Master this basic sweet potato coconut curry and you’ll be able to create endless variations. This Indian inspired curry is delicious, easy and a great recipe to have in your back pocket!
If you love Indian curries but are intimidated by the seemingly endless ingredients and complex techniques, this is a good place to start. Master this base recipe and then you can move ahead from there. This recipe can be tweaked to add chickpeas, lentils, spinach, kale, carrots or other vegetables to it.
The ingredients you’ll need for this easy sweet potato curry are quite simple. You’ll need onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes to make the base of the curry. Most Indian curries start with what is called a “gravy base” that involves these ingredients in different proportions.
The onions, garlic and ginger are first sautéed in oil until fragrant and soft. Next, the tomatoes are added along with the spices. If you plan to make a lot of curries at home, it’s a good idea to stock up on these three basic spices: cumin powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Almost every Indian curry recipe makes use of these spices.
Tips and Tricks
The key to making a good curry is to cook the spices well. Once they’re added along with the tomatoes, they need to be cooked until the tomatoes are soft and mushy and all the moisture from the tomatoes has evaporated. Next, take the mixture off the heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a blender and blend to a smooth paste. This is your “gravy base” for the curry. It is where all the flavor comes from.
It is a fairly straight forward curry but it results in an incredibly creamy, flavor packed dish. Once you get the method right and are fairly confident, feel free to play around with variations and add lentils or greens to it.
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Basic Sweet Potato Coconut Curry
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 inch ginger minced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 2 medium sweet potatoes diced into cubes
- 14 oz coconut milk one can
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- cilantro for garnish
- chili flakes for garnish
- Heat oil in a large skillet or soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes until fragrant and slightly softened.
- Add the tomatoes along with salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and chili powder. Mix well and cook for 7-8 minutes until the tomatoes are mushy and the moisture has evaporated. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the mixture back to the skillet or pot. Add the sweet potatoes, water and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 10-15 more minutes until the sweet potatoes have softened.
- Add the lemon juice and stir. Garnish with fresh cilantro and chili flakes before serving.