Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry with Green Peas

Well, I was a little sore after Sunday’s 5k, but nothing too bad.  I’m back at it today with a track workout this evening, weather permitting.  And then next week, my 16-week marathon training program begins!  16 weeks seems like such a short time, but when I realize that this blog isn’t yet 11 weeks old, it seems a long way off.  I’m so excited about my recent race times that I kind of wish the marathon were even sooner.  Not that I think I’m in any kind of shape to qualify for Boston yet; I just want that day to be here.

Killer No-Meat Curry

[curry photo]

Yesterday I made this sweet potato curry from a new cookbook I got on sale at Barnes & Noble over the weekend, Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: Vegetarian.  You might recall that I made a cauliflower curry a few weeks ago and used tandoori powder.  Though I liked it a lot, I was a little disappointed because it didn’t have that deep, traditional, restaurant curry flavor that I love so much.  So I used regular old McCormick curry powder in this one, and it was great!  Plus, it’s cooked in a dutch oven, and boy do I love using my dutch oven.  And not just because “dutch oven” makes me chuckle every time I say it to myself.  Dutch oven.  🙂

I have this anal-retentive friend, let’s just call him Drat, who runs the blog So Neat Mathlete.  He has a strange obsession with neat, uniform things, so he coerced me into posting a few photos of the ingredients after I diced them all so nicely.  Until I learned a few basic knife skills, my ingredients often turned to mush because I had to chop them so much to get the largest pieces down to size.  But now that I’m in the know, chopping is faster, neater and even a little bit fun (for Drat, that is).  So one of these days I’ll add a chopping section to the new How to Follow Recipes page.

[Diced ingredients 2 photo]

[Diced ingredients 1 photo]

Anyway, the curry turned out really well.  It was the best curry I’ve ever made (but I haven’t made many), and the whole thing only took about half an hour, most of which was just simmering time.  I’ve determined that coconut milk is the key to making good curry at home.  I used to just sprinkle curry powder on a piece of chicken or some vegetables and wonder why it didn’t have the depth of flavor that I associate with curry.  Coconut milk is a way to get that depth quickly.  Plus, coconut is so good for you once in a while; get over your 1980’s and early-90’s saturated fat hangup, Zack Morris.

All in all, a great meal.  I give it 4 cows for taste, 4.5 for the total package of taste, ease of preparation, and nutrition.  Very substantial and filling, with complex carbohydrates (brown rice) and lots of protein, if that’s your thing.  Definitely NMA-approved fuel for no-meat marathoner.  Here’s my ever-so-slightly adapted recipe.  Make it.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry Recipe

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • Cooked brown rice, however you like it (we used 2 boil-in-bags this time)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 15-oz can chickpeas
  • 15-oz can coconut milk, solid and liquid parts mixed (just shake the can)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water

In a heavy saucepan (Dutch oven if you have it!), heat the oil over medium-low heat.  After the pan has heated up for a few minutes, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno.  Cook for about 5 minutes until everything is softened.  Add the curry powder and stir for 30 seconds.  Add salt and pepper (I added a lot of salt, almost a tablespoon).

Add the sweet potato, chickpeas, coconut milk, and water to the pan.  Increase the heat and bring to a boil.  As soon as it starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sweet potato is tender.  It took about 15 minutes for me.  Add the peas and tomatoes; stir occasionally until they’re heated through, about 4 more minutes.  Serve over brown rice.



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  1. Holy yum, that looks delish! Adding it to the ever-growing list of recipes to make…

    • Ah yes, the ever growing list of to-make recipes that we all have…you should check out Evernote.com if you haven’t yet. You download a button for your browser, and all you do is highlight something and click the button and it saves it as a note, like a new recipe card. And it keeps track of where everything came from so you can go back to the orgininal site if you want.

    • Jade Sherman says:

      I loved this! But it turned not very curry tasting! Would it be the curry powder I used? How could I make it tastier and not so runny!? Less water and a better brand maybe!?

  2. This sounds really good. I have been using coconut and coconut milk a lot lately in my Indian dishes.

    The Williams-Sonoma books are top notch. I don’t think I’ve come across the vegetarian one.

    Lisa’s last blog post..Mung Beans with Mixed Vegetables

  3. Sweet potatoes + chickpeas + coconut milk sounds like a winner in my book! I put chickpeas on my salad almost every day 🙂

    Megan (The Runner’s Kitchen)’s last blog post..Vegetables and Muscles

    • I’ve eaten so many chickpeas since I went veg. I used to cook with them occasionally, but now that I eat all kinds of beans more, my chickpea consumption is through the roof!

  4. I also made an awesome vegetable curry tonight… Will post the recipe on my blog tomorrow. But I’ll be sure to try your recipes too!

    Hanlie’s last blog post..HYC Update

  5. Mmm that sounds fantastic! I love curry so much. Also too cool that you’re doing the marathon, I’m in awe of your marathon-running abilities. You’ve got a great blog.

