saucy sweet potatoes with coconut, curry and mint
Early spring is one of the hardest times of the year to eat local and seasonal ingredients here in New England. Pete’s Greens, one of Vermont’s biggest and most successful CSA providers refers to this time of year somewhat bleakly as, “The most challenging time of the year to be a local eater in our climate.” Cooks really have to get creative with root crops, frozen and canned crops from the previous year and hot house greens while we wait for the first ramps (wild leeks), fiddlehead ferns and asparagus to make their appearance on our menus.
Thankfully sweet potatoes are among the random roots we can scrounge up right now. The American Dietetic Association says they’re “packed with vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, folic acid and potassium. A medium-sized sweet potato contains three grams of fiber and just 160 calories, making it a good nutritional choice any time of year.” Simmered in coconut milk and spices and finished with tons of chopped fresh mint and cilantro, you’ll agree they are a great choice for your taste buds too!
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 side-dish or 4 entree servings
Serving Size: 1 cup or 1 1/2 cup
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoon curry powder
- 1 cup “lite” coconut milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks, about 3 large
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped roasted unsalted cashews
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Pulse mustard seeds and fennel seeds in a spice mill or coffee grinder until roughly ground. Alternatively mash in a mortar and pestle.
- Swirl olive oil in a large skillet, add garlic, curry powder and the ground seeds and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, vegetable broth and salt, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes, cover and return to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a brisk simmer, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat stir in mint, cilantro, cashews and lime juice and serve.