Autumn, Winter, Main

Creamy sweet potato & chickpea curry

Curries are my go-to dish when I don‘t have the time or energy to think about what to make for dinner. I always have the ingredients to make a good curry to hand, and if I have a few leftover veggies, they'll go in too.

This particular curry was first made using some sweet potatoes that had begun to go soft at the ends, and were destined for the compost heap. I also had some leftover quick pink pickled onions (from a Mexican feast I'd made for New Year's Eve), a handful of radishes, and a bit a coriander in the depths of my salad drawer. I'll rarely make a curry if I don‘t have fresh coriander – for me, it's a bit of a must.

To lighten this dish for January, I used plain vegan yogurt instead of coconut milk – which, although it‘s a wonderful ingredient, is a little heavier on fats.

If you don't have sweet potato, butternut squash makes a great alternative – or, you can omit it altogether, and use whichever other veggies you prefer instead.



4 medium sweet potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces

Light oil, such as groundnut

1 large onion, diced

½-1 mild red chilli, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely grated

2 heaped tbsp grated ginger

1 tbsp mild curry powder

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp nigella or black onion seeds (optional)

1 tsp asafoetida (optional)

1 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp ground cinnamon

A large bunch of coriander, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped

400g tin chopped tomatoes

500ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp tamari

1 tbsp white miso paste

600g jar chickpeas

300ml plain vegan yogurt – coconut is my favourite here

Juice of 1 lime

For the quick pink pickled onions

1-2 red onions, thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp sea salt

To serve

Sliced radishes

2 red chillis, finely sliced

Sesame seeds

Rice or chapattis


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Place all the pink pickled onion ingredients in a small bowl, and scrunch them together. Set aside so the flavours can develop.
  3. Scatter the sweet potato evenly across the baking tray, drizzle with a little light oil, and season. Roast until soft and lightly charred – this should take about 20 mins.
  4. Meanwhile, make your curry sauce. Add 1 tbsp light oil to a large pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook gently, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent.
  5. Add the chilli, garlic, and ginger, and stir to combine. Turn down the heat, and cook for a further minute.
  6. Add the curry powder, garam masala, mustard seeds, nigella seeds and asafoetida, if using, turmeric, cinnamon and chopped coriander stalks. Stir to combine, and cook for a further minute or two, until fragrant.
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock, along with the tamari and miso paste. Stir to combine, turn up the heat to bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce to low again.
  8. Add the whole jar of chickpeas, liquid included – if you're using tinned chickpeas, drain them first.
  9. Stir in the yogurt and lime juice, and season with a good grinding of fresh black pepper. Taste for seasoning, adjusting as necessary.
  10. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, stir them through the curry, and keep the pan on a low heat until you're ready to serve – if you're adding fresh green veggies to your dish, such as spinach and broccoli, now's the time do so.
  11. When you're ready to serve, divide the curry between 6-8 bowls, and top with your pink pickled onions, coriander leaves, sliced radishes, chilli slices, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve with cooked rice or warmed chapatis and tuck in!

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