Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Coconut Curry
4 teaspoons (20ml) virgin coconut oil (I just used water instead)
1 tablespoon (15ml) cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups/500 ml)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons (20ml) grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon (5ml) ground turmeric
1 teaspoon (5ml) ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 medium/large sweet potato, peeled & cut into 1/4-to 1/2 inch dice (about 3 cups/750ml)
1 (14-ounce/398ml) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups (375ml) cooked chickpeas
1 (14-ounce/398ml) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 (14-ounce/400ml) can light coconut milk
1 (5-ounce/142g) package baby spinach
freshly ground black pepper
cooked basmati rice, quinoa, millet, or sorghum
chopped fresh cilantro, unsweetened shredded coconut flakes, lime wedges (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. NOTE: I used water instead, did not use oil. The oil is hot enough when a cumin seed sizzles when tossed into the pan. Add the cumin seeds and toast for about a minute, until fragrant and lightly darkened in color (be careful not to burn them). Immediately stir in the onion, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and saute for a couple of minutes, until the garlic softens.
Add the sweet potato, chickpeas, tomatoes with their juices, and coconut milk. Stir to combine, cover, and simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. At the point, I always mash one-third of the mixture to thicken the sauce (using a potato masher), but this step is optional.
Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Season with the salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve on a bed of cooked grains, garnished with cilantro and coconut. If desired, offer lime wedges for squeezing over the curry. Store the cooled curry in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.