I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, a musical can be built around the poetry of Ezra Pound.
Wait, that was a ridiculous line from last week’s Smash (as recapped, hilariously, by Rachel Shukert here). What I meant to say was: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s worth knowing how to make a curry. I’ve done it with chickpeas, I’ve done it with cauliflower, and today I’ll show you how to do it with a sweet potato.
Start by slicing onions. I like to use whatever onion halves I have wrapped up in plastic in the fridge, but all onions will work here.
Throw them into a Dutch oven heated with some coconut oil or if you don’t have that olive oil or vegetable oil. All will work. (Ghee would be nice too.)
Add a pinch of salt and let those onions caramelize.
Meanwhile, peel and cut your sweet potato into large chunks.
If you’re just feeding yourself (as I was on this night) one sweet potato will do. If you’re feeding more, cut up two. It’s really that simple.
When the onions are brown, throw in as many flavor enhancers as you can. On this particular night, I threw in 1 Tbs Garam Masala, 1 Tbs cumin, 1 Tbs fennel seeds and 2 Arbol chiles.
If I’d shopped for this recipe, I would have also bought fresh ginger (adding about 1/4 cup grated), maybe some garlic (but not necessarily), Turmeric (which I actually had, I just forgot to add it), maybe a pinch of cayenne pepper, maybe some ground up coriander seeds too. As you can tell by the casualness of this list, it’s really up to you. (Oh, come to think of it, cardamom and cinnamon would be interesting also.)
Once the fragrances come out–after 30 seconds or so–add the sweet potato and another pinch of salt, coating the sweet potato in all the spices and good stuff.
Then add a can of tomatoes but get rid of that basil, it doesn’t belong:
Oh also fill the can up with water and add that so you get the remains of the tomato gunk and also water will create a smoother curry. Also: more salt here, please.
Now just let it simmer away, stirring every so often, watching as it reduces and tasting for salt. At some point it’ll look like this:
The game here is to get the curry to thicken while cooking the sweet potatoes just enough. If you cook on too high a heat, the liquid will evaporate before the sweet potatoes are done; if you cook on too low a heat, the sweet potatoes might grow mealy. Play around with the heat and covering the pan a bit until you get to the texture that works for you.
While that’s happening, cook some rice (a rice cooker comes in handy here).
When everything’s done and tasty, chop up lots of parsley and cilantro, stir some of it into the rice, which you should spoon into a bowl. Top with the curry and more herbs.
Hey, that’s a pretty sexy sweet potato curry! It even makes Smash fun to watch; more fun than a musical based on the poetry of Ezra Pound.
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