made this tonight after wanting to for weeks. The best was my picky just-barely two-year-old SCARFED it! Chard!!! My husband had two bowl. What a great meal! Thank you!

  92. This was a wonderful dish. I’m surprised no one has mentioned chutney and yogurt. Made the dish just as directed but then added some raisins, plain yogurt and Major Grey’s chutney at the table. Delish!

    1. They probably would, but I do find that they cook more quickly and break apart more easily. It might be more mushy. But no less delicious.

  93. This was delicious! I made this last night for a few friends and we all loved it. I stirred a little bit of Greek yogurt into my bowl and it was even better. I’ll definitely make this again!

  94. I followed the recipe to the letter…and have to admit that I’m a little disappointed. All the ingredients, individually, are great, but when combined, turned out to be a bit too “busy”. My philisophy, when it comes to lentils, is, “Less is More”. I’m grateful, however, for having discovered Garam Masala, through this recipe. I’m going to pick out the sweet potatoes, and mash them, with a little extra GM. This may salvage the rest of the recipe, for my tastes.
    My favorite way to prepare lentils is just like-a mama used to make them: with a medium onion, browned in olive oil, chopped spearmint leaves from the garden, and salt to taste.

  95. I made this over the weekend and loved it! Mine came out mushy, but the flavors were great. We didn’t have swiss chard so used chopped kale, and it took 5-7 minutes with the lid on to get the kale where we like it – cooked but not slimy, with some crunch leftover from the stems. We ate it with naan.

  96. Just made this and it was terrific. I too used kale – I had spinach and kale on hand but wanted to use up the kale. There’s a ton of it, so I may end up freezing some – hope it freezes well.

  97. Been looking for curry and lentil recipes on the web. Had all the ingredients for this minus the chard. Substituted with fresh baby kale from our garden. Yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  98. Made this for dinner tonight, with beet greens instead of chard. It was delicious! I just wanted to say that my 10 month old could not get this into his mouth fast enough. First time he hasn’t turned his nose up at sweet potato! I will definitely be making this again.

  99. How infuriating that the original recipe doesn’t specify what kind of lentils!

    I’m going to try this tonight with green lentils and amchoor instead of lime atthe end for the tangy kick.

  100. First one small self-disclosure: I can be bribed by a hamburger. However, my partner and I are having four dinner guests, one of them being a birthday girl and a vegetarian. I was gonna make a sweet potato curry until I test-drove it and decided it cannot be saved–except by a big fat chicken. But now I know what to do with all those sweet potatoes! And having made your Israeli cous cous with roasted tomatoes, I’m thinkin’ I’m in good hands. Lemme know when you make french fries!

  101. Can I substitute vindaloo for garam masala and curry. looks to me like vindaloo is pretty close to a combination of the two. I’m just not sure about the heat factor here, specially since it also calls for a jalapeno. (I’ll ditch he seeds.) Anyway, whaddya think?

  102. I have made this recipe 5 times now. I love it!!! I’m going to continue to have ingredients on hand for this one. So good! And healthy.

  103. You should add this to the gluten-free archive! It’s so good. I used japanese yams (the ones with purple skin and pale yellow flesh) and they kind of disintegrated and it was delicious. I also swapped out the lentils for yellow split peas, which worked well, and doubled the lime juice. Loved it!

  104. Did you cook the lentils before adding them to the mixture? Will they cook in the liquid?
    PS. This recipe is the vegetarian addition for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner Thursday. I’m so excited!

  105. Just finished making the curried sweet potatoes & lentils. No substitutions or changes required. Absolutely delicious. Lunch for the next 2 days at work for sure!

  106. I’ve been reading your blog for years and just now found this recipe when I was looking for something to do with the lentils in my pantry. OMG is it delicious! Mine turned out mushier than yours, but still darn delicious. I used a garlic/ginger paste and frozen spinach instead of fresh ginger, garlic cloves and chard. I can’t wait to eat it again tomorrow for lunch (and again later this week)! I’m freezing about half, hopefully it will reheat well for future dinners.

  107. Made this for dinner tonight. My first time cooking lentils and I’m now wondering why I waited so long! The only difference was I used a garnet yam. I am pretty sure my house has never smelled better. Thank you so much for the recipe!!!

