Recipe: Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Coconut Curry

Vegan sweet potato, chickpea and coconut curry

I mentioned last week my energy levels had slumped, so I googled to see which foods were good for energy. Among those mentioned were:

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin D and, as we all know, at this time of year when summer’s coming to an end and there’s a lack of sunlight, our energy levels can crash, along with our mood. The Vitamin D in sweet potatoes will boost your energy, along with the natural sugars it contains which are released slowly into the bloodstream to keep your energy levels balanced.


Chickpeas are a source of manganese which is important in energy production. So if you ever needed an excuse to eat more hummus, here it is. You’re welcome.

Coconut milk 

Although coconut milk has a high level of saturated fats, those saturated fats are mainly short and medium chain fatty acids which are not stored by the body as fats but provide instant energy to the body.


Tomatoes have a high content of biotin which is also known as Vitamin H which is, confusingly, part of the B complex group of vitamins. But, you don’t need to worry about that (unless you’re doing some kind of medical degree which requires you to know about these things) – all you need to know is that B vitamins help the body produce energy.

So, I had a list of healthy ingredients and, faced with these ingredients, there was only one thing to make – a curry. And not just any old curry but a creamy vegan curry that raised my energy levels and gave me a natural boost.

Maybe I should have called it Sunshine Curry.

Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Coconut Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 4
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1" chunks
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • Salt to season
  1. In a large saucepan (or Tefal wok, like I use), heat the vegetable oil and fry the onion for a few minutes, until softened
  2. Add the garlic, chili, and ginger to the onions, along with the dried spices and fry for another couple of minutes
  3. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, coconut milk and the sweet potato and bring to the boil
  4. Turn the heat down, season with salt, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Remove the cover and let simmer for another 20 minutes
  6. Serve with Basmati rice



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Review: Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 7

The end is nigh. Just one full day today and lunch tomorrow and I’ll be Bodycheffed out. As usual, I eschewed Bodychef’s breakfast and had a nectarine instead. But at 9:30am, hunger struck and so I braved the supplied ‘special cereal’ (205 cals) with some soya milk. If ‘special’ is a synonym of ‘birdseed’, then this cereal has been named to perfection.

Bodychef special cereal
‘Special’ cereal

The special cereal’s mix of sliced almonds, pine nuts, oats and seeds is undoubtedly healthy but needed a bit of fruit to liven it up as on it’s own, it’s a bit dull.

I’ve been loving the lunches provided by Bodychef and today’s was no exception.

Bodychef oatcakes and cheese spread
I’m an oatcake convert

Oatcakes (165 cals), beetroot (83 cals), soft cheese (44 cals) and that flipping salad again (7 cals) were enjoyed and I’m definitely introducing oatcakes and spread into my lunches, along with salad (although salads more interesting than that side salad I’ve been eating all week).

At some point in the afternoon I had the strawberry yoghurt (90 cals) I hadn’t eaten on Sunday.

Bodychef yoghurt
Low fat strawberry yoghurt

A ‘special vegetable curry’ (231 cals) was on the menu for dinner, along with white rice (144 cals) and broccoli (33 cals).

Bodychef special curry
‘Special’ curry

I found broccoli an unusual accompaniment for curry – I’m more used to naan bread, samosas, pakoras and onion bhajis with my curry, but that’s possibily not very diet-friendly.

The curry was fine but as I’d started the diet with curry just a week ago, I’d have liked something different. Still, it was loaded with vegetables and filled me up, so I shouldn’t complain really.

I’d been sent a walnut and raisin oatcake (77 cals) for dessert, which looked like one of those seed cakes for hamsters and didn’t taste much better than I’d expect one to taste. It was tiny (5p shown for scale) and dry but I reckon it would be nice dipped in yoghurt.

Bodychef walnut and raisin oatcake
More of an oatcrumb than cake

Just breakfast (which I’ll probably skip) and lunch tomorrow, then my diet will be over.

