I’m a menu planner. Every week, when the grocery circular comes in the mail, I’ll sit down with it, my coupons, the weather forecast, and our calendars, and figure out what we’re having each night for the upcoming week. What started as a necessity when I was in grad school (free time for food shopping was at a premium; if I wanted to eat, I needed a plan), has become a comfortable habit. I know some people find this ridiculous and tedious: “How am I supposed to know what I’ll want to eat next Tuesday?” I’ve been asked. But I like knowing. It eliminates the 6:30 hangry and frustrated raid through my fridge. And, it informs my other meal choices (for instance, if I’m making risotto for dinner, I won’t have oatmeal for breakfast. I’ve been told this is weird, but to me risotto and oatmeal are, in the words of Sheldon Cooper, gastronomically redundant).
Anyway, earlier this week I was crafting our dinner plans, and asked my husband if he had any requests. “That chickpea curry stuff!” he responded, without a second thought. Okay, then. We’ll ignore the fact that I’ve never before made a chickpea curry, although his request made it seem like it was one of my go-to dishes. But hey, who am I to argue with a request for curry? So, turning to the interwebs, I searched for a recipe and came up with this: a vegan curry recipe featuring chickpeas and sweet potatoes. Given the success of our recent stew, I knew we’d both like the combination of veggies, so I gave it a go.
We were both very pleased with the way this curry turned out. After chopping the veggies, it was simple to saute them all together then simmer in the coconut sauce. And it had the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The heat is just subtle enough that it creeps up the back of your throat as you eat, and by the end of the meal your nose is running. But it’s not so overpowering as to drive you to get a glass of milk and swear off curry for the rest of your life. Really, all you need is a glass of the universal wine.
If you’re a menu planner like me, I’d highly recommend putting this on you list of upcoming meals. If you’re a harried pantry-raider, I’d get these ingredients to keep on hand for a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1” cube ginger, grated
- 2 Thai chilies, seeded and diced
- Canola Oil
- 1 tbsp sweet curry powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 14oz can coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies, and its liquid
- ¾ cup frozen peas
- Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan. Sauté onions in the oil. After a few minutes, add the chilies and continue to sauté. When the onions are translucent (about five minutes total), add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant.
- Add the spices, and stir to coat, about thirty seconds.
- Pour in the water, coconut milk, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes. Stir to combine. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- Add the tomatoes and peas, and simmer until everything is hot.
- Serve immediately, over rice.