  108. This looks so delicious! I would like to serve it as a side dish with a roast. Do you think I can make it the night before? I’m trying to minimize “day-of-dinner-party” stress. I’m also making the Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake, – a neighbourhood favourite by now ;)

  109. Hi, LOVE your site. I’m pretty new to vegetarian cooking. Could this be made a day or two ahead? Your gorgeous photos are… such a joy to stare at! What a talent.

  110. My husband and I decided to stop cooking meat at home a few years ago after reading the China Study. It was difficult relearning how to cook without meat being the centerpiece of every meal. Your blog has helped our transition to veggie cooking so much. Thank you!!!

  111. This is honestly one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. A friend of mine brought these lentils to a choir retreat, and I just made them myself at home — this is already a treasured recipe! Thank you!!

  112. OMG sooooooo good! Perfect to make ahead and freeze for lunches! Used kale instead of Swiss chard and just put it in for the last 10min or so. Thanks this is my new fav and I’ve passed it along to all my friends!

  113. I made this…delicious. Only thing is I used red lentils since I didn’t read all the comments. It did get mushy, but still tasted delicious. I love lentils and will make again with regular lentils.

  114. So delicious! I thought I shouldn’t try to make it when I realized I didn’t have any garlic or ginger around. I went ahead and made it anyway because I didn’t have another idea of what to make for dinner. It was flavorful and so good! Even without the garlic and ginger! I’ll be making this a lot from now on, and I’ll be sure to buy garlic and ginger….

  115. I made this today. I did not have the chard or the masala but even without them…waw! Mind blown! This will definitely be a repeat recipe :) Thank you!!

  116. i made this tonight and it was super delicious – i substituted broccoli for the swiss chard and it worked out well. thanks!

  117. I just whizzed up the leftovers in the food processor and made some delicious baby food. My 10 month old boy ate it up, with whole milk yogurt added for extra richness:)

  118. Easy recipe to follow. However, my husband and I did not enjoy it very much. Too much sweet potatoes. But I do love most of Deb’s recipes and thanks Deb for sharing!

  119. Wow, this recipe is a keeper! I can definitely add this to the rotation of regulars. I used a lemon instead of a lime, bouillon + H2O instead of broth, and sent my daughter to the farmers market to get swiss chard & ended up with gai choy. The slight crunch from the gai choy stems was actually great. I’ve been dieting, and calculated that a cup of this is about 175 calories. This is wonderfully hearty, nutritious and has a flavor that’s quite rich. I didn’t add any jalapeno this time, but will try it next time. Thanks!

  120. I’ve made this twice both times I substituted kale for the Swiss chard only because it’s what I had on hand. It also makes great leftovers. Loved it!!!

  121. This is so delicious, I ate it for two weeks straight! I used spinach instead of chard half the time and left out the scallions and almonds on top – I didn’t have any, and it seemed one or two flavor notes too many.

    What puzzled me though is that you cook the lentis for so long – no matter what kind I use, they’re always very much done after 10-15 minutes, and the sweet potatoes need less cooking time, too. Once I adjusted it to shorter cooking times, it was heaven though.

  122. I haven’t made it yet, but it sounds delicious. I am partial to red lentils for the esthetics alone and will see how that works out (green lentils are so visually unappetizing).

  123. I just made this, and it tastes great! One thing though – how did you keep the potatoes and lentils from getting mushy? I only cooked them in the broth for a total of 20 min before adding the chard, and that still made them mushy. I used green lentils, so I know that’s not the issue. Otherwise, very very tasty, thank you again for a wonderful recipe!

  124. Hm, the sweet potatoes may have gotten mushy a little? I should add that I seem to always be cooking sweet potatoes these days because my son loves them and I’ve noticed that they all cook differently. Some really hold their shape well, others just turn to mush (and can barely be sliced) as soon as they are cooked. I often find that the red-skinned-orange-fleshed ones to be more on the holding-together-once-cooked end. Hope that helps.

    Edited to add: Some lentils hold up better than others to cooking. Brown are definitely on the soft side. If you’d like your lentils to stay fully intact, you might want to try a black or green lentil.

