It was just one of those days. I came home late and my husband came home early. While the refrigerator was burgeoning with produce from the weekend’s opening of our CSA season, not to mention leftovers from last season (hard to believe, but true) and previous meals, I had no idea what to cook. I had had a time-consuming meal in mind but now I had to act fast. What tasty supper could I get on the table in 30 minutes or less? What would satisfy us on a rainy day in mid-spring?
How about a vegetable curry? Normally I would not post something that I just dashed off, but this turned out to be an amazing supper, a lucky accident of what was in my refrigerator and on my counter and in my pantry. I just connected the dots and cooked for a hungry audience. In addition to being fast, this turned out to be the ultimate crossover-season dish: fresh and home-canned produce from last fall combined with just picked produce from this spring. A little of this and that, Indian style, with contrast of colors, textures, and taste. The proportions are flexible of course. While I used chickpeas that I’d previously cooked from dried beans, you could use canned. You could also use canned diced tomatoes instead of homemade tomato puree. You could probably even use frozen spinach.
Curried Sweet Potato, Chickpeas and Spinach
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 spring onion or ½ small yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ small dried chili pepper
¾ c tomato puree (or fresh or canned tomatoes and juice)
Approximately ¼ c water (omit if using canned tomatoes)
½ c cooked chickpeas
About ¾ lb uncooked spinach leaves or 1 c cooked spinach
2 tbsp cilantro leaves
Peel the sweet potato and cut it into ¾-inch chunks, yielding about 2 cups. Steam for about 10 minutes or until tender nut not mushy. Set aside.
Warm the oil in a large sauté pan and add the onion, cooking until translucent. Add the curry powder, cumin and dried pepper, stirring to combine. Add the tomato puree and water and cook for a few minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook for a few more minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and the spinach. If using fresh spinach, add in batches to allow the leaves to wilt. Remove the chili pepper and add the cilantro, reserving a few leaves for garnish.
Serve over rice. Makes about 4 servings.