Thursday, February 20, 2014

Paneer and Pea Curry With Sweet Potato Hash

For a couple of weeks, I think I ate sweet potatoes every single day. I blame Joe Yonan and his many delicious variations on sweet potato soup for starting this obsession, but the success of Thai sweet potato curry certainly didn't slow it down. In a fine conclusion to that craze, this recipe combines sweet potatoes, curry, and Joe Yonan's recipe expertise, every bite of this as delightful as its culinary predecessors.

Before this recipe, I'd always served my curries with the traditional rice or naan, or even quinoa, but it had never crossed my mind to serve it over sweet potato hash. The hash, with its lovely crispy bits, is the perfect contrast to the tender vegetables and cheese, the sweet potato eagerly soaking up the the rich coconut milk and brilliant spices of the garam masala. I love recipes like this because they perfectly toe the line between fresh and hearty, hitting your taste buds with equal parts soul and stomach satisfying starch, light and bright vegetables, and savory cheese. (As a born and bred Wisconsinite, you're not likely to find me swapping out cheese in a recipe, but if you're vegan or can't find any paneer, extra-firm tofu will make a suitable substitute.) Until Mother Nature decides she's ready to let go of winter and full embrace spring, these cozy bowls are just the ticket to a happy, healthy lady with enough energy to shovel the driveway.

Paneer and Pea Curry With Sweet Potato Hash
adapted from The Washington Post
serves 4

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
Sea salt
8 ounces paneer (Indian fresh cheese) or drained extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3-inch piece ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons garam masala (or curry powder)
2 cups fresh or frozen/defrosted peas (about 9 ounces)
1 cup no-salt-added canned crushed or diced tomatoes, with their juices
1/4 cup low-fat coconut milk or cream
Yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche, for serving (optional)
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

1. Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add half of the onion and half of the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Cook the sweet potatoes, stirring and scraping them from the pan occasionally, until they are browned in spots and tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. Sprinkle the paneer pieces with salt. Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a separate large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the paneer and cook for a few minutes, until deeply browned on one side, then turn the cubes over to brown deeply on the second side.

3. Reduce the heat to medium. Pour in the remaining tablespoon of oil, then stir in the ginger, garam masala and remaining half of the garlic and onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and the garam masala has bubbled and bloomed. Stir in the peas, the tomatoes and their juices and the coconut milk. Once the mixture starts bubbling around the edges, taste, and add salt as needed. Cook until the peas are tender and the flavors have melded, about 5 minutes.

4. Divide the sweet potato hash among individual plates. Spoon the paneer-pea curry on top and garnish with yogurt and hot sauce. Serve hot.

No comments:

Post a Comment