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Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry

“This is a warming rather than hot curry. You can taste the spices and enjoy their aromatic fullness. The ginger, chile and pepper flakes provide heat, while the coriander and cumin add a pleasurable earthiness. Meanwhile, the sweetness of the coconut milk, heightened by the soothing starchiness of the sweet potatoes, has as a counterpoint the fierce tang of tamarind. As a side dish, this recipe would be fine without the chickpeas, but as a meal, along with rice and maybe some steamed broccolini, they add heft and, if you’re interested, protein.”

Recipe brought you by NY Times Cooking.


  • 2 medium red onions, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 bird’s eye pepper, Thai chili or other very hot small pepper with its seeds
  • 1 2 1/2- to-3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds (about 3 medium) orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2- to-1-inch cubes
  • 1 ¾ cups coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 2 ¼ cups hot chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 to 5 cups (about 4 15 1/2-ounce cans, drained) canned or cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • Cooked white rice for serving (optional)
  • Steamed broccolini for serving (optional)


  1. In a food processor, combine onions, garlic, hot pepper and ginger. Pulse until finely chopped. Place oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add chopped onion mixture and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add hot pepper flakes, ground ginger, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom pods and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to mix. Add sweet potatoes and stir until well covered in spices. Stir in the coconut milk.
  3. Dissolve tamarind paste in hot broth and add to pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until sweet potatoes are just tender, about 25 minutes. (Taste potatoes to be sure they are cooked all the way through, and allow additional cooking time if necessary.)
  4. Add chickpeas and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust salt to taste. Transfer to a warmed bowl and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve, if desired, with white rice and broccolini.