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Potatoes have so many possibilities. So this week, we'll explore a variety of uses for their starchy goodness. This one comes from the United States Potato Board.


1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsweetened coconut (see note)

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 lb. red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes (3 cups)

2 1/4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

2 1/4 cups peeled, diced eggplant

1 1/2 cups chopped green beans

3/4 cup canned chick peas, drained and rinsed

2 teaspoons canola oil

3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Place 1/2 cup coconut, ginger, coriander, cumin, salt, dry mustard, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne in a spice grinder or a mini food processor; grind or process until about the consistency of coarse sand.

Stir the potatoes and broth with the spice mixture in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer slowly for 10 minutes.

Add the eggplant, green beans and chick peas. Cover and continue simmering slowly until the vegetables are quite tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the remaining 6 tablespoons coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in the same skillet now set over medium-low heat. Add shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, soft and very sweet, about 12 minutes.

Stir the lemon juice into the stew. Serve the stew in bowls, topped with the toasted coconut and shallots.

(Note: Unsweetened coconut, sometimes called "desiccated coconut," is simply dried, shaved coconut flakes. It's found in gourmet markets, East Indian markets, and health food stores. Do not substitute sweetened coconut, familiar from the baking aisle of most supermarkets.)