Since the risotto recipe, I’ve been on a bit of a thing for sweet potatoes. As I bought in bulk, I’ve got a huge supply of them in my cupboard, but I’m definitely not complaining! Finding a forgotten-about tin of chickpeas, I decided to make a sweet potato and chickpea curry from an online recipe I found. The ingredient list wasn’t difficult to source, and the end result was delicious, but the recipe was incredibly hard to follow – my sweet potato was so ‘tender’ it was barely whole. The method I have written below is hopefully more helpful, although it does increase the time you will have to spend in the kitchen to monitor the cooking of the ingredients as although rough timings are provided, I think it will mainly depend on how powerful your hob is! Don’t let this put you off though, because this curry is definitely worth it. It is creamy yet warming, and the flavours of the garlic, ginger and chili complement each other brilliantly. And like the risotto, the sweet potato gives the dish a wonderfully vibrant colour.
Although vegetarian, I think this recipe would benefit (admittedly mainly for meat eaters!) from the addition of chicken, or some cooked pork, added towards the end. This would make this curry a great dish to make after a big Sunday roast, to use up the ends of the meat from a few days before!
- Red onion, diced
- A clove of garlic, crushed or finely diced
- Ginger – I used a few teaspoons of dried, but grated fresh would work equally well, if not better for a stronger flavour
- Chili – same as above; I used dried but finely sliced fresh would also be good
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Sweet potatoes, diced into rough chunks – roughly a large/medium potato for 2 people
- Tin of coconut milk (400g)
- Tin of cooked chickpeas (400g)
- 400ml hot vegetable stock
- Curry paste – I used 1 ½ tablespoons of ‘hot’; if you use
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or frying pan, which has an accompanying lid, over a medium heat. Add the diced onion and fry until softened but not browned. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic and the ginger and chili. If using either fresh or dried, stir until all the ingredients are combined and then fry for roughly a further five minutes, until hopefully the aromas begin to fill the kitchen!
- Add the chunks of sweet potato and stir until they are well covered in the other ingredients. Pour in the coconut milk and raise the heat back to medium.
- Stir the curry paste into the stock until dissolved, and add this to the pan. Mix into the coconut milk – the coconut milk should at this point begin to take on the colour of the curry paste.
- Bring to the boil, and then reduce to a low heat and cover. Simmer. And here is where my downfall was – the hob in our kitchen is notoriously poor, and so even
though the recipe instructed a twenty five minute simmer, I was fully expecting it to be an extensive hour-long process! But after the twenty five minutes were up, the sweet potato was so tender it fell apart at the slightest touch. I would say that the sweet potato would have been sufficiently tender after around ten minutes, and so I would advise to simmer for fifteen minutes, and then check by pricking the potatoes with a fork. It should be soft, but still retain its shape, just like normal potatoes – if it needs further cooking, I would check on it in five minute slots to ensure you end up eating whole foods!
- Drain the tin of chickpeas, and add to the curry. Simmer for a further five minutes, until warmed through. If using left over meat, I would add it at this point, and just cook until warm.
- Season. Serve over rice, and top with fresh coriander if you have it!