Chickpea, Sweet Potato & Coconut Curry
This is a really warming, creamy, fragrant curry, and is now probably my favourite, having evolved for a couple of years with tweaks here and there. The chilli gives a lovely heat, nothing intense, just a pleasing kick – which you can increase (or decrease) as you please. My three year old happily eats this curry – I just stir a teaspoon or two of plain Greek yogurt into it first to take the heat out of it. The chunks of sweet potato and coconut milk make this a deliciously sweet dish, bolstered nicely by the chickpeas. I always serve this with basmati rice and garnish with coriander, accompanied by garlic naan bread and lashings of mango chutney. It’s a very moreish curry – but should you have any remaining, any leftover is absolutely fabulous warmed and stuffed into toasted pitta breads for lunch the next day!
This feeds 3-4 adults, depending how big you like your portions.
For the curry:
1 tbsp rapeseed / olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 crushed garlic clove
1/4 tsp chilli flakes (adjust to your taste, this is what I use)
1/2 tsp each of ground ginger, turmeric, cumin and coriander
100g sliced frozen peppers or 1 sliced red pepper (1 cup / 3oz)
350g diced sweet potato (2.5 cups / 12oz)
250mls coconut milk (1 cup)
250mls freshly boiled water (1 cup)
1/2 tsp each of lemon and lime juice
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas (I like Napolina)
Coriander to garnish (optional…. some people refer to this as the devil’s herb, who am I to force it on anyone!)
Before you start cooking, make sure you’ve done all your chopping and have everything nearby and ready to go into the pan.
On a low heat, heat the oil in a good-sized saucepan (one that has a lid.) Add the onion and garlic and gently soften for 5 minutes.
Add the spices and mix well. Continue to fry gently for another 5 minutes – this releases the oils, fragrance and heat from the spices.
Add the diced sweet potato and sliced peppers. Stir well to ensure they are coated with the spicy onion mix.
Now gently pour in the coconut milk, water, lemon and lime juices. Stir well. Turn up the heat a bit and bring to boiling point. Cover, reduce heat slightly and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are just tender. I tend to give it a stir every five minutes or so, to avoid anything sticking to the bottom of the pan.
After 20 minutes, remove lid and tip in the drained chickpeas. Cook for another ten minutes or so (uncovered), stirring every couple of minutes. You need to keep an eye on it now as you’ll notice the mixture has reduced and thickened nicely. You don’t want it to dry out and you don’t want to completely overcook the sweet potato – remove from the heat when you think it’s done (for me that’s usually ten minutes.)
Let it sit in the pan (lid back on again!) with the heat switched off while you cook your rice.
Garnish with coriander (if you like) and serve with your favourite Indian accompaniments.