I really like this meal because it's tasty and I feel like it's good for me (hopefully I'm not deluded in thinking that). It has red lentils, tomatoes, zucchini, peas, sweet potato, and yogurt to make it creamy. (And being a coconut fiend, I love that this main course incorporates dried shredded unsweetened coconut.) The sweet potato badi is filling and easy to make, so as you can see this dish is a keeper. This is actually only my second time making it, only because I like trying out new recipes. I can see it being a dish I fall back on when I don't want to think about my meals for the week.
The first time I made the recipe I thought it was really weird that I had mixed up this bowl of coconut, plain yogurt, minced chile peppers, and salt. Definitely not a combination I had encountered before. All the ingredients come together really well though, and it's good reheated too.
Sweet Potato Badi
(Adapted from Entertaining for a Veggie Planet by Didi Emmons)
Takes about 40 minutes to make.
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup raw red lentils
8 curry leaves or 1 tsp ground cumin
1 medium yellow, white or new potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes*
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
1/2 cup (175g) plain yogurt
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tsp salt
1. In a small, dry skillet, toast the coconut over medium heat, shaking the skillet often, until the coconut is uniformly light brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the coconut to a small bowl and set aside.
2. In the same skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the lentils and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring, until they begin to brown. Stir in the curry leaves or cumin. Add the potato, sweet potato, and 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, and peas, and cook until the vegetables are fork-tender and the liquid is almost gone, about 10 minutes more. If the liquid evaporates too quickly, add a little more water. Remove from the heat.
3. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the toasted coconut and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the remaining coconut, yogurt, chiles, and salt, and whisk until smooth. Fold the yogurt mixture gently into the vegetables. Cover the skillet and let stand for a few minutes until warmed through. Transfer the badi to a serving bowl and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut on top. Serve immediately with rice.
*I halved the recipe this time and just used the 1 sweet potato.
General note: If you're eating this with brown rice, start cooking the rice before you even start doing anything.