Dinner Tonight: Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

Dinner Tonight

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

If there's one thing I've learned about Indian curry with spinach, it's that I never seem to use enough spinach. Though a pound of the greens may sound insane, the leaves wilt down dramatically, eventually forming something of a sauce for the dish. Instead of little pieces of green here and there, it's in every bite.

That left me with time to focus on the sweet potatoes. Besides adding a nice pop of color, the sautéed orange cubes are soft and sweet. To counter their natural sweetness, I tossed in a whole mess of dried spices, including cumin seeds, cardamom, and cinnamon, along with some fresh garlic, ginger, and onion. But I also needed some spice. Instead of clobbering the palate with nothing but heat, I picked up a trick from Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries, and mixed paprika with cayenne pepper. There's a bite, but it never overwhelms.

Instead of a bland, one-note dish, this complex vegetarian curry has a multilayered profile and a genuine kick.