An African sweet potato curry is so satisfying to make and eat. The marriage of the peanuts and the tomato pasato and the addition of spinach makes the whole dish sing. The chunks of sweet potato and quorn or other chicken substitute sit so well in the rich piquant sauce.
There’s not even any sweat over preparing the peanut sauce, because you can just use a top quality peanut butter. What could be simpler. Smooth or crunchy peanut butter – your choice – I prefer crunchy though.
The only tricky part is making sure the sweet potato is properly cooked but not over-cooked or it falls apart. I’m finding plant pioneers chicken pieces or Linda McCartney chicken pieces are the best, althou the new vegan Quorn works too – you can even just use pan fried tofu.
With the peanut butter, you definitley DON’T want to use one of those rubbish brands like sunpat – full of palm oil, sugar and other rubbish. Choose a wholefood style brand like Whole-earth, Meridian or Essential. With them, it’s just whole skin on peanuts, and nothing else apart from salt. I prefer to use a no salt version personally.
Sweet Potato Curry
- Large pan
- 60 ml 4tbsp coconut oil – or thereabouts…..
- 2 medium onions peeled and diced medium fine (1cm ish)
- ½ bulb of garlic cloves peeled and crushed or sliced.
- 25 g finely chopped fresh root ginger.
- 5 finger chillies
- 1/2 flat tsp cayenne pepper or chilli powder
- 15 g mild & 15g medium curry powder – can use a West Indian style curry too.
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes 600g approx scrubbed manky bits peeled then cubed fairly small – 2cm ish
- 500 ml tomato passata – whole pack.
- 500 ml water
- 1 onion cube & 2 flat teasps stock powder – or 2 veg stock cubes
- 400 g small spinach leaves – 2 bags approx – depending on the size of the bag!
- 250 g – 300g mushrooms button closed cup or chestnut – just use a whole packet is easiest!
- 150-175 g peanut butter depending on how “peanutty” you like it.
- Table spoon soya sauce.
- 30 g chopped fresh coriander
- Whole pack of Quorn chicken Peaze chicken or V-bites chicken pieces – 225-280g
- Soya yogurt to serve plus chopped coriander to sprinkle on top.
- Heat some of the coconut oil in a large pan (a large Le Creuset pan is good), add the onion and begin frying.
- After 5 minutes or so add the garlic and ginger & chopped chillies and fry gently for a further 5 mins until browning nicely.
- Meanwhile cook the “chicken” in the Actifry (or wok) for 9-10 minutes.
- Add the sweet potatoes to the main pan after onions have cooked for 5 mins, stir to coat with the onion, oil & garlic mixture and fry for a further 5 minutes.
- Towards the end of the 5 mins, add the chilli powder and curry powder and some extra oil if needed and cook for a further few minutes.
- Finally add the passata, water, stock cube and stock powder and peanut butter – stirring well to incorporate the ingredients.
- Bring to the boil and simmer and add any extra water that’s needed – you may need to top up – as this is not precise – not too thick – not too thin.
- Then cover the pan and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes on 150°C cooking and stirring occasionally until the potatoes are becoming tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan/wok, add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until golden and beginning to release their juices.
- Add to the pan in the oven and stir in along with the pre-cooked “chicken” mix.
- A short while later take out of oven and whilst on a lowish heat, stir in the spinach & chopped coriander.
- Then return to the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender
- Scatter over some chopped coriander and serve it at once with a dollop of soya yogurt if you have it, with either brown rice or wholemeal cous cous.