This Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Lentil Curry has a warm earthy flavor from cumin, turmeric and coriander, a bit of sweetness from cinnamon and a good dose of heat from dried chili peppers. If you prefer your curry to not have a lot of heat you can reduce the number of peppers you use in the dish. This curry is an easy one pot dish with layers of flavour. Even though it has a lengthy list of ingredients, most of them are spices that can be measured out in two minutes. This is a great meal prep recipe because it makes a big batch and freezes well.
I once thought that curry was a spice, like cinnamon or nutmeg, that came from a specific plant. It was only after I started experimenting with recipes and researching a bit that I learned that the term “curry” can refer to leaves of a tree, a spice blend, or a dish. There is also a curry plant but it is not edible.
What’s the difference between curry leaves, curry spices and curry?
Curry tree leaves
Curry leaves from the curry leaf tree have a citrus-like flavour, are high in antioxidants, antimicrobial properties and folate, and can be used to flavour soups and stews. They’re often used like bay leaves, to flavour the dish but removed before eating. The leaves from the curry cannot be used interchangeably in recipes that call for curry spices.
Curry spices/curry powder
There are lots of different types of curry blends, depending on the country and preferred flavor combinations. When you’re preparing your own curry, you can vary it to your own taste and to the ingredients that are available to you. Cumin, coriander and turmeric are common curry spices.
Some other spices used in curry powder include bay leaf, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, caraway, fennel, ginger, dry mustard or mustard seeds, nutmeg, and black pepper.
Curry is a term that is used for dishes that are in a sauce and contain curry powder or curry paste as the base as well as combination of vegetables and typically coconut milk and a protein. The concept of curry as a dish is a British invention, derived from the Tamil word kari, which means sauce.
Typically Curry powder is made by grinding the spices together in small batches, often followed by roasting to enhance the flavours. For this recipe I kept it easy by measuring everything into one bowl then tossing it in the pot when it’s time. There’s no grinding or roasting, but the taste is still out of this world.
Health benefits of chickpeas
- One cup of chickpeas provides almost 1/3 of an adult’s daily protein needs.
- They have a low glycemic index to help with blood sugar management.
- Chickpeas contain fiber which helps to lower LDL cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease.
- The soluble fiber in chickpeas is good for gut health and bowel regularity.
- Chickpeas contain choline, a precursor the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is important to support a variety of brain and nervous system activities including memory, mood, and metabolism.
- One cup of chickpeas provides nearly 75% of the daily value of manganese, an essential mineral that is needed for metabolism.
Health benefits of lentils
- Lentils are nutrient dense and very affordable. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, rich in prebiotics to support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Fiber acts like a broom, cleaning the intestinal tract and collecting and binding carcinogens for removal from the body.
- Lentils are also a good source of plant based protein and iron. One cup of cooked lentils provides more than 1/3 daily recommended intake of iron.
- Some studies show that lentils improve satiety and may reduce the risk for obesity. A higher consumption of lentils is associated with a lower risk of developing of type II diabetes.
For other delicious one pot recipes, try some of these:
- Saffron Lemon Lentil Stew
- Rice, Bean and Vegetable Soup
- Broccoli Bean Chowder
- Spicy Squash and Sweet Potato Stew
If you’ve make this Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Lentil Curry, or any of the recipes on Lori Moore Holistic Health, I’d love to hear how the recipe turned out for you in the comments below! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.
Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Lentil Curry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp coriander
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 3 dried chilis chopped (about 1 tbsp)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch piece ginger minced
- 1 large sweet potato cubed (about 1 pound)
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 5 oz can tomato paste
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked)
- 1 cup dry red lentils
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 can coconut milk
- Measure all dried spices and combine in a small bowl. Mince garlic and ginger. Peel and cube sweet potato. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and sauté for five minutes, until translucent.
- Add dry spices, garlic and ginger and heat for two minutes to let the spices release their aroma.
- Add cubed sweet potato and all remaining ingredients except coconut milk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add coconut milk. Stir in and simmer for five minutes.
- Serve with brown rice or naan bread.