There is a story behind my “Creamy Sweet Potato, Spinach and Lentil Stew” recipe that I would like to share it with you in this post.
Last year, during my visit to Amsterdam, in a newly discovered cozy restaurant that served high quality organic vegetarian food, I tried a dish that blew me away. The dish was a lentil stew that had a nice spiciness with a hint of peanut and coconut flavors. I asked the chef if she could share the recipe or give me some ideas about the spices she used in the recipe. Unfortunately, the answer was not the one I was hoping to get.
To keep the story short, after our return from Amsterdam, I was on a mission to make something that will be close enough in taste but with more vegetables incorporated in the dish. After few attempts using different spices and different choices of vegetables, I found the combination of lentils, sweet potato and spinach worked the best for me and that is how my “Creamy Sweet Potato, Spinach and Lentil Stew” was created. Hope you will like it as much as we do!
Serving and storage suggestions
I like to serve this dish over brown rice and Fresh Mango Salsa on the side. The freshness, sweetness and sourness of the mango salsa goes perfectly with the spiciness and creaminess of the stew.
Leftovers keeps refrigerated for two days in the fridge or unto two weeks in the freezer.
For the Stew:
- ½ cup French green lentil (lentil de puy)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2½ teaspoons ginger, minced
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon clove powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut in cubes
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cup vegetable stock
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup smooth organic peanut butter
- 125g (about 3.5 cup) fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- ½ cup coconut cream
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
For the Fresh Mango Salsa:
- 1 big mango or 2 small mangos, diced in small cubes
- ¼ cup spring onions, chopped in small pieces
- Juice of half lime
- ¼ teaspoon caster sugar
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- small pinch of red chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons coriander, chopped
- Start with the lentils, bring a pot of water to boil. Add lentils and cook for 10 minutes. Rinse and set aside.
- on a medium-heat, in a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until slightly soft. Add garlic, ginger and sauté for another minute.
- Stir in turmeric, clove, cumin and cayenne pepper and cook for another 2 minutes or until the spices are fragrant.
- Next add carrots, sweet potatoes and lentils and cook them for about 2 to 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the vegetable stock, honey. Bring the mixture to the boil and reduce the heat to low.
- Stir in peanut butter and coconut cream and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. At this stage taste and if more spiciness is desired add small pinch of cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper, then add the spinach leaves and continue to cook with lid half covered for about 20 to 25 minutes on low heat until the lentils are cooked and the stew has thickened.
- To make the mango salsa, Mix the chopped mangos and spring onions in a bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the lime, olive oil, sugar, cumin, red chili powder and pinch of salt and pepper. Pour over the mangos and add in the chopped coriander. Let it stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes so the mangos can absorb the flavors.
- Transfer to the serving bowl and serve with brown rice and fresh mango salsa.