Booking the Cooks: Hermitage Green’s sweet potato curry

The Limerick lads cook up a spuds-and-spices Indian-inspired dish


There are certain deeds that a band can do to earn themselves a little bit extra, such as putting the name of a venue into your album title. Limerick lads Hermitage Green have recently done such a thing. Their most recent recording, Live at Whelan’s has ensured that all five band members are now allowed special “lock-in” rights. And I can’t deny or confirm this next statement but apparently, “The Whelans are calling their first born Hermitage and everything.”

2013 was a breakthrough year for these cheeky chappies. Their performance at the Electric Picnic was witnessed by 6,000 and garnered them huge praise and an extra gazillion hits on their YouTube channel. Then in the latter half of the year, they did a UK tour with The Pogues. All systems are go at the moment as they tour the country with a grand finale in The Academy on Thursday. After that, they’re travelling to Canada for more live action before hitting the studio in Nashville to get some recording down. That would certainly be a great city to help them hone their strong acoustic sound.

Vocalist Dan Murphy (left) is very keen on Indian food since he found himself there on a long break. It’s where he picked up this sweet potato recipe he’s sharing with us. But it wasn’t all curry-fuelled fun and games in Asia. “I spent some time in a National Park staying in a jungle lodge. There was absolutely no electricity or contact with the outside world. Whilst there I drank a can of cider that had been left in the sun for nearly an hour. Horrific.” I do hope he received some counselling.

2 large sweet potatoes, sliced evenly
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
1 bag of baby spinach, washed
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can chickpeas
250 ml water
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
Basmati rice to serve

Heat your oven to 180 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes and roast them for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside. As the sweet potatoes cook, heat the oil over medium heat in a pot. Throw in the onions and sauté 2-3 minutes, or until they turn clearer in colour.

Next, drop in all the spices and stir to coat the onions evenly with them. Add tomatoes and the chickpeas, stir to combine.Drop the water in and raise the heat up to a strong simmer for about a minute or two.

Next, add the fresh spinach, a couple handfuls at a time, stirring to coat with cooking liquid. When all the spinach is added to the pan, cover and simmer until just wilted. It will only take a couple of minutes. Add the cooked sweet potatoes to the liquid, and stir to coat. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes, or until flavors are well combined.

Transfer to serving dish, toss with fresh coriander, and serve hot with basmati rice.

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