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Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

Curry: a true British Classic if ever there was one and one of the most enjoyable of foods to make.  Curry has become part of the British cooking repertoire and with the abundance of Indian food stores here in the UK you can get hold of such a glorious variety of spices, herbs and products.  That is not to say that our curries are really representative of traditional Indian food.  I recently read that in a major Southern Indian food festival, British Curry had its own agenda as their spicing and flavours are just so different than that of their Indian counterparts.  Personally speaking, I am nothing but a novice to the art of spicing, but I do love to make a good curry and try to make good use of my beautiful spice kit as much as possible.

This particular curry is a little creation of my own which uses the best of all the spinach growing in my garden!  Normally you would toast the spices in order to bring out their flavour, before adding them to the dish.  In this case, I have roasted the spices with the sweet potato before adding it to the sauce.  I think it adds a lovely, nutty texture and I love the starchy, sugariness that the sweet potato brings.  It absorbs the spiced coconut milk and its flavours sit gently against the iron rich tang of the spinach.  Like all good curries, it is best made the day before eating as that gives the flavours a chance to meld together and develop.  I served this with a bowl of dhal, brown basmati rice, Coriander Roti (more on those later) and a sambal of mango chutney, sliced bananas and a tomato and onion salad.  It was a feast!


Serves 4

1kg sweet potato

1 large onion

100g fresh spinach

1 large tomato

3 tbsp groundnut oil

4 cloves of garlic

1 red chilli

1 inch piece of root ginger

200ml coconut milk

3tsp ground coriander

3tsp turmeric

2tsp ground cumin

1 heaped tsp garam masala

Preheat the oven to 200c (180c Fan).  Peel the sweet potato and chop in to 1 ½ inch chunks.  Peel the garlic and the onion, crush the garlic and roughly chop the onion.  Deseed the red chilli and finely chop both chilli and the fresh coriander.  Remove the outer skin from the ginger and finely grate.

Place the sweet potato, spices and 2 tbsp of the groundnut oil in to a roasting dish and mix well until all the potato is coated.  Roast in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is soft and tender and slightly caramelised.

Meanwhile, put the remaining 1tbsp of groundnut oil in to a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli, sauté on the lowest heat until softened but not coloured.

Add the sweet potato to the pan of onions and chilli, pour over the coconut milk and mix gently.  Add the spinach and chopped tomatoes to the curry, sprinkle over the garam masala, cover the saucepan and simmer for five minutes or until the spinach has completely wilted.

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Reader Comments (9)

Sounds delicious, I'm looking forward to hearing more about the roti's too! Sweet potatoes are one of my favourites, they are so versatile and yummy.

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterInTolerant Chef

Hey InTolerant Chef, it's raining here at the moment (true English Summer!) so a warming curry of sweet potato is pretty ideal. Stay posted for the Roti and thanks for commenting.

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

Ooooo - sounds delicious! I make curry a lot (usually balti) and this sounds like a nice version to try.
I found a fab herb and spice stall on the permanent Norwich Market too - everything you could possibly want measured out as you need it.
Yummy! :)

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEatoutNorfolk

EatoutNorfolk, so glad you like it! It's pretty ideal for today's weather. Do you mean the spice man opposite the nice coffee stand? If so, he's brilliant and there is something so appealing about wholefoods and spices all laid out in hessian bags with wooden signs! I'm a sucker for the details!

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Intolerant Gourmet

I finally got round to picking up some fresh spinach so I'm going to get to eat this again tonight - hurrah!

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFHC

I love indian food and this looks and sounds wonderful!

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBev

We love this recipe. We add chicken sometimes too which still works really well. Great way of getting spinach in to both my girls. Thanks again Pippa!

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLou

Hi Lou, what a great idea, you've inspired me, I'm going to make this at the weekend with chicken and serve with some poppadoms! Happy cooking.

January 9, 2014 | Registered Commenter[The Intolerant Gourmet]

Love this recipe, but will it freeze for later use.?

July 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCarole

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