Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sweet potato curry

We've been in 'date mode' recently, with my new best friend the Date Syrup making an appearance. Don't worry he's not gone away for long- I have a couple more date inspired recipes for you next week...but for now I have a simple mid week winter warmer.

This dish is one of my go-to dishes and it never fails to please veggies and meaties alike.

I was one of the first meals I cooked for the Boy when I began to experiment with doing things the vegan way. I love it just as much today as I did back then. What’s not to love….it’s colourful, warm, creamy, comforting, lightly spiced and hints at the tropics. Close your eyes and maybe you’ll be taken to a far off land.

Ok, well maybe not that last sentence. But I guarantee this bowl of colourful curry will brighten your day.

It’s also a simple dish with few ingredients, easily adapted to other veggies/beans you may have, is thrown together in one pot and can be frozen for future speedy suppers.

Ok, so have I convinced you yet!  This would also work really well with my super simple flatbread as a healthy alternative to naan!

I also have another reason as to why this particular dish, or namely the photos, are making me happy. I’ve been trying to take decent ‘night shots’of my meals for a while now, and up until recently I had been making slow progress. My research and investigations pointed me in the direction of two key props: a powerful light with good ‘white’ rendering (I’ve used a portable LED source) and a diffuser layer (I’ve used an old bed sheet over a wooden frame).

This shoot was a simple 5 minute experiment (before my dinner got cold), and I really wasn’t expecting much of an outcome. However, for such a quick first attempt I was really rather pleased with my efforts….well now to see if Food Gawker shared that same opinion!

Recipe: Sweet potato curry

Serves 4


2-3 tablespoons madras curry paste
1 medium onion- diced
4 medium or 2 large sweet potatoes- approx. 800g (peeled and chopped into chunks)
1 red pepper- sliced
1 tin of chickpeas (or other white beans)
200g bag of spinach
1 can of coconut milk


In a large frying pan or wok, fry the onion for few minutes in olive oil till soft. Add curry paste and fry for 1 min. Add the coconut milk, sweet potato, pepper and chickpeas and simmer for approx. 15 minutes until potato is cooked. Add spinach (fold spinach through the mixture in handfuls) simmer for a couple more minutes until spinach is wilted. If not liquidy enough add a little water. Serve immediately with rice or naan bread as desired .

Freeze left over portions in individual bags.

For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.


  1. What fabulous shots, vibrant colours and love your addition of chickpeas in there, too. Never thought of adding them - especially as my daughter adores them!

  2. Hi Jill, Thank you! Randomly i actually used cannellini beans in this shot (as i had no chickpeas in the cupboard) but i usually use chickpeas when i make it! :-)

  3. I made this last night, and wanted to add a few comments. I don't mean to criticize, just to add some useful tips for others =)
    First off, I bought 4 sweet potatoes and once I started peeling and cutting them I realized I had A I only used 2 and it worked out fine. Maybe they were much larger than the ones you used, but they seemed relatively normal sized to me.
    Another thing, after I added all the ingredients to the pot I was worried there wasn't enough liquid to cover the veggies to simmer (only half covered) so I added some water (I think 1/4-1/2 cup), which turned out being a big mistake cause I made it way too watery. In the end it was okay though, it tasted great and I ate it with some jasmine rice to soak up the runny sauce.
    I couldn't find the madras curry paste but I substituted it with another one, called Laxmi tandoori paste. The color turned out about the same, and it had a nice spicy kick to it.

    thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your comments- very useful so good to know. yes i think in hindsight i prtobably should be clearer on the size of the potatoes, mine were the same sort of size as baking potatoes (fist sized) so i would imagine if you had really large ones it would make a big difference- i'll update the post. Glad it all worked out for you in the end, would be interested to know how you found it if you made it again with smaller/less sweet potato.

  4. just linked this article on my facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all.

    Gift to Chennai

  5. Hi Yadhav, Thank you so much!

  6. Hi Jo, great recipe. We used cannellini beans rather than chickpeas too beacause I love 'em. And being calorie-conscious we chose a lighter coconut milk.

    We had this yesterday when a veggie friend visited with her boyfriend. She had it as her main and the meat eaters had it as their veg dish alongside a complimentary meat dish (using chicken, a tin of tomatoes, an onion and the same curry paste to tie in the flavours) everyone was very satisfied - even the usually meat-focussed boys!

    We'd like to try it again perhaps with a different curry paste to see how that changes the flavour. The one recommended in the comments above looks interesting.

    We did note that it took longer to cook than stated - 'chunks' is a fairly subjective term and my chef decided he wanted big chunks! All in all, a huge success. Thank you

    1. Yay, so glad it worked out well for you!! That makes me very pleased. x


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