    Sagan’s last blog post..Guest Post: The Transformation to a Warped Body Image

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog! 😀

    I’m loving the sound of this curry dish. Mmm…I tried making one a while back and let’s just say it wouldn’t have earned the 4 cows for taste that you gave this one. 😉 I’m going to have to try it out for sure!!

    Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)’s last blog post..Hungry Monday


  8. Oooh, great knife. Is it a Wusthof?

    Oh, and the sweet potato curry…nice! Sweet taters are one of our fave veggies. All day, everyday!

    The Duo Dishes’s last blog post..The Perfect Pair

    • Yep it’s a Wusthof. Which is funny, because we registered for it as a wedding gift, only to realize once we got it that the rest of our knives are Henckels. But it’s one of our favorites. I need to get a chef-knife sized santoku instead of just the small one though.

  9. Colorful and vibrating in a healthy way! I do make curries but Chickpeas and Sweet potato is a new combination for me 🙂 Sure this going to be my dinner sometime this week 🙂

    Ann’s last blog post..Black Bean Burger

    • Great, let me know how it is! I was really happy with it. Very mellow. If you’re in the mood for spicy, use a different curry powder or better yet, make your own.

  10. We made this tonight and really enjoyed it. The recipe got itself hole-punched and thrown into the binder so we will add this to the growing meals we can make.

  11. I love love love curry. I can’t wait to try this one (though, I’ll have to do it when my husband is away on business as he hates the sight of chickpeas, peas or any legume, for that matter!

    Have you tried jasmine brown rice? My family loves the aroma and how well it blends with curry dishes. I usually cook it in my veggie/rice steamer.

    Natalie’s last blog post..The Algarve

    • Wow, I can’t imagine what I’d do if I hated chickpeas and legumes. I’m guessing he’s not a vegetarian?

      I have had jasmine rice, and only recently did I find the brown type. And you’re right, it’s delicious. I’d really like to make coconut rice sometime.

      • Oh no, he’s not a vegetarian, nor do I think he’ll ever be! I’m not either – but, would like to make the switch to mostly vegetarian (I don’t know if I can give up fish and chicken). I’m allergic to soy and a dozen or so raw fruits and veggies. Also almonds, etc. So, all vegetarian would be tough for me. You have great recipes he that are inspiring me, however!

        Natalie’s last blog post..The Algarve

        • Food allergies do make it tough. I’ve found that giving up chicken was really easy, I do still sometimes want some fish but even that isn’t so hard to get used to. Plus, I’m still willing to eat fish every once in a while, so just knowing that makes it easier to avoid it 99% of the time.

  12. Hey I made this last night and it was awesome! I was impressed too by how quickly it came together. I made a couple of substitutions- I used muchi curry powder so I didn’t add the jalapeno as it was plenty spicy! Also, Greg isn’t a fan of coconut milk so I used one of those mini 5 oz cans of coconut milk and vegetable broth for the rest. We ate it with grilled pineapple on top and naan. Cheap, filling, wholesome, and YUMMY!

  13. Cooking will be a challenge for me. But then, I’m all for trying… 🙂

  14. I also cooked this tonight! Delicious! I threw in some chopped yams as well, that worked!

  15. I was searching for curry recipes and this was exactly what I was looking for. I’m going to try it out tonight. Thanks for putting it online!

  16. Jennifer says:

    I made this last night. FANTASTICO! Served over quinoa it’s mighty tasty too!

  17. This has become my favourite vegetarian recipe! Thanks Matt. 🙂

  18. Just made this tonight, and it was AMAZING. I have never had coconut milk before, and this was a great introduction. I added some sauteed chard with the rest of the can of diced tomatoes on the side, and it was perfect!

  19. Hi Matt,
    I made this today, I am not super familular with curries but this turned out awesome! I have never used a jalapeno before so I only used 1/2 and I added broccoli…Turned out Awesome! I will definately be putting this in to the meal rotation!
    Thanks again!

  20. Oh my gosh — this is the best curry I’ve every made! I whipped it up for dinner last night after finding your site for the first time yesterday afternoon. Now I’m a devotee! I’m having it for lunch over wild rice and it is seriously addictive. Next time, I’ll most likely choose a lighter version of coconut milk because I skimmed a substantial amount of congealed fat off the top today. But the flavor…..OMG! Vegetarian never tasted so good. Thanks for passing the recipe along.

  21. Katiera Pfeister says:

    I didn’t know what to expect, but it was very good and healthy!


  1. […] Saturday night we cooked at the apartment and I made my traditional pre-race Chickpea Sweet Potato Coconut Curry. It is just packed with good stuff, but I usually cut back on the spice a bit when I make it before […]

  2. […] curry was thrown together from available items, but a couple of my favorite real curry recipes are this sweet potato and chick pea recipe on NoMeatAthlete and a potato, spinach and chickpea mix here from the Epicurious site […]

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