Creamy coconut chickpea curry! Oh how I love thee. This one’s a delicious mashup of the Indian subcontinent meets Southeast Asia. Onions, carrots, good ole taters and sweet potatoes are slow cooked in a rich tomato sauce spiced with ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and cayenne together with fresh ginger, garlic and red chili. To finish things off, there’s magical creamy coconut milk, oh-so loved chickpeas and fresh summer spinach. Dreamy. And a sure pleaser for vegans and non-vegans alike.
A simple and delicious coconut chickpea curry recipe
This coconut chickpea curry has the perfect balance of silky-creaminess and subtlety spiced flavor. It’s vegetable packed, super satisfying and most of all delicious. And despite the long list of ingredients and all the peeling and chopping, this recipe is actually super SIMPLE and EASY to prepare. I like to avoid the chaos by doing all the prep ahead of time. I even go so far as to mix all the spices in a bowl together so that all I have to do is toss them into the skillet all in one go rather than measuring them out one at a time.
An immunity-building and detoxifying curry
Lots of good things going one here. Spices like turmeric, cinnamon and ginger as well as onions and garlic, not only add a flavor boost, but they also offer loads of health benefits. The list is long, but here are just a few:
- Onions and garlic have lots of disease-fighting, health-promoting properties. Plus garlic gets the liver to produce detoxification enzymes that help filter out toxic residues in the digestive system.
- Cinnamon adds flavor and sweetens food naturally without the need for sugar. Plus it increases blood flow to the heart and can help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure.
- Turmeric is renowned for its anti-inflammatory power. It also helps the liver detoxify, is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties – also a powerful healer when colds or the flu strike.
- Ginger increases digestive enzymes, protects the lining of the stomach, has anti-inflammatory effects and helps to protect against cancer.
- Let’s not forget sweet potatoes and carrots. The same compounds (beta-carotene) that give them their vibrant orange hue can also help improve your complexion and the appearance of your skin plus protect against cell damage and premature aging.
This healthy and hearty coconut chickpea curry with sweet potatoes and spinach makes a great meal that can be enjoyed as leftovers the next day. Serve as is or over brown rice, quinoa, or a low-carb option like cauliflower rice.
Coconut Chickpea Curry with Sweet Potato and Spinach
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 fresh red chili, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- a couple generous grinds of black pepper
- 500 g package crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth (500 ml)
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (1-1/2 cm) (ca. 350 g)
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (1-1/2 cm) (ca. 300 g)
- Juice from half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
- 1 x 400 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 generous handfuls fresh spinach leaves, hard stems removed and chopped
- chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish (optional)
- Wholegrain basmati rice, or try quinoa
In a large deep saucepan or wok heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until they start to brown a little, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
Add the garlic, ginger, fresh chili, and spices (coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper). Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the crushed tomatoes, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute. Now stir in the broth, potatoes, sweet potatoes and lemon juice. Cover and bring to a light boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and continue to cook at a low simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 35-40 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and chickpeas. Simmer until heated through, then add the spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes until wilted.
Serve into bowls with rice and garnish with fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
- Since there are quite a few spices in this recipe, I like to mix the dried spices together in a small bowl before I get started. I find this makes the cooking process much easier.
- I buy organic coconut milk, which sometimes has a higher cream content then other times. On rare occasions the cream can look a little bit curdled. In my experience this doesn’t affect the flavor at all, however you may notice tiny flecks of white coconut cream in the sauce.
- I like to serve this recipe with whole grain basmati rice. It’s simple to prepare — and perfect every time! All you need to do is put the rice in a pot of water (it’s cooked in lots of water just like potatoes), stir, then cover and turn the heat to low and simmer it for 25 minutes, then drain in a colander and allow it to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Easy, peasy and there is plenty of time to prepare the rice while the curry is cooking.
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