Delicate green peas, garbanzo beans and tender sweet potato chunks are simmered up in spiced coconut milk and served atop creamy polenta to create this cozy and comforting Caribbean curry.
Things that happen after you’ve been posting recipes on the internet for a few years: your husband returns home from a walk around town and proudly presents you with a takeout menu full of items you can’t eat. And you love it.
Turns out we have a Caribbean place in the neighborhood. They have Caribbean curry, and I totally never would’ve thought to make that! Their version is chicken-based and I have no idea what else is involved, but the idea was plenty to get me started.
There are a few commercially available Caribbean curry blends, but my spice cabinet is overflowing, so I took the opportunity to put some of my stock to good use. Feel free to go with a premade blend if you can get your hands on one. You could probably even use a regular old curry powder and add the Caribbean-themed spices individually, namely, allspice, cinnamon and thyme. Also feel free to adjust any of the seasonings to your liking. My sweet potatoes were very sweet, so the coconut base ended up being really sweet too, hence the lime juice. If your spuds aren’t so flavorful, you might not need it. Also, you’ve got plenty of options to make this as hot or mild as you like. As you can see from the photos, I felt the need to throw a little extra hot sauce on top of mine.
Sweet Potato Caribbean Curry
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1 habanero pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional, omit for a milder version)
- 1-14 oz can light coconut milk
- 1 medium sweet potato, about 1 pound, peeled and diced
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. gound turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seed
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- cayenne pepper to taste
- 1-14 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- salt to taste
- creamy polenta or cooked rice
- lime wedges
- fresh cilantro
- chopped scallions
Coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with oil and place over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent. Add garlic and ginger. Cook 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
Add coconut milk, sweet potato, cumin, coriander, turmeric, thyme, allspice, fenugreek, pepper, cinnamon and cayenne. Stir a few times, raise heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and peas. Allow to cook just until heated throughout, 1-2 minutes more. Season with salt to taste.
Divide rice or polenta onto plates and top with curry. Sprinkle with cilantro and scallions, then season with a squeeze of lime juice, to taste.