  125. Love this recipe, made it a couple of times . I don’t like things mushy so I cooked brown lentils and spices and broth for 30 minutes then added the sweet potatoes for another 25 minutes. I left out the greens because I didn’t have any and everyone just gobbles it up . This way there was a lot more texture to the dish .

  126. We love this, I found this recipe a while back and put it into my recipe folder, I’m planning on making it again in the next few days, so yummy!!

  127. Delicious, but, boy, does this recipe make a lot of food! I used a big pan, but apparently needed an extra large one. (I couldn’t fit in all of the sweet potatoes, so I had to roast the extra with olive oil in the oven– oh, the horror!) Added some chicken thighs (cooked separately) at the end to make it more of a meal. Perfect way to offset the massive amount of holiday sweets I’ve been consuming.

  128. This is the best dish I have ever prepared and eaten. I could not stop saying “mmmm…” all dinner. My 4, 6 and 8 year old boys all agreed. I wasn’t sure about the lime zest and juice, but did follow the recipe and was really glad I did, as that added a perfect subtle twist to the dish. I also added a savory cashew cream just prior to serving and the creamy coolness of that, with the texture and taste of the scallions and the almonds, made for a mind blowing Saturday dinner. This is going to make it into this year’s dinner rotation for sure!

  129. Delicious! I had no jalepeno pepper seed, so I kicked up the spice with cayenne seasoning and added more curry. Using coconut instead of olive oil also gave it a nice flair.

  130. Just wanted to day that i loved this. It’s so easy to cook and it tasted delicious– i’ve never cooked indian food with sweet potatoes before, but I quote like the flavor. Since I cook for just myself, this will be all I’m eating for the next day or so, and quite happily, I might add!

  131. I had a similar recipe I was going to make, but I wasn’t quite happy with the list of ingredients so I was started looking around the webs for an alternative and found this one. I left out the jalapeno, lime and scallions as I did not have those on hand. The end product was still fantastic. In fact I’m not sure I would like it with the lime, but I will definitely add the jalapeno next time (and there will be a next time). I used a curry powder mix my son brought me from a recent trip to Uganda and the flavor combined with all of the lentils and sweet potatoes was amazing. Thanks again for another fantastic recipe.

  132. I tried this last night and it was so good!! My family and I loved it. The only thing I did different was use red lentils which speeded up the cooking time and added a little coconut milk near the end. Delicious! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.

  133. wow – i stumbled upon this recipe and i just had to write to tell you how delicious it is! thanks, deb!! i realized quickly that it’s pretty flexible–it’s awesome that i can edit it according to my own preferences (more cilantro, please!). can’t get enough!! thanks again!

  134. I did NOT expect this recipe to taste so good! Cooked it for 35 minutes total. Lentils are not mushy and everything tastes like or even better than my favorite Indian restaurant. I made it too spicy to taste the chard, unfortunately, due to extra large jalapeño plus seeds but happy there is green in there. I will make this again.

  135. Eating it now! I have been trying to like curry flavoured dishes for a long time. I want to eat more lentils, but often recipes are Indian inspired, which I don’t find the tastiest. Just my buds I guess. But I like this one! It is totally because of the sweet potato. And I think the squeeze of lime at the end. Doesn’t look as nice as yours, but tasty!

  136. I made a variation of this yesterday using sweet potato greens that came with my farm share as a substitute for the Swiss chard here. I also mixed my own garam masala type spice using ground spices I already had. The end result was great, though the time and liquid required to cook lentils through was a little finnicky. Thanks for the inspiration!

  137. I made this tonight without cilantro or jalapeno, but with the lime and some red pepper flakes….. it brings me to my knees it’s so good. The first thing I have ever made that reminds me truly of Indian Restaurant food, which I LOVE. THANKS so much for a great recipe!

  138. I also made this tonight (you have so many fans!) and it was delicious! I served it with your brussels sprouts with dijon – also yummy. This is the first time I’ve come across your website and I’ll be back for more – thanks!!
    Anna

  139. Made this today to bring to a vegan potluck and wow, it was really good! I followed the recipe, as written, but omitted the almond garnish (just in case there were nut allergies). Will DEFINITELY make this again! Thanks for sharing it

  140. This is an outstanding curried lentil dish. perfect for a cold winter day.
    I have been making this since it was first posted and enjoying it for many years.

