This chickpea, courgette & sweet potato curry is a new favourite in our house. We have loved and made a lot of curries over the years, mostly involving nightshade fruit, vegetables and spices I now avoid (to improve my arthritis) like tomato, potato, paprika, chilli and aubergine. I have been working on replacing them in my cooking, and here I really hit the jackpot! It has the sweet tang, the citrus bang, the earthiness of chickpeas and the melt in the mouth courgette. I am SO delighted to have that tomato-esque sauce, and in a less acidic and more nutritious way too, as sweet potatoes and limes together are nurturing, giving foods. We use baked sweet potatoes, and batch cook them every week to add to such meals, as baking gives a sweet smooth texture to dishes as well as their goodness. Using a baked sweet potato, unlike tomato you don’t need to reduce the sauce to create that silky richness, and so you can make a brighter, fresher curry more easily.
One of my favourite times to eat a curry is when it is waiting for us after a walk. As often as Dan and I can we get out, up into the hills. I live for the times when I can feel so free. We’re both never happier or more alive. The Peaks can be bleak, and yet they are so vibrant and full too. I adore their drama. We have seen mountain hares recently, still white, darting away across the snow patched tops, and heard our first lapwings, or peewits, of the year, their calls in flight make my heart sing in a way that little else can, the sound of the hills in spring and summer, of freedom and nature and the glorious wild. They soar and dance in the sky with each other in spring. I could sit and watch and listen to them for hours…
I love best the springs and streams, up and away, such wild and special places that I am lucky enough to live an easy walk from. And I love the thick moss, so much. The dazzling green, its softness, it is a paradise.
On returning our minds soon to draw to thoughts of food and the dinner that we have waiting for us at home. There is such a point on every walk, especially when my joints have started to really hurt, when what-is-for-dinner becomes a very important motivational topic! It’s so good coming home to a hot meal. And that’s one of the many things I love about food like this is that you can make a vat, it keeps well and improves overnight even, freezes well and is always appetising. It’s such beautiful food, packed with flavour, filling but light, rich but not too rich, and hits the spot every time.
Courgette are a wonderful replacement for the more traditional aubergine, another nightshade, and are more versatile because they’re good with bite or soft and can be added to a really fresh curry. I’m a big courgette fan, we eat them a lot in our house, and I just love the way they look too, their patterns are so beautiful, and the most gorgeous rich shades of green…
OMG I have just invented #froob shadows, voob shadows?! Ha ha xx
Chickpeas are such a good staple pulse, wonderfully filling, protein and goodness packed. We love to cook them up and eat them in our favourite bowls fresh and hot with a pinch of salt, and so always cook up extra so there are some left for the meal we are making.
Curry leaves really make the flavour of this sweet potato curry, they’re such a wonderful ingredient. We hadn’t used them often but I was encouraged to do so after reading about Sara’s wonderful trip to Sri Lanka and how she had rediscovered them. And bang! straight away we had created a curry that I needed so much in my life! It can be difficult when you freestyle with curry not to create too many layers of flavours that muddy. This dish is bright and fresh and balanced. The curry leaves are earthy with a citrus flavour, brightened all the more by the lime, ground and fresh coriander, and earthed by the cumin. We love the sweet potato curry best with buckwheat flatbread, a garnish of fresh coriander, a simple salad of leaves, here lambs lettuce with a squeeze of lime. I have mine with a dollop of coconut yoghurt, cooling, probiotic and nurturing, or just as it is, a filling and wholesome meal ♥
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup water, more if needed
- 1 cup of peas
- 1 courgette
- 1 medium cooked sweet potato, preferably baked
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 med/large onion, red or white
- 1 large garlic clove
- 3 tsp salt, or to taste
- 10 or so curry leaves
- 1 tsp natural sugar (or jam)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1-2 heaped tsp finely ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder or root
- 4 tbsp lime juice, more to taste
Soak your chickpeas overnight with a dash of vinegar, and cook with plenty of fresh water, bringing to the boil and simmering with the lid on. Alternatively you can used canned, but fresh is always tastier.
Bake the sweet potato in a hot oven. I bake loads and then keep them ready for another meal in the week. Remove their skin when cooled, it will come off easily. I don't add the skin to the curry, but I don't waste their goodness I eat them as I cook.
Chop the courgette into smallish pieces, I quarter lengthwise and then slice into chunks. Chop the onion to the size you enjoy. Heat the coconut oil on a low heat in you pan, add the onion and salt, and saute with the lid on for 10 minutes or so. Stir every few minutes, and half-way through add the curry leaves. Add the spices and chopped or crushed garlic when the onion is caramelising and soft and stir, being careful not to burn. You can add a dash of water when they are smelling delicious to make sure they don't catch.
Add the sweet potato and mash into the onion and spices (you could use a hand blender also if you prefer) and then add the water, natural sugar, lime juice, peas, courgettes and chickpeas, give a good stir and keep on a low heat at a simmer. Cook for half an hour or so, stirring occasionally to make sure it is isn't catching and adding more water if needed. Adjust the sweetness, salt and lime to your taste if needed.
Garnish with fresh coriander, optional but compliments the curry very well. Refresh with a squeeze more lime.
I have been listening to… Jamiroquai ‘Virtual Insanity’
I have been watching… Girls
I have been reading… Iris Murdoch ‘The Sea, the Sea’