Not the most authentic curry out there, but a warm and tasty meal nonetheless. It was fairly easy to throw together and the only time-consuming part was waiting the 30 minutes for the potatoes to cook. On a weeknight, you could easily leave this to simmer on the stove while you take care of other chores–a plus for any busy household.
There is lots of potential for easy experimentation here as well. Michael Smith suggests trying other nut butters, using squash instead of sweet potato or varying the spice with different curry pastes, but I think mixing up the citrus juice (lime or lemon instead of orange) would really brighten up the flavours of this dish. I think experimenting with different kinds of veggie combinations could also lead to some tasty results.
The use of peanut butter (or in our case, imitation peanut butter) really thickens up the sauce in this dish. If you prefer a saucier curry, you may want to skip the nut butter altogether.
If you shred the spinach into small pieces and make sure they are soft and wilted before removing the pan from the heat, this dish can be served as is to a child who is experienced with eating solid food (about 9 months and older).
If you want to try it yourself. . .
Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry (source: The Best of Chef at Home by Chef Michael Smith)
a splash of vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
a small knob of frozen ginger
1 tsp. of Thai curry paste
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
one 19 oz. can of chickpeas
one 14 oz. can of coconut milk
1 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of peanut butter or any other nut butter (we used imitation peanut butter and it worked out fine)
a sprinkle or two of sea salt
1 cup or so of frozen peas
several handfuls of spinach
a bunch of chopped cilantro (if you like that sort of thing)
- Add a splash of two of vegetable oil to a stockpot over medium-high heat. Toss in the onion and garlic and saute them until they’re lightly browned, about 5 minutes or so.
- Grate the frozen ginger into the pan with a Microplane grater or standard box grater and add the Thai curry paste. Continue cooking until the spices are heated through and fragrant, another few minutes.
- Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, orange juice, peanut butter and salt. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and continue simmering until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the peas and spinach and cilantro.
- Serve over rice.
- Freestyle variation: There are three basic types of Thai curry paste, each with its own distinctive flavour. You may choose one based on your tolerance for spicy heat: yellow is the mildest, red is a bit spicier and green is the spiciest. This dish cooks very well in your slow cooker. You may use any type of hard winter squash instead of sweet potatoes; butternut and acorn work well.
Makes 6-8 servings.