Incredibly Good Vegan Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry
Full disclosure: curry used to scare me. Like, a lot.
It scared me because there’s no real way to do it – there are so many types of curries, and so many spices that can go into curry, and questions like to toast or not to toast, curry powder or no curry powder…ahhhh! It’s mind boggling and intimidating!!
But I couldn’t be afraid of curry forever, because it’s too damn delicious. And, I’m always up for a challenge, so I took the plunge and created this recipe.
I encourage everyone to eat more plants, and this curry totally hits the spot – for meat-eaters and vegans alike! It’s spicy (and feel free to make it even spicier!), filling, creamy, and so easy to make. Plus, it freezes like a dream, so you can make a huge batch and throw it into the freezer for those cold winter nights when you’d rather not cook. Perfecto.
The sweet potato is what gives this curry its creamy texture. Love. See? You don’t need dairy to make things creamy!
Don’t be afraid of the spices used in curry. Things like cumin, turmeric, and coriander seed are fantastic to have in your pantry regardless of what you’re cooking; buy them for this recipe, but use them in many, many others.
It’s actually helpful to know a bit about spices before you set out to make curry. My mom bought me a book about Indian spices and cooking, so I pored over that for far too long before attempting this dish.
A few things I learned were:
- Curry powder is a shortcut, but definitely not necessary. It’s a mixture of spices typically used in Indian cooking – fenugreek, coriander, turmeric etc. – but is very generic. Not to worry though – it’s still good.
- Toasting whole spices before using them in a curry adds depth of flavor.
- You can actually use whole, toasted spices – like cumin and coriander seeds – in a curry. You don’t have to grind them.
- Don’t be afraid of curry.
This recipe makes a LOT of curry. CURRY FOR DAYS!!!
- 3-4 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2-3 T olive oil
- 156 ml can of tomato paste
- 2 540ml cans of chickpeas
- 1 400ml can of coconut milk
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 5-6 oz spinach, washed and torn from stems
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T chopped fresh ginger, around a 1" piece
- 1 handful cilantro
- 1 t cumin seeds
- 1 t coriander seeds
- 2 T olive or other oil
- 1 t ground turmeric
- 1 t garam masala
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- salt to taste
- Optional: diced hot chili pepper
Toss sweet potatoes in 2-3T oil and roast at 350F until soft. Blend until very smooth with the broth and coconut milk in a high speed blender or food processor.
Heat 2T oil in a large pan and add the cumin and coriander seeds, toasting until just fragrant. Don't burn them!
Add the onion, turmeric, and garam masala and sautée for a few mins until translucent, then add the ginger and garlic, cooking for another 3-4 mins. This is where you’ll add the chili pepper if you like things extra hot.
Add the chickpeas and sautée for 2-3 mins, then pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan. Add the tomato paste, spinach and cilantro.
Cook until heated through.
Serve with rice and/or naan. XOXO