Ginger, Coconut Milk, Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin

by Nirmala Narine


  • 1 ½ pounds sweet potato, peeled and quartered
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon, minced ginger
  • 1 leek, pale-green and white parts only, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 4 cups finely shredded kale
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

According to Ayurveda, each person is unique, just like the seasons. This winter, there is something fresh and comforting, especially here at my farm in the heart of New York’s Hudson Valley. I have stocked up on fresh green vegetables, farm-fresh milk, rustic roots, sweet fruits, fragrant herbs and heated spices. I hope you enjoy this simple, one-pot, satisfying, and nutritious recipe.


  • Preheat the broiler.
  • Put the sweet potatoes in a saucepan and pour in enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain sweet potatoes and return to saucepan. Mash with a potato masher or pass through a ricer; cover to keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pan melt butter over medium heat. Add cumin, ginger and cook stirring for 30 seconds.
  • Add leeks, coconut milk, kale and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leek, and kale is soft but not browned, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir into sweet potatoes.
  • Spread mixture in an 8-inch square-baking dish or a 9-inch cast iron skillet, topped with shredded coconut and place under the broiler until lightly browned on top, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove from the broiler. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

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