Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ethiopian Sweet Potato Stew

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to make more Ethiopian food, so when my in-laws were here for a visit I whipped up a small feast of 3 dishes that I will post over the next few days. My father in law must eat a very low salt diet so well-spiced food is always a great way to go. This dish is so flavourful that I didn't miss the salt, but feel free to season to your taste. An essential element to any Ethiopian meal is some good injera bread. The recipes I see online require a 3 day fermentation period, so I go with Jennifer's recipe in Vegan Lunch Box. It is quick, easy, and has great taste even with the much decreased fermentation time. We all love abandoning our forks and scooping up our food with chunks of spongy, soft injera.

- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2" piece ginger, minced
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced (around 3-4 cups)
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
- 1 1/2 cups water (more as needed)
- 1 large tomato, small dice
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (more as needed)
- 2 cups chopped green beans (fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, and ginger for 10 mins, until onion is a nice golden colour. Add sweet potatoes and red pepper and saute for 1 min.
2. Add spices and fry for 1 min. Don't worry about things sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add water to deglaze the pan, then add tomato, lentils, tomato paste, and beans. Mix well.
3. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 mins, until lentils and potatoes are soft. Stir occasionally. It is even better of you can let it cook on a low heat for an hour or two. Add more water if stew gets too thick.
4. Stir in parsley and season to taste. Adjust thickness of stew with more water or tomato paste--remember that you want to be able to scoop this up with injera.