This chickpea curry recipe with sweet potatoes is creamy from the coconut milk, with a kicked-up flavor from red curry paste. But the secret ingredient is tomatoes. A combination of balsamic-roasted and sun-dried tomatoes.
Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this meal comes together in about 30 minutes with my shortcuts!
Updated on May 18, 2022
Let's say you have some omnivore family members at the table who say vegetarian food is bland. They roll their eyes. Maybe they paw at the floor and whinny.
Ok, maybe only my husband does that.
But if this happens to you too, then you need this Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry to completely change their minds. Forever. The sauce that this chickpea curry makes is really flavorful from the coconut milk, red curry paste and tomatoes.
It totally changed my husband's mind about vegan food.
What makes this chickpea curry recipe so special?
Umami is the fifth taste that gives dishes a savory depth that makes our taste buds wake up and sparkle. Here's where the umami punch comes from:
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Better Than Bouillon Roasted Vegetable Bouillon
- Balsamic Roasted tomatoes
- Roasting the sweet potatoes instead of cooking them by simmering in liquid
For more information on umami, check out my post on 10 Umami Flavor Boosts that can add pizzazz to any meatless dish.
Ingredients for Chickpea Curry
- Sweet potatoes
- Serrano chile - Include the pith and seeds for more heat, remove them for lower heat. For even less heat, use ½ jalapeño pepper.
- Thai red curry paste
- Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes, chopped with juices, or substitute one (14.5 ounce) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar for an extra umami kick
- Coconut milk - either full fat or lite
- Cooked chickpeas
- Sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- Better Than Bouillon paste - or substitute 1 vegetarian bouillon cube. Red miso paste is another good option.
- Halloumi cheese - Halloumi is a Greek cheese that is known for not melting easily, and is great for grilling or searing on the stovetop.
- Cilantro and mint
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Step 1 (10 - 15 minutes)
Roast the sweet potatoes. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes. Toss in a little olive oil, lightly season. Roast for 10 - 15 minutes until tender.
The amount of roasting time is dependent on the size of the diced pieces.
Prep Tip - Use a Y-shaped potato peeler to peel the sweet potatoes. They're easier to work with, faster, and create (IMHO) fewer fingernail injuries. I lean towards OXO products, because I like how they generally fit my hands, but anyone's will do the trick.
Step 2 (11 minutes)
Make the curry broth. Sauté the Serrano chile and red curry paste for 1 minute, until aromatic.
Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, cooked chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, and bouillon paste. Bring to a simmer, and add the roasted sweet potatoes when roasting is complete. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 3 (4 minutes)
Sear the halloumi. While the curry simmers, sear the halloumi cheese in a skillet over medium-high heat. I typically sear 2 sides of the cheese, about 2 minutes per side, but you can sear them as much as you'd like. Stir into the curry.
Add to the chickpea curry.
Serve. Serve in a shallow bowl, topped with cilantro, mint and a squeeze of lime to sharpen the flavors.
Chickpea Curry with Sweet Potatoes FAQ
What meat goes well with this dish for the meat-eaters at the table?
Add slices of linguiça sausage.
How can I make this dish vegan?
Eliminate the halloumi cheese, or replace it with with paneer, which is usually vegetarian.
Can I make this dish ahead?
Yes. The flavors only get better overnight. You may need to add some water when you warm it back up.
Want more vegetarian and vegan dish ideas? I can help you. I have three newsletters for different topics: 1) Vegetarian Recipes, 2) Vegetarian Meal Plans, and 3) Vegetarian Tips for helping you to move to a more vegetarian diet. Choose which newsletters are most relevant to your lifestyle and you'll also get my 5 SECRETS TO FUSS-FREE VEGETARIAN DINNERS.
Make It in 30 Minutes
- Cook the chickpeas in advance or purchase frozen cooked chickpeas, if available at your market, or 1 14.5 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
- Make the Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes in advance or use 1 can of Fire-Roasted Tomatoes plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.
- Dice the sweet potatoes into smaller cubes. (This can be done ahead and sealed in a storage container. The smaller the dice, the faster they roast. Or nix the roasting, and add them to the curry with the Serrano chili, and cook them that way.
- While the curry simmers, cube and sear the halloumi. It only needs searing 2 minutes per side.
Chickpea Curry with Sweet Potatoes Recipe
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into ¾" cubes, about 2 cups
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil divided
- ½ Serrano chile seeded and minced
- 1 - 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 ½ cups Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes, chopped with juices, or 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 (13.5-oz) can Coconut milk
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas or 1 (14.5-oz) can
- ¼ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- ½ - 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Bouillon Paste, or 1 bouillon cube, (see notes)
- 4 ounces Halloumi cheese cut into ½" slices
- coarsely chopped cilantro,
- thinly sliced mint leaves,
- lime wedges
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roast the sweet potatoes. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes. Toss in 1 teaspoon olive oil, lightly season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast until tender, about 10-15 minutes.The amount of roasting time is dependent on the size of the diced pieces.
- Make the curry broth. Warm the remaining olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Sauté the Serrano chile and and red curry paste for 1 minute, until aromatic.Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, cooked chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, and bouillon paste. Bring to a simmer, and add the roasted sweet potatoes when roasting is complete. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Sear the halloumi. Heat up a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Halloumi cheese cubes to lightly brown, about 2 minutes per side. Stir into the curry.
- Serve. Serve topped with cilantro, thinly sliced fresh mint and a squeeze of lime to sharpen the flavors.
Better Then Bouillon Paste If you don't have any on hand, substitute 1 vegetarian bouillon cube. Red miso paste is another good option. Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes This should be a staple in your kitchen to add to all kinds of dishes. But if you don't have them on hand, and you're in a hurry, substitute one (14.5 ounce) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar for an extra umami kick. Serrano Pepper The heat is in the pith and seeds. Include them for more heat, remove them for lower heat. For even less heat, use ½ jalapeño pepper. Coconut Milk Either full-fat or lite coconut milk works fine in this recipe. Halloumi , optional (not vegan) Halloumi is a Greek cheese typically made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk. It's a semi-hard, unripened brine cheese that has a high melting point. This means you can grill, fry, and pan sear it with excellent success. Note: halloumi traditionally uses an animal-based rennet, but a vegetarian halloumi is available. Check the package before purchasing. Paneer cheese can be used in place of halloumi cheese, which is almost always vegetarian.
If you make this chickpea curry ahead of time, the flavors will intensify even further. But while it rests, the chickpeas will absorb some of the liquid. When you reheat it, just add some water to the pot to restore the texture.
This curry keeps well in the refrigerator in a covered container or jar for a few days. It also freezes well up to 6 months.
Prep TipsUse a Y-shaped potato peeler to peel the sweet potatoes. They're easier to work with, faster, and create (IMHO) fewer fingernail injuries. I lean towards OXO products, because I like how they generally fit my hands, but anyone's will do the trick.
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