Sweet potato curry

Sweet potato curry

sweet potato curry pan

While it started to feel like spring only a few days ago over here, the cold is back on and so I am still in the comfort food mode. Today’s recipe is the simplest sweet potato curry that only requires some staple cupboard ingredients and a couple items of fresh produce.

This South Indian-inspired sweet potato curry is easy and quick to make and tastes delicious, especially the day after it was made. I like to serve it on some plain steamed rice, topped with fresh coriander and some toasted cashew nuts for some extra texture. If you want to make it more nutritious use brown rice or accompany the dish with some flaky naan bread for a more indulgent meal.

I am only just over a week away from my driving test and as UK is in a driving test shortage (there are no tests available for months and months), I am starting to feel a lot of pressure if I am honest. This is when a recipe like this sweet potato curry is fantastic. I can make a double portion of it an about an hour and instead of worrying about what to cook for dinner, I can spend all my time practicing driving with my super patient (and long suffering may I add) husband, cramming ‘show me tell me‘ questions and looking at driving test routes online. Hope you’ll enjoy this curry as much as we have been.

sweet potato curry spices

Start off frying whole spices in little oil. Once mustard seeds start popping and cumin seeds become fragrant, add finely diced onion. Carry on frying it gently until translucent and softened, before adding in ginger and garlic. Once ginger and garlic are softened, add most of the ground spices to the aromatics for about 30-60 seconds. Be sure to keep the flame really low and season at every stage of the cooking process.

sweet potato curry tomatoes

Next, add in canned tomatoes. Squash them down well with a wooden spoon or a potato masher to speed the process up.

sweet potato curry reducing

Next add in some water and cook the tomatoes down on low-medium hear until fairly unform sauce forms. If the tomatoes are still chunky but the pan starts to look dry, add a splash more water and carry on simmering.

sweet potato curry coconut milk

Next goes in coconut milk and cubed potatoes. Put the lid on and simmer the curry until potatoes are cooked through – about 15 minutes.

sweet potato curry made

Add drained chickpeas to the pan, season with more salt, lime juice and a pinch of sugar if needed. Serve on plain rice, with chopped coriander and toasted cashews on top.

sweet potato curry pan

sweet potato curry closeup

sweet potato curry macro

sweet potato curry bowl

15 min
60 min
15 min
60 min


  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp hot chili flakes
  • 10 dried curry leaves
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • a good grind of black pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala, divided


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (I use mild olive oil)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • a thumb piece of ginger (2 tbsp very finely diced)
  • approx. 1 tsp fine sea salt, adjust to taste
  • 400 g / 14 oz can of peeled plum tomatoes
  • 500 g / 17.5 oz sweet potatoes (2 medium)
  • 400 g / 14 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 400 g / 14 oz can chickpeas (optional)
  • handful of cashews (optional)
  • juice of ½ lime
  • handful of coriander/cilantro, chopped
  1. Get your spices ready. Place ground spices (apart from ½ tsp garam masala) into a small bowl..
  2. Heat up oil on a low-medium heat, in a heavy bottom pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and wait until they start popping, stirring from time to time.
  3. Add in cumin seeds, dry curry leaves and chilli flakes. Fry gently for a minute or so – until the cumin releases its fragrance.
  4. Add chopped onion, saute it gently, stirring from time to time until it gets soft and lightly caramelised in places. Season.
  5. Add garlic and ginger. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring frequently so that ginger does not stick to the pan.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and add all the ground spices (save ½ tsp garam masala for later). Coat everything in the pot in the spices. Stir frequently, cook for 30-60 seconds until all spices are fragrant.
  7. Add canned tomatoes squashing them down well with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Add a can worth of water and salt.
  8. Simmer, stirring from time to time, until the tomatoes fall apart and thicken into a slightly chunky sauce – add more water if the pan is looking to dry before.
  9. Meanwhile, cut peel sweet potatoes and cut into small (1 cm / 0.4 inch) cubes. Heat up a small pan on low heat and toast cashews until browned on both sides. Set aside to cool, then chop roughly.
  10. Add coconut milk to the pan, let the sauce come to a gentle simmer than add potato cubes. Cover, then simmer for about 15 minutes – or until potato cubes are cooked through.
  11. Take the lid off, add drained chickpeas to the pan, season with lime juice and sprinkle with garam masala.
  12. Serve on top of cooked rice or/and with a vegan naan, with chopped coriander leaves and toasted cashews on top.


