No. 93: Sweet Potato Chana Masala

It's raining!

We are slowly making our way out of drought conditions to semi-drought conditions in California. It's been raining off and on for a week, and I'm celebrating every drop.

It's not all good news though. San Francisco is only at 50 percent normal for the year. Fresno, the country's salad bowl, is only at 30 percent. We need way more of this stuff.

But when it's cold and rainy, you need something warm and spicy to keep you happy and full. I was wavering between the dish below or chicken fajitas, but we saved the latter for a special occasion later in the week.

Sweet Potato Chana Masala

I've always been a fan of curries and sweet potato. This community pick from Food52 sounded like an excellent combination of the two!

Serves 2-3
1 cup diced sweet potato (one medium)
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup diced onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced (or less as your taste and tolerance for spice allows)
1 teaspoon salt
1 can garbanzo beans (15 ounces), drained and rinsed
1 pint (2 cups) crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup rough chopped cilantro and more for garnish
1/3 cup Greek yogurt

To make

Microwave the sweet potato with 1/4 cup water for three minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat butter in a three quart lidded stockpot or saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until well caramelized. Add the coriander, cumin, cardamom, garam masala, turmeric and ginger and toast in the butter and onions for a minute or two. Add the serrano and cook for two minutes until it has wilted a bit.

Serrano

(Can you smell the heat?)

Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, salt, and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Turn down to a slow simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Simmer

Remove the cover. Stir in the yogurt and cilantro and cook for a few more minutes, or until piping hot. Top with additional cilantro for garnish.

The results

First, I have to say, I'm going to use that sweet potato cooking tip in the future. So handy!

Second, this was awesome. Spicy, sinus clearing, healthy, sweet goodness. You'd never know the main component in this dish is a bunch of vegetables.

Final

We went with a whole serrano chile for kick, which we loved. But you can easily adjust the amount of spice by using half or just some jalapeno.

If you want to change it up, this would make a great pita pocket stuffer, flatbread topping or curry burrito base.

To the favorites list this goes!

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Send me your thoughts, comments and ideas at theresolvedcook@gmail.com