Canned chickpeas are convenient, tasty and nutritious. Also, the chickpea liquid is protein rich, very similar to egg white and can be used to make cocktails, meringues and various other surprises. What's not to like? Chickpeas lend themselves particularly well to a curry, as evidenced by the famous Indian dish Chana Dal, and this one is a staple weeknight meal of mine.

I like to load it with fresh vegetables; you can go freestyle on the exact selection of veg, just use whatever's available. Onion and garlic for the base though, as with most curries, is an essential foundation.

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry Recipe


  • 2 medium onions
  • vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 small leek
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tins chickpeas
  • 2 tins coconut milk
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (or 1 stock cube)
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 handful coriander
  • 1 lime
  • 1 large handful baby spinach


  1. Peel and finely slice one of the onions. Heat a large, heavy-based casserole pot or pan over a medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil, and once the oil is hot, in about 30 seconds, add the finely sliced onion, the cumin seeds and a pinch of salt. Cook for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are starting to caramelise and brown slightly. Whilst the onion is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients: peel and finely chop (or grate) the garlic and ginger, cut the sweet potato into approximately 1 inch pieces, cut the carrots into approximately 1/2 inch pieces, cut the leek into 1/2 inch rounds, and cut the remaining onion into coarse slices along the grain.

  2. When the onion is nicely caramelised, add the garlic and ginger and stir once. Add the curry powder and turmeric, and stir-and-fry for one minute. Now add the sweet potato, leek, carrots, and the coarsely sliced onion, along with a generous pinch of salt. Turn the heat up, then stir-and-fry for about one minute. Add the (drained) chickpeas, coconut milk, fish sauce (or stock cube) and vinegar. Give everything a good stir and tase it. Add more salt if you think it needs it. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and gently simmer for 20 minutes.

  3. Once all the vegetables are cooked and tender, add the spinach to the curry and stir until it's wilted. Finally, add the coriander and a squeeze of lime juice. Check the seasoning one last time, then serve. It goes perfectly with a pile of white rice.