Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sweet Potato Curry

My very snuggly friend Kelaine came over to last night to learn how to make one of her favorite foods and to school Mark and I at Just Dance 2. I think she broke the Wii when she got the national all-time top score while dancing along to Wham. Anyway, back to the food. I whipped up a version of this curry dozens of times over the years that Kelaine and I lived together and since I flew the coop, Kelaine wanted me to give her this recipe so that she could make it herself. You can add lots of different vegetables to this curry (red pepper, squash), but the sweet potatoes are the anchor and they are magical with the spicy curry and coconut milk. This curry comes together quickly so you can make it on a weeknight as we did. I serve it with cous cous, which is really easy to make. I like to top it off with chopped parsley for freshness, a sprinkle of crunchy sunflower seeds, and queso fresco. Apparently topping it with the queso is very authentic for curry, which makes sense because it is delicious. I really love this curry and I hope you give it a try.
Sweet Potato Curry
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 large onion or 2 leeks
2 cloves garlic
1 can garbanzo beans
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh ginger (or ginger powder)
2 bay leaves
1 beer
1 can coconut milk
salt and pepper
olive oil
parsley, sunflower seeds, and queso fresco for garnish

1. Chop leeks or onions and garlic. Sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper and saute them on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften.
2. Add spices and the garbanzo beans and cook them together with the onions for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 1 inch chunks and add them to the pan.
4. Add the can of beer and the can of coconut milk to the pan. I use PBR or some light beer. You don't want a beer with stronger flavor that will make the curry bitter or overpower it.
5. Stir the mixture together well. It is NOT going to taste good at this point (lukewarm beer and coconut milk anyone?) but you need to give it a little taste for seasoning at this point. It will probably need another 1/2 tsp. salt and depending on your taste, you can add more curry powder if you want a stronger flavor. As it cooks, the flavors will deepen so don't go too crazy, but you want it to have a good flavor know so that it will have even better flavor in 20 minutes.
6. Cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and allow to continue to simmer for 10 more minutes to thicken up slightly.
7. I serve the curry with cous cous (follow the instructions on your box, but it is way easier to make than rice), chopped parsley, queso fresco, and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.


  1. I can't believe how easy it is to make this. I must invest in some of that Madras curry. We used more than 2 tsp of it, which made this exceptionally tasty. And for those of you used to eating curry over rice, give cous cous a chance. It's somewhat sweet and a much smoother texture than the rice. Really a nice combination.

    Thanks for the recipe and the apprenticeship in Corcoran Street Kitchen. Next time, do not send Mark in to stop me from cleaning. I'd much rather battle him on the Wii dance floor than in the kitchen.

  2. Made this over the weekend and it was yum!!!

    (I am Lauren. We met at the Bridesmaid Bar Crawl last year. I can't really cook at all, but this blog is giving me reasons to try--and I'll be damned if I'm not getting better!)

  3. I'm so glad that you liked it! It's not too hard either, right?

    And...when is the next Bridesmaid Bar Crawl? Kelaine, Lizzie, and I want another one! I have plenty more dresses where that one came from.