Sweet Potato Samosa Stew

by Sarah on February 17, 2012 · 9 comments

Maybe it was all the references to succulent Indian food in Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.*

*A novel I totally recommend, by the way, for its wry observations of class, racial, cultural, and generational differences in contemporary England.Maybe it was the constant influx of Indian-spired recipes that infiltrated my gmail account from various sources.

Or maybe its just because Indian food is really, really good?

Whatever it was, I had Indian food on the brain, so when Vegetarian Times’ Low-Fat Recipe of the week (as seen above) was Indian Samosa Casserole, I couldn’t get the idea out of my brain: the flavors and ingredients of a traditional Indian samosa in a thick and hearty stew.Of course, the original recipe was more of a pot pie, but I’ve never been very good with pastry. And I, quite naturally, swapped out white or gold potatoes for sweet ones.*

*There’s a reason I made Emily change the shopping list in my header to read sweet potatoes, not potatoes alone.I used red onions–because that’s what my roommate I happened to have on the counter–rather than a sweet yellow or white, but there was plenty of garlic, and a heap of minced ginger. [What doesn’t minced ginger make better?]Traditional seasonings of garam masala, cumin, coriander, and turmeric added depth of flavor……and mashing up the sweet potatoes a bit as they started to cook helped create a slightly thicker, somewhat-akin-to-pastry-filling texture (that stayed soupy enough with added vegetable broth to still legitimize it as a “stew”).Of course, there’s nothing like the immersion blender to really help you out in this type of situation.According to my (very limited) research, samosas must also traditionally contain peas. And as you should always have a bag of frozen peas in your freezer–whether or not you ever use them on a sports injury–those should be easy to procure.Simmer away until everything is a bit mushy and stew-y and smelling–to quote my roommate–“Oh my God, incredible…”Now, you could actually make some sort of pastry top, and call this Samosa Pot Pie. Or perhaps just serve it with store-bought naan, for the Miss Smart-preferred method of bread baking. But cilantro is–in my opinion–the only true garnish you need.

Sweet Potato Samosa Stew

[Serves 2]

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 1/2 cup diced, peeled sweet potato (about 1 fairly large sweet potato)
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes/crushed red pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, for finishing

cucumber raita and naan, for serving (optional)

  1. Sautee onion, garlic, and ginger in a soup pot or large saute pan over medium heat until fragrant, and onions are beginning to soften.
  2. Add sweet potatoes and spices, stirring well to coat.
  3. Cook 5-7 minutes, adding small amounts of broth to the pan if necessary for deglazing.
  4. Add vegetable broth and simmer about 20 minutes, until sweet potatoes are fork tender.
  5. Use a slotted spoon, fork, or immersion blender to mash/puree some of the potatoes, enough so that there are still some chunks remaining for texture.
  6. Stir in frozen peas. Continue to simmer until cooked through.
  7. Stir in fresh cilantro just before serving.

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