Day 7 conclusion

Don’t trust the word ‘special’. Oatcakes are yum. Broccoli is a perfectly acceptable substitution for a samosa (this might be a lie).

Special offer for Planet Veggie Readers 

If you’d like to try out the Bodychef diet, readers of Planet Veggie can get 15% off any plan by using the code PLANET15.

Related posts:
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Introduction
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 1
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 2
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 3
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 4
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 5
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 6
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 8 – Final Day

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Vegan Chickpea and Spinach Curry


I much prefer my cookbooks to be paper-based (as opposed to paperbacks which now I much prefer to be Kindle-based), but when I saw The Skinny Slow Cooker Vegetarian Recipe Book on Amazon for 99p, I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s great. I made this curry last night and will be making a bean, potato and cheese stew from it tonight.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry (serves 4)
(adapted from The Skinny Slow Cooker Vegetarian Recipe Book)

2 400g tins chickpeas, drained
1 onion, chopped
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
75g fresh spinach
500ml stock
pinch salt

Combine all the ingredients except the spinach in the slow cooker. Cover and leave on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours. Add a little more stock during cooking if needed, or if it needs thickening remove the lid and leave to cook on high for a further 45 minutes or until you get the desired consistency. Stir in the spinach and heat through until wilted.

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Vegan Monday: aubergine, tomato and red lentil curry


Hooray, it appears I made it successfully through a Vegan Monday for a change. No lip balm or hot chocolate slip-ups this time. I had fruit for breakfast, mulligatawny soup for lunch and a vegan chocolate peanut butter bar as a snack along with my vegan hot chocolate.

And also for a change, I made a proper dinner and didn’t just heat up a frozen burger-type product and serve it with chips and beans.

Go me.

Aubergine, tomato and red lentil curry (serves 4)
(Adapted from Easy Vegan)

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large aubergine, chopped into large chunks
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ginger, grated
250g cherry tomatoes
6-8 curry leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp tomato puree
125g red lentils

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan and add the aubergine. Cook the aubergine until it darkens and the oil it’s absorbed seeps back out, about 10 minutes. Remove the aubergine from the pan and set to one side.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften and collapse, then remove them from the pan and set aside with the aubergine.
  3. Add the curry leaves and cumin to the pan and cook for a few minutes, as the curry leaves pop and crackle. Add the chilli powder, tomato puree, 500ml water and the lentils and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but retain some bite. About 5 minutes from the end, stir in the aubergine and tomatoes and heat through.
  4. Serve with basmati rice.
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Quorn and green bean curry

When you’ve got an out of date packet of Quorn pieces in the fridge and a packet of green beans that need using up, there’s only one thing for it. Quorn and green bean curry.


Quorn and green bean curry (serves 4)

1 350g pack Quorn pieces
100g green beans, trimmed and chopped into thirds
1 onion, chopped
1 can tinned tomatoes
3 tbsp curry powder

  1. Fry the onion for a few minutes until soft.
  2. Add the curry powder and fry for another minute.
  3. Add the Quorn pieces and fry for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes.
  5. Fill the empty tin with water and add the water to the pan.
  6. Add the green beans.
  7. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
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Slow cooked aubergine, sweet potato and parsnip in coconut sauce

Delicately spiced. Or, as I would put it: ‘bland’. The Meat Eater liked it but I improved my portion by covering it with chilli flakes. Damn my alcohol and cigarettes* damaged tastebuds.

I didn’t fry the ingredients first, as stated in the book – maybe this impacted on the taste? I’ll type out the recipe as it is in the book, in case you want to do it properly. But if you want to use my method, it’s:

  1. Bung everything in the slow cooker and cook on Low for about 7 hours.

Also, I didn’t have chickpeas, so I used haricot beans instead.


