Thai Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry Thai Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry The other day my sister showed up with a bag of unique ingredients and a magazine I had never heard of. Some people bring flowers or chocolates or wine; my family brings me ingredients. They know me so well! It was the perfect gift. The magazine is Arabia Food and Travel. It has a picture on the cover of a gorgeous Pumpkin and Coconut Laksa. In the bag were some of the more exotic and interesting ingredients I needed to make it, and I could not wait to see what I could come up with. Although my recipe is quite different from the original, it definitely provided inspiration. The curry paste is strong and spicy with lots of lemon grass and ginger and just enough heat that everyone in the family will enjoy it. The fresh turmeric, ginger, chili peppers and cilantro give it an extra brightness. Make the curry paste first and the rest comes together quickly. This soup is truly delicious. The fresh lime leaves elevate this lovely curry so that it saturates your taste buds with sweet, spicy, sour and salty components. It is almost like a health tonic and perfect for giving the immune system a boost to stave off a cold or flu. A great winter lunch or dinner. Thai Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry Curry Paste 3 stalks lemon grass, chopped, outer tough leaves and ends trimmed 1 1/2 fresh small red Thai chilis deseeded (or more for extra heat) 1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped 5 garlic cloves, peeled 3 inch piece of fresh young ginger, washed, roughly chopped 1/4 cup cilantro 5 small fingers of turmeric (about 5 inches) washed and trimmed and roughly chopped Pinch salt water Directions: Place lemon grass in small bowl of food processor along with 1/4 cup water. Process, stopping regularly to scrape down the bowl until it is a paste. (This will take a little time) Add everything else and process until everything is mixed well. Add more water if necessary. You will not need all of the paste for this recipe. It is a wonderful curry paste to have on hand and you will find all kinds of ways to use it. Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1 medium onion, diced small 1/3 cup curry paste 1 liter vegetable stock 1 small can (160ml) coconut milk 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 cups) 1/2 cup yellow lentils (toor dal) 4 lime leaves Directions: In a large saucepan, heat coconut oil. Add onion and cook a few minutes. Add curry paste and cook until fragrant. Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, lime leaves, sweet potatoes and lentils and cook until sweet potatoes are tender and the lentils are cooked, about 25-30 minutes. Remove lime leaves and serve. Garnish with minced fresh red chili peppers, coconut butter, cilantro,and lime wedges. Serve with rice, other grain or noodles.