sweet potato, spinach & chickpea curry

Sweet Potato, Spinach & Chickpea Curry

A vegetarian take on an Indian- and African-spiced dish.

[Exactly one year ago, I made this curry and published this blog post on my previous website. I remember while living in New York not only craving Indian food but also longing for my loved ones back home. Curry from Krishna was a treat in Oxford (Ohio) and a wonderful dish to share with friends.

Food is a vehicle for memories, and in that moment, I needed some good ones.] 

So I was in my New York apartment (an NYU dorm, but apartment sounds more adult-like, so we pretend), and I craved Indian food.

But outside was a thunderstorm, and I didn’t feel like spending $15 on Indian food in New York I knew wouldn’t compare to the curry in London. And, my slightly-more-than-slightly hungover stomach could not handle anything spicy.

Solution: berbere vegetable curry.

Personally, I love sweet potatoes.

I know they’re not meant to be in everything, but I d*mn will try. Combined with the sweet and savory flavors of berbere, Although berbere is an Ethiopian spice, its savoriness and paprika-filled aroma turned out to be the perfect alternative to Indian take-out.

I also was out of oil when I made this, so I used a little bit of vegetable stock instead (which is actually a healthier, simpler alternative).

Why add milk? You don’t have to, I suppose, but look at how pretty it is!

The milk gives it that slightly thicker quality and lighter color that I wanted that night. If I were to make this again with Zack (who detests milk of any kind an in any form), I would replace the milk with vegetable broth and add a tablespoon or two of cornstarch. Or I would just add the milk and not tell him.

sweet potato, spinach and chickpea curry

Simple, easy, & minimal (compared to traditional Indian food)

The best part about this dish (aside from its DELICIOUS flavor and beautiful colors), is that it is so easy. It requires minimal prep, chopping, waiting, and skill. The only tricky part to making it is having the spices, especially the berbere, but I promise it’s a spice worth keeping in your pantry.

And there you go! Half an hour after crawling out of my bed, I’m sitting at the table with a hawt plate of food and crossing things off my planner. What are rainy days for, anyway?

Following a specific diet? Umm, did I mention this dinner is super healthy? Hint: use low-sodium products (vegetable stock, chickpeas, and tomatoes), and it will save you from going overboard on the sodium level.

Vegans: you’re welcome. On a no-carb diet: use a cauliflower rice. Looking to impress: serve with pita bread (warm in the oven, first), and serve veggies and hummus as an appetizer. And yes, you can have another glass of wine because it’s raining and you love yourself (and this dinner is d*mn low-calorie).

sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry

sweet potato, spinach & chickpea curry

Sweet Potato, Spinach & Chickpea Curry

  • Author: Tess Sohngen
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


A vegetarian take on an Indian and African-spiced curry. Sweet berebere combines with the earthy flavors of spinach and sweet potato for a warm and filling dish. Best served with rice, injera, or naan.



  • 1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 T. ground coriander
  • 1 T. berbers
  • 2 t red pepper flakes
  • 2 t ground black pepper
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 (14 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 cups cooked brown Basmati rice


  1. Dice the sweet potato and onion, then toss in a large saucepan with 1/8 cup of the vegetable broth over medium-high heat. Stir until onions are translucent (5-7 min), the add the garlic, coriander, berbere, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and cinnamon. Cook until potatoes are cooked through but still firm (3-5 min).
  2. Add the tomatoes, and cook for another 2 min. Add the spinach, and cook for another 2 min. Add the remaining broth and milk, and let simmer for 8-10 min. on medium-low heat.
  3. Serve with 1/2 cup cooked rice, and garnish with desired toppings (cilantro, parsley, red pepper flakes, etc.).


  • Serving Size: 2/3 cup
  • Calories: 213

Keywords: curry, berebere, sweet potato, spinach, chickpeas, coconut milk, Indian, African, spices


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