I love arugula. Call me weird, but the bitterness is appealing to me? It’s one of the only leaves I’ll have raw. Raw spinach? bleh. Lettuce? tasteless. collard? ew.
But I’m not exactly fond of salads. They’re not filling enough or they’re doused in way too sweet dressing or they’re bland. So instead I like my arugula on pizza or in dishes like this. This dish is absolutely complete. Soft, fluffy millet, warm spicy curry, mellow sweet potato, bright acidic cherry tomatoes and sharp arugula.
I recently discovered millet as a grain. Prior, I’d only had millet flour rotis which are very popular in India and ‘baajre ki khichdi’ which is a millet stew cooked traditionally in lots of indian ghee and milk or cream. I had never actually had millet by itself. But a few weeks ago my mom picked up a bag of organic mixed millet and I fell in love! Its softer and less chewy than grains like quinoa and brown rice. It also has milder, less nutty taste.
The next component of the dish is the curry! This is a spicy, improvised curry that I sort of made up as I went a long. It has garlic, onion, coconut milk and a generous dash of spices. The sweet potato really balances out the spiciness.
And last but not least, the cherry tomatoes. We don’t normally have cherry tomatoes at home because they’re not always available here. We have to go to speciality grocery stores and even then, they’re quite expensive. But boy are they worth it! They’re spunky and colorful and they just elevate the dish.
I really hope you try out this dish. Even if you don’t have all the components – improvise! No millet? Use rice or another similar grain. No arugula? Skip it, or another raw green. No cherry tomatoes? Use normal diced tomatoes! Don’t have all the spices? Use a store bought curry powder, garam masala or thai spice mix instead!Don’t like sweet potato or spinach? Use other veggies – normal potatoes would be fine and you can substitute in any other vegetable under the sun. Pumpkin or zucchini would be wonderful here!
Oh, and I forgot to mention – this is accidentally vegan 🙂
Now on to the recipe!
Sweet Potato & Spinach curry
(makes 3 portions)
- olive/vegetable oil
- 2/3 tablespoon diced garlic/garlic paste
- 1 large or 2 small onions, diced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 3 small or two medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 1.5 cup spinach (or just 2 handfuls) cleaned and chopped roughly
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds/cumin powder, 1/4 tsp fenugreek powder, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/2-1 tsp chili powder, dash of black pepper and salt to taste
- 3-4 handfuls arugula, cleaned
- cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
- 2 cups cooked millet or any other grain
- Heat some olive oil in a pan and when it’s hot, add in the garlic, onion and ginger.
- Keep mixing and when the onion and garlic are lightly browned, add in the sweet potato, around 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup of the coconut milk.
- Cover and let simmer on low heat for around 15 minutes.
- Add in the spices and 1/4 cup more of the coconut milk, stir well
- Cook for another 10 minutes until the sweet potato is tender, stirring well throughout
- Add in the spices and the rest of the coconut milk, stir until the curry is thickened and the spinach is cooked (about a minute)
- Remove from heat
- Remove the stems from the arugula (unless you can take the bitter taste of the stems then leave them on) and arrange a handful on the plate
- Divide the millet into three portions and place a portion onto the plate
- Top with cherry tomatoes and a generous helping of the curry
- Squeeze some lemon juice on top if you’d like.
- Enjoy! 🙂