Slow cooked aubergine, sweet potato and parsnip in coconut sauce (serves 4)

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large aubergine, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
1 tbsp garam masala
1 sweet potato, diced
1 parsnip, diced
425g can of chickpeas, drained
400g can of chopped tomatoes
350ml coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the slow cooker on High.
  2. Heat the oil in the large pan, add the aubergine and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown.
  3. Stir in the root ginger and garam masala.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir gently.
  5. Cover and cook on Low for 7-9 hours until everything is tender.
  6. Stir well before serving.

*I don’t smoke any more. Disgusting habit.

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Fish Free Prawn and Tomato Curry


It was only a little bit of chilli, I even took the seeds out. That didn’t stop The Meat Eater being a complete wuss and sniffing throughout his dinner, you know what they say: ‘if you can’t stand the heat, make your own dinner’.

If you can stand a tiny bit of heat, make this curry, it’s fab. I adapted this one-pan prawn & tomato curry from the BBC Good Food website and substituted the dead prawns for some Linda McCartney Fish Free King Prawns.

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Slow cooked red bean, cashew and spinach curry

Looking for a protein packed curry? Here’s one I made in the slow cooker. With almonds and cashews, I thought as well as being mega-healthy, it would be mega-calorific, but after logging the ingredients into myfitnesspal, it’s only 329 calories per portion, so not bad at all. The best bit is the taste though – it’s by far the nicest curry I’ve made for a long time.

It does take a bit of cooking before it goes into the slow cooker but, believe me, it’s worth it.


Red bean, cashew and spinach curry (serves 4)
Taken from Slow Cooking for Vegetarians

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
2 green chillies, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
425g can of red kidney beans, drained
50g ground almonds
75g unsalted cashew nuts
2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves

  1. Preheat the slow cooker on High.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened but not browned.
  3. Add the spices, root ginger, chillies, and garlic and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the beans, almonds, cashew nuts and 300ml water and bring just to the boil. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir gently.
  5. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours until the ingredients are tender.
  6. When you are ready to serve, add the spinach and stir until just wilted, then serve immediately.
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Madhur Jaffrey’s Easy Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup

We were playing Guess the Soup last week on Twitter. Heidi made us guess mulligatawny and although I came up with the winning guess, I said I didn’t think I’d ever had mulligatawny. Heidi said I must make it, it’s delicious, so I said okay then, I’ll give it a go next week.

Now it is next week and I’ve made and eaten my first ever mulligatawny soup. I can safely say that not only is it indeed delicious, it leaves your kitchen beautifully aromatic.

I’ve just finished a bowlful and the only reason I’m not going back for seconds is that it’s a hearty soup and I don’t want to get too full for dinner. Also, there’s chickpeas in it and I’m having chickpea and aubergine casserole later.

This recipe came from the Cookbook Cooks blog, who got it from her friend’s copy of Simple Indian Cookery by Madhur Jaffrey.



Madhur Jaffrey’s Easy Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed
1 cup red split lentils
4 cups/1 litre of vegetable stock
1/2-1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat, when hot, add ginger and garlic. Stir for 10 seconds.
  • Add cumin, coriander, curry powder, and cayenne. Stir for 10 seconds.
  • Add chickpeas and stir to coat with spices.
  • Add lentils, vegetable stock, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander.

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Quorn Korma

quorn_kormaThis was so easy to make and absolutely delicious. I was worried while I was making it because I’d never made a korma before and the recipe called for coconut milk but all I had in the cupboard were sachets of coconut cream and so I asked Twitter for advice and it was said that watering it down would probably be ok.

I was even more worried when, after blitzing the ingredients to make the curry paste in the blender, my nostrils were met by fumes so strong they made my eyes water but I carried on and hoped for the best.

After the paste is liquidized, all you do is simmer it with the Quorn chicken-style pieces and add in the desiccated coconut (which I left out), butter and cream. You’d think with ingredients like coconut milk, butter, desiccated coconut and cream, the calorie count would be horrific but according to the Quorn website where you’ll find the recipe, it’s only 314 calories per portion.

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