Curried lentil and sweet potato stew

Oh, England! Living in London has given new meaning to that song “In the Bleak Midwinter” – thanks to the cold, damp British weather. However, Brits are great at keeping their spirits up during the dark and chilly months with loads of Christmas markets, epic holiday decorations that go up as early as October, mulled wine on every street corner, and satisfyingly hearty winter meals. I am quite partial to a hearty stew, but being past the gluttonous Christmas holidays now, it’s time to set aside some of the butter, cream and cheese (with great sadness!) in favor of some healthier options. In order to satisfy Ryan’s craving for something filling, spicy, and flavorful yet still healthy, I concocted this Indian-spiced stew that’s a bit reminiscent of a daal. I can definitely jive with the English affinity for all things curry, so this recipe is also a tribute to my new host country!

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 small thai chilies, minced
  • 1 T ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 T hot curry powder
  • 5 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 small can (160 ml) coconut cream
  • 1 can coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped into 1 inch cubes. Skin can be left on
  • 200 g red lentils
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 small lime (about 2-3 T)
  • Salt to taste


Heat large cast iron pot on medium heat. Melt coconut oil, then add chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Sautee until onions are translucent and starting to brown on the edges. Add garlic, chilies, ginger, and spices, cooking 1-2 minutes more.

Add the broth, coconut cream, and coconut milk. Add sweet potatoes, and increase to high heat to bring to a boil. Lower to medium or medium-low heat to bring to a strong simmer/gentle boil.

Let potatoes simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add lentils and continue simmering while covered for 15-20 minutes more, until lentils are cooked through and potatoes are starting to fall apart.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add the chopped kale. Let cook 3-5 minutes until kale is tender. Turn off heat, then add cilantro and lime juice. Check seasoning and add salt to taste. Enjoy with naan or some crusty bread!


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds yummy! Glad you are back to posting recipes!


  2. Sheri says:

    Ditto, glad you are back 🙂


  3. Yay! The Surly Gurly is back. I love lentils (I put them in pretty much every soup I make including chili). The photo makes it look “gorgeous” & “brilliant” (two of the British ways to describe the way food tastes).


  4. Trevor says:

    What a great recipe for the cold British winter. Keep them coming please!


  5. Lesa says:

    Fantastic recipe! I am a big fan of Thai curries and I make them all the time. I never thought about adding red lentils and being as I live off grid and miles from any near by town, I have sacks of them in my pantry. They are cheap and easy to cook with but I was desperately in need of a new way to include them in my diet. Thank you for this and all your other recipes. I have drooled over most of them and plan on trying them all as I celebrate my new found vegetarianism. Please continue to post your fabulous recipes and I would LOVE to hear where your journey has taken you now.


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