  141. Been reading you site for awhile and just made this dish for the second time. Pumped up the lime zest and juice – so happy I did! Delicious! And perfect for this awful, awful winter weather in NYC! Thank you!

  142. mmmm!! made this yesterday using puy lentils (that was all they had at the shop?) and without the coriander. i added fresh turmeric because unusually, i had some and was probably a bit generous with the other spices. just had some of it reheated, it was already excellent when it was made but a day later wow it’s fantastic, i was impressed that it was something i made! another winner, thanks SK!

  143. I sorta made this, but used cinnamon and nutmeg and mad ginger instead of masala and curry and put in a ton of mushrooms and some carrots and used bok choy instead of chard and didn’t add lime and put in more sweet potato and lentils and garnished with dates. SO GOOD

  144. Ousier,
    This is from such a long time ago you’ve probably figured it out, but…
    Vegetable broth freezes wonderfully! And if you’ve got the freezer room, a delicious and frugal way to make it is: As you’re trimming veggies, put the fresh but not-quite-edible cast-off bits aside and freeze them. When you have a pile, throw them in a pot with some water and maybe some herbs, S&P. Simmer them for a while and strain and voila – fabulous veggie broth. Better Than Bouillon has excellent flavor, but is insanely high in sodium.
    Thanks also to Deb – I was wondering about what kind of lentils, since I haven’t cooked with them much.
    Thanks also for all the other suggestions. I’m making this assuming there will be lots of leftovers for lunches & after-meeting dinners all week. (Tomorrow is going to be a big stuffed shell italiany thing.)
    Will use lots of substitutions (CSA kale or braising greens) and additions (delicata squash), a little playing with the spices (I’m out of my homemade garam masala but have most of the ingredients), but it seems a forgiving recipe.
    Looking forward to it!

  145. I had loads of lentils left over, so i mixed them up with some egg and gluten fee flour, added a few hot pepper flakes and then cooked it in pattie (pan with oil). Served over Arugula with a homemade chipotle mayo. Yum. Would be good scrambled up as taco meat or on a bun with sweet potato fries!!

  146. I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe, it turned out fantastic. I had to use up the rest of our CSA veggie box, so I substituted dino kale for the chard and did a mix of white and orange sweet potatoes. This is definitely making the frequent dinner rotation list.

  147. Wonderful, incredible flavor! I’m glad I stumbled across your blog on Pinterest! Will be trying a few more of your recipes and I’m looking forward to it! By the way, I also tried your recipe for Indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes a few months ago and that was a winner too! I served it with Moroccan chicken tagine.

  148. Made it today. The people that matter (me and my husband) loved it. The picky people (my dad and my kids) did not. I did not have jalapeño or garam masala but it still tasted great. I loved the cilantro bite on it and the crunchiness of the almonds (I used regular roasted almonds). Plus, *for the first time ever* my dish looked better than the picture !!! That´s because I used beluga lentils, so the black/orange/green combination look beautiful and the lentils did not turn mushy at all.

  149. I thought this was so delicious. My husband loved the flavor but thought the lentils were too “crunchy”. Would using red lentils help? Also, I know red lentils cook faster than green lentils so would I add them after I add the sweet potatoes?

    1. Lindsay — Were your lentils older? Could you give it more time back on the stove? Red lentils are split and cook quickly, so yes, they’d be done faster.

  150. No, I loved them…he just doesn’t like the taste of firm green lentils. So, would I add them at the same time as the sweet potatoes? I don’t want them to get too mushy.

  151. This is a great recipe, and with a March snowstorm on the way, perfect for some cold nights ahead.

    I doubled the amount of broth, I think just about 8 cups and it turned out perfectly. I also subbed in some kale that is on the verge of not being usable and this is delicious.

  152. Followed exactly with the exception of using red lentils (which cook faster); just added them 10 minutes prior to dish being done. And, also added some extra cilantro (about 3/4 cup total). Super yummy and quick to make.

  153. Anomy, the leftovers are delicious – just had some cold for dinner. Loverly! Thank you for another delicious recipe, Deb! This paired divinely with Nolita-style Avocado Toast (March 8th, 2016).