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Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry

This is one of our all-time favourite dishes, a brightly flavoured bowl of half stew, half soup and all flavour. Its spicy aromas are so tasty and addictive that you’ll never notice it doesn’t include meat. This dish is at its best when it’s served over rice.

Serving: serves 6 - 8


a splash vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
a small knob frozen ginger
1 teaspoon Thai curry paste
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 19 ounce can chickpeas
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup peanut butter or any other nut butter
a sprinkle sea salt
1 cup frozen green peas
several handfuls baby spinach
a bunch chopped cilantro


Add a splash or two of vegetable oil to a stockpot over medium-high heat. Toss in the onion and garlic and sauté them until they’re lightly browned, about 5 minutes or so.

Grate the frozen ginger into the pan with a Microplane grater or standard box grater and add the Thai curry paste. Continue cooking until the spices are heated through and fragrant, another few minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, orange juice and peanut butter and salt. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and continue simmering until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the peas, spinach and cilantro.
Serve over rice.


  1. Khalida said: On Dec 1, 2013

    I just made this, a few notes. I would add less liquid, ie coconut milk. It took forever to reduce to right consistency. I made it with almond butter and it was super delish.

  2. Laura said: On Jun 26, 2013

    A great make ahead meal and also makes great baby food. My eight month old daughter can’t get enough of this!

  3. Jason said: On Jun 8, 2013

    This is a great recipe, and so easy to make. I added some Thai chilies to dish to kick it up a little. This will be on our household menu from now on. Bravo Sir (Chef) Michael Smith!! BRAVO!!

    And thank you :)

  4. sandy said: On Aug 17, 2012

    I had craving for something at dinner tonight and i think this will do just fine

  5. Terrie said: On Jul 9, 2012

    Excellent recipe! I used light coconut milk to help reduce calories. I also used crunchy peanut butter which was nice. Highly recommend this recipe as it was very flavorful!

  6. Just said: On Apr 25, 2012

    Chef Michael Smith… I LOVE YOU!! Thank you so much for this recipe… it is late, I saw chickpeas in my freezer and decided I needed a good vegan dinner and then I saw this… WOW WEE… I can’t wait to try it!! Thank you!! Replacing the peas with the frozen kale but I just know it will be just as good!

  7. Sharyn said: On Apr 11, 2012

    This is so good. I have made it many times and love it.

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  9. Jenna said: On Feb 23, 2012

    Delicious!! Exactly what I was hoping for tonight. Will go into my permanent recipe collection.

  10. Taraq said: On Dec 3, 2011

    Hi! I’d really like to try this recipe, however I’m allergic to peanuts and all other types of nuts. Is there a good substitute ingredient I could use instead of the peanut/other nut butter?

    • Becky said: On Sep 26, 2013

      Not sure if you can find it where you are, but here in Canada there’s recently been “Wow Butter”, which is basically soy-based with the texture of the peanut crunch.

      If you want it as close as you can, that’s your best bet. Alternatively, tahini is the next best suggestion I can give off the top of my head.

      Let us all know if that works for you!

      • Christa said: On Nov 19, 2013

        I’ve made this several times with Wow Butter and Tahini, as my husband is allergic to nuts. Works great!

  11. Joanne said: On Oct 20, 2011

    Hi, All! I’m just wondering if anyone knows the appropriate time/heat level for this recipe should it be cooked in a slow cooker instead of on the stove-top. Also, I’m under the impression that it’s not good to add milk or coconut milk to a recipe until the very end, so I was surprised when this one calls for it to be added prior to being simmered for 30 minutes.


    • Aaron said: On Nov 18, 2011

      Joanne: Coconut milk has different properties from dairy milk; it will not curdle when heat is applied.

      Not sure about the time/temp it would take in a slow-cooker, but I’m not sure you’d get a much different result.

    • Vanessa said: On Oct 29, 2012

      I slow-cooked this on high 4 hours and that was more than enough. Might try low at 6 if you have time. Couple of tips at least for slow cooking: use orange sweet potatoes instead of white. The white gave it a mealy texture and very unappealing sludgy color. I also added some baby carrots the second time to give it a little more color and crispness. I forgot the cilantro once and it was still amazing, though I do really like the freshness it adds.

    • Morgan said: On Mar 9, 2014

      Since it is not brought to a boil, just a simmer, using dairy milk would be just fine. Dairy items, such as sour cream, are more of a concern because they curdle more easily. Coconut or dairy milk would be just fine.

  12. Karen said: On Mar 2, 2011

    Do you ever include nutritional info on your recipes?

    • Carolann said: On Jul 20, 2011

      Karen – if you ever get the nutritional info for M.S.’s chickpea sweet potato curry, would you pass it along to me at the e mail shown above. Thanks.

      • Mathew said: On Apr 8, 2012

        I wouldnt worry too much about nutritional info on any of MS’s recipes. They are all good for you- just look at the ingredients.

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Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry

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Thai Chickpea Coconut Curry
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I’m a FoodTV host, cookbook author and official food ambassador for Prince Edward Island, more importantly I’m a Dad and passionate home cook!


There are three basic types of Thai curry paste, each with its own distinctive flavour. You may choose one based on your tolerance for spicy heat: yellow is the mildest, red is a bit spicier and green is the spiciest. This dish cooks very well in your slow cooker. You may use any type of hard winter squash instead of sweet potatoes; butternut and acorn work well.