Spicy Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew with Chipotles



Adapted from cooking.nytimes.com

This is a great recipe for a chilly, autumn day. Of course, around here in the Houston area those autumn days are virtually nonexistent but I can pretend. I love the combination of lentils and sweet potatoes and they create a deliciously satisfying meal. There’s nothing complex about this recipe and there is very little hands-on time. Due to the simmering process, however, it does take about an hour to complete.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1½ cups brown lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 1-1¼ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in large dice
  • 1-2 chipotles in adobo, seeded and chopped (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1 bay leaf



  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it softens.
  2. Add the salt, cumin and carrots. Stir together for a minute and then add the lentils, water, sweet potatoes, chipotles, tomato purée and the bay leaf.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender and the broth is fragrant.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with lime wedges if desired.


Comments: Like I said before there is nothing too complex about this recipe. The original one calls for 2 teaspoons of lightly toasted and ground cumin seeds; I did not have cumin seeds and used ground cumin instead, reducing it to ½ teaspoon. I think, if you use ground cumin, you could even increase this to 1 teaspoon. Because my mom is not very tolerant of spicy foods, I only used 1 chipotle however even my mom later admitted that it could have been a little spicier. You can make this 3 to 4 days in advance but it will thicken as the lentils swell; you can add water or stock to thin it out.



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