Sweet Potato Curry with Coconut Milk from Karnataka

When we lived in India I needed to go to Cochin in Kerala for work. The market research session I was attending didn’t start until the afternoon, so I had the morning to explore Fort Cochin. There amoungst the alleyways I found a tiny little bookshop piled high with books. A wonderful little treasure trove. From that store I bought a South Indian Vegetarian cookbook which I love exploring. This recipe is based on that for Urulaikizhangu Saagu which is a Potato Curry from Karnataka. Using sweet potatoes to make a Sweet Potato Curry gives it a slightly richer flavor (and a few more vitamins), and I skipped the process of making homemade coconut milk, and stuck to a store bought can for convenience. It is truly delicious!

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 270ml can coconut milk
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled, grated
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Spice paste

  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 3 dried chillies
  • 1 Tbsp Bengal gram or Moong dal
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Tempering

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp Bengal gram or Moong dal
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

Directions

  1. Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut into 1-2cm cubes. Cook in salted, boiling water until tender. Drain and set aside
  2. Grind ingredients for spice paste in a mill accessory on a blender or food processor. Gradually add 2-3 Tbsp to make a paste
  3. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add all the Tempeeing ingredients and fry until the mustard seeds start to splutter
  4. Add the onions to the Tempered spices and fry until golden, around 3 minutes
  5. Add green chilies, ginger, tomatoes, turmeric, and salt. Fry for about 2 minutes
  6. Add 1 cup of water and turn up the heat (from 6 to 7 on an induction cooktop). Simmer for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally
  7. Turn down the heat (to 6 on an Induction cooktop). Mix in the spice paste and sweet potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure all ingredient should are well mixed together and the mixture does not catch on the pan
  8. Pour in the can of Coconut Milk and stir to combine thoroughly. Simmer for a few minutes over a low heat.
  9. Serve with rice, idli, dosa, or roti

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