10 g
29 g
20 g
6 g
35 g
*per 1 out of 4 portions
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4 reviews, 12 comments
Amazing dish!
Made double the recipe the day before serving and my 8 guests were delightful!
I hardly ever write a review, but I think you deserve it, since you explain everything so well, and it turns out perfect! This is not an easy thing!
Also, this is the second recipe I make from your blog (the other one was the butternut squash curry) and they were both excellent.
I am turning vegan and it is very helpful to get inspired by your recipes.
Thank you so much!!!
    Thanks Ana, I am so happy to hear that I am making your transition to veganism a little bit easier and that the guests approved too. Ania
Sadly, curry recipes lose me at 'tomato'. I'm always curious as to what the best substitute or previous to the tomato introduction was historically speaking. I think it is mostly tamarind paste from some recent things I've read, because I sort of doubt the carrot/beet/lemon or vinegar recipes to substitute tomato sauces would necessarily work as well.
I have sensitivity to tomatoes as well as soy, so some recipes either take a major re-work or jump the track entirely.
Any thoughts/suggestions on your end?
    Hi Laurel,
    I appreciate the difficulty you are having, tomatoes are such an obvious and convenient thing to use to create curry (and other) sauces. In this case, I would recommend maybe blending some cooked sweet potato (you can bake it whole, unpeeled, at 200 C / 390 F until you can skewer it easily) to bulk up the sauce and adding tamarind paste to balance flavour. Since you are adding extra sweet potato to your sauce, I would only use 300 g / 10.5 oz of cubed potato in the curry and add an extra can of chickpeas maybe or something else like spinach or tenderstem broccoli. Hope this helps. Ania
I just made this dish this evening and can unequivocally say it was one of the best curry meals ever. It was smooth from the coconut milk, had deep, rich flavors from the spices, had great texture due to the garbanzos and sweet potato, had a hint of heat, and a well-integrated tang from the tomatoes and lime juice. I happened to have a cooked sweet potato, and I loved the texture and contrast between the raw and cooked sweet potato I added. Unfortunately, I did not have any cilantro (I made cilantro and roasted pumpkin seed and walnut pesto last night), nor did I have cashews.
I'll have to make it again soon.
    Aw thank you Tom, I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this sweet potato curry so much! Thank you for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. Ania
My vegan chef hubs made this for us today after i showed him your recipe. We were going to have something else till we both drooled over just the recipe!! Dropped everything to make it. Turns out we were out of cashews and car was in the shop... so we managed sans cashews. This time.
Beyond FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That fresh ginger... all the spices and herbs and flavors melded sooo beautifully... into a heavenly dish that we're both still relishing. I made us a combo of brown rice, golden rice and a little wild rice. Perfect combo!
Thank you sooo much for this. Recently joined your newsletter. If this is just the beginning... man oh man!! Scrumptialous!! <-- my word. I'm quite sure it'll eventually show up on his new blog... with credit to YOU for this awesome recipe! Cheers!
    Thank you Suzi, I am so happy you enjoyed the flavours of the sauce - that's the most important element. Other than that curry is so adaptable so I am happy you made it your own. Looking forward to seeing your husband's version. Ania
Good luck with the test Ania ! I failed mine twice... try not to let nerves get the better of you (easier said than done, I know)
    Thank you Helen, appreciate your support. Yes, nerves are a big thing for me, I suffer from anxiety anyway and driving is quite anxiety provoking for me if I am in a new area/don't know where I am going. Ania
I love the sound of this curry it looks so good I don’t like chick peas what else would you use? Or would you just leave it out ?
    Great to hear, Mandy. How about black eyed peas? That would be my second choice. I hope you'll enjoy it. Ania
      Thanks again for this recipe, Ania! We cooked some chickpeas for this dish, tho we already had black-eyed peas already cooked. Might try those next time, just for variety. Also... subbed a little bit of leek and some green onions for the onion. Superb! We'll be eating this dish regularly.
        Aw thanks Suzi, that makes me so happy to hear. Ania
    Baked 1/4 inch tofu might work.
    Thank you Mandy, I am so happy to hear that. Yes, you can totally skip them or use a different kind of legume - I would go for black eyed peas for example. Ania
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