It feels so good to be cooking again. Making dinners and baking breads really does serve to center me. Especially when I get to use foods I grew. Even though I am planning and preparing my garden for this season, I still have lots of sweet potatoes that I harvested in the fall.
This stew was fabulous. It was very reminiscent of Qormeh Sabzi, yet different. And it was and easy. And best of all, unusual for Persian dishes, it is ready an hour after you start chopping the onion.
It is a flexible dish; as we were eating it, we though of various other possible additions: green beans, kidney beans, other greens, etc. It is only limited by your creativity.
Persian Sweet Potato Stew
inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Iranian Vegetable Stew with Dried Lime
1 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried fenugreek
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 1/2 lbs waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks
1 1/2 lbs sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks (from the garden)
3 dried limes, pierced 2-3 times
1 whole anaheim chilli, slit on one side from stem to tip
5 medium tomatoes, quartered – or 6 canned tomatoes, crushed
5 oz spinach leaves
Heat the oven to 350F. Put a large dutch oven on medium heat and sauté the butter, onion, turmeric and cumin for 10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for two minutes.
To the pot, add the fenugreek, dill, potatoes, squash, limes, chili, tomatoes, a teaspoon and a half of salt and 4 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are semi-cooked.
Stir in the spinach, crushing the limes gently as you do so, to release some of the juices inside.
Transfer to a large roasting tray and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little and the vegetables are soft.
Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes, remove the limes, serve with rice and enjoy!
Serves 6 – 8