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Sweet potato, cauliflower and chickpea curry


My food tastes always change with the seasons and it’s no different when I’m cooking with spices. In summer, I crave fresh citrus and herb flavours with plenty of chilli heat – Thai, Vietnamese or Mexican flavours really hit the spot when the sun is out. But at this time of year I want mellow, mild and warming dishes, something gently spiced and comforting to come home to at the end of a cold day. I want cumin, cinnamon, allspice, sweet tomatoes and coconut to make a warming Moroccan tagine or a thick, rich curry.

This is my basic winter curry recipe. I normally have all of the ingredients to hand in the cupboard although I change the veg depending on what I have in the fridge. The backbone of this is cauliflower and sweet potato or squash, but I might add red peppers, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, lentils….whatever needs using up. I always have tinned tomatoes, chickpeas and coconut milk in the cupboard, so I can make this without any real planning ahead.

Start by toasting 1 tbsp cumin seeds and 1 tsp coriander seeds in a dry frying pan, just for a minute or so until they smell toasty and aromatic. Tip them into a pestle and mortar and grind. Add 1 tsp black mustard seeds, 1 tsp ground turmeric and about a dozen dried curry leaves.

Peel and finely chop a large red onion and fry in a little oil over a gentle heat until soft and lightly golden brown. Crush 4 cloves of garlic and add these to the pan, along with about 3-4 cm grated fresh ginger. Tip in the spices and stir for a couple of minutes to start bringing out their flavours.

Add to the pan a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes and  200ml vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile peel a couple of medium sized sweet potatoes and cut into 1cm dice and cut a small cauliflower into florets. Add to the sauce, season with some salt, then pop a lid on and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are just tender. Then add 200ml coconut milk, a 400g tin of chickpeas and 1-2tsp garam masala to taste and bring back to a simmer. When you’re ready to serve, add a couple of handfuls of spinach and allow to wilt for a minute and sprinkle over some chopped coriander leaves.

I like this with warm naan bread and some yogurt with a little chopped spring onion stirred through. Like all dishes like this, it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and the flavours will only improve in this time.

Serves 4, takes about 45mins.

Shopping list:

1tbsp cumin seeds

1tsp coriander seeds

1tsp turmeric

1tsp black mustard seeds

12 small dried curry leaves

1tsp garam masala

1 large red onion

About 4cm fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic

2 medium sweet potatoes

1 small cauliflower

about 100g spinach

A small bunch fresh coriander

400g tin chopped tomatoes

400g tin chickpeas

200ml coconut milk

200ml vegetable stock (I just used powdered)



2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Helen Palmer #

    Lovely to hear from you once again Anna! I look forward to trying your sweet potato, cauliflower and chick pea curry ~ sounds delicious

    February 23, 2017
  2. Jennifer Lees #

    This lovely curry recipe appealed to me straight away. I happened to have all the ingredients in the kitchen this weekend and decided to have a go. I can recommend it highly; it is a delicious, mild but tasty curry and, happily, there’s plenty left for another meal later in the week.

    February 26, 2017

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