I really like the idea of sweet potato and chickpea curry: all the curry flavours without the heaviness of meat. Sometimes vegetables are all you want. But here’s the thing. I find using just sweet potatoes and chickpeas a bit boring. I need a little more variety. So although the two main ingredients name this curry, it actually contains pumpkin, zucchini and spinach too, ensuring you meet your daily quota of vegetables.
Curries have always been a staple for us. A once a week tradition. No one ever said: I hate that or not again, when curry was offered up. It was always chicken, beef or lamb made with varying spice mixes and cooked slowly for maximum flavour. More often than not it was served with dahl and pappadums, and yoghurt and chutney. A mini feast that everyone loved.
But time changes all things and increasingly Indian curries have been relegated to something we used to make. You see, Mexican has infiltrated and taken over as the spicy food of choice. Although it doesn’t mean Indian curries have disappeared altogether. Now, if I make one, it tends to be vegetarian, for no other reason than it’s good to try new things; and suddenly everyone likes eating loads of vegetables.
If you prefer to use only sweet potato and chickpeas, then double the quantity of each of these two ingredients and leave out the pumpkin, zucchini, and capsicum. I’d leave the spinach leaves in, because it adds a little bit of colour to an otherwise yellow dish. Whatever you decide to go with in the vegetable department, the bonus of cooking a vegetarian curry is: dinner in an hour, something that never happens when you use beef or lamb. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 2.5 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 x 400 ml tin diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
- 1 x 400 ml tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 250 – 300 grams pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2.5cm cubes
- 1 zucchini, cut into large chunks
- ½ red capsicum, cut into large chunks
- large handful baby spinach leaves
- basmati rice
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and fry the cumin seeds for two minutes until they splutter.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Add cumin powder, coriander, turmeric and salt and fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini, capsicum and stir to coat with the spices. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and coconut milk. Stir to combine, and simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are cooked.
- Stir in the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until wilted. Check seasoning adding salt and chilli to taste.
- Serve with basmati rice.