I created this Easy Sweet Potato Curry recipe for those nights when I want something delicious that doesn’t require too much thought or effort. This curry is creamy, flavorful, colorful, and budget-friendly! It pairs perfectly with steamed rice for the most satisfying weeknight dinner, and leftovers are even better the next day.
Both Indian curries and Thai coconut curries are staples in our home, but to make them authentically requires some planning ahead. This Easy Sweet Potato Curry borrows from both cuisines, but simplifies by using a pre-mixed curry powder, which is ideal for home cooks who don’t typically keep an array of Indian spices or Thai curry paste in their pantry.
Ingredients for Easy Sweet Potato Curry
- Onion, garlic, ginger, and oil. Our aromatic base for the curry, borrowing from Indian cuisine. Add in a chopped pepper or two (jalapeño or serrano) if you love a spicy curry. These are sautéed in an oil of choice until they take on some golden brown color, indicating that the sugar in the aromatics has begun to caramelize.
- Curry powder. This recipe is designed to be quick-and-easy, so we’re using a pre-mixed curry powder rather than individual spices (such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, etc.). When selecting a curry powder, I prefer one that is salt-free, so that I can control how much salt is in the dish. You can also use a Thai curry paste if that’s what you have in your pantry.
- Coconut milk. I recommend full-fat coconut milk for the creamiest texture. Not all canned coconut milks are created equally; try to find one that has the fewest ingredients and not too many thickeners or preservatives for the best flavor. You can use canned light coconut milk but the curry will not be as rich.
- Sweet potato, carrot & bell pepper. You can technically use any combination of veggies you like, but these are my go-tos because of their affordability and their beautiful color. Additionally, sweet potato is super tender and creamy when stewed, and it helps to thicken the stew and give it a luscious texture.
- Butter beans. Canned chickpeas or lentils can be substituted in, but I personally love butter beans in this recipe because of their soft and creamy texture.
How to Make Easy Sweet Potato Curry
Make the Aromatic Base
- Using a Dutch oven or another heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. If you want a little extra heat, toss in some red pepper flakes and allow them to bloom for 30 seconds.
- Add in the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté them for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Cook until they turn golden-brown, adding a splash of water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Sprinkle in your curry powder, stir to distribute, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes in order to toast the curry powder a bit.
- Deglaze the pan with coconut milk and use a wooden spoon to scrape any fond up off the bottom of the pan. (There’s a lot of flavor in that fond!)
Make the Stew
- Add in your sweet potato, carrot, bell pepper, and butter beans and give them a nice stir to incorporate them into the stew.
- Fill the empty can of coconut milk up halfway with water and add that in. This should be just the right amount of extra liquid to cover the veggies.
- Bring the stew up to a boil and then reduce the heat to low/low-medium and set it to simmer.
- Allow this mixture to simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Give it the occasional stir to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the sweet potatoes are tender, the stew is ready to eat. However, my preference is to let it simmer for the full 30 minutes so it gets thick and creamy.
- Taste the curry and season with salt to preference. Different curry powders contain different amounts of salt, so just taste and season until it’s just right.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Do I Find Curry Powder?
Luckily, curry powder is pretty ubiquitous, so you should be able to find it in the spice aisle in your regular grocery store. You probably won’t need to go to an Indian market or purchase it online.
Is This Recipe Gluten-Free?
Yes! This curry is naturally gluten-free, so you don’t need to worry about that if you’re gluten intolerant.
Is This Sweet Potato Curry Spicy?
Not at all! If you leave out the optional red pepper flakes, this curry is mild. Most yellow curry powders you find at the store don’t have any built-in heat.
If you do want it spicy, you can add in those red pepper flakes, as well as some diced jalapeño or Serrano. Add as much as you like and just sauté it with your aromatics at the beginning of the recipe.
More Vegan Soups and Stews
Easy Sweet Potato Curry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 small white or yellow onion diced
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons curry powder (can sub Thai curry paste; see notes)
- 1 (15 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed
- 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 (15 oz) can butter beans drained and rinsed (can sub chickpeas)
- salt to taste
- fresh chopped cilantro
- fresh diced tomatoes
- fresh minced onion
- In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Optionally, add red pepper flakes and bloom for about 30 seconds.
- Add onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture takes on a golden brown color. If it starts to stick to the pan too much, add a splash of water as needed to deglaze, scraping any color off the pan.
- Once the onion mixture is evenly golden brown, add in the curry powder and stir to coat. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly, to lightly toast the spices.
- Deglaze the pan with the coconut milk and use your wooden spoon to scrape any fond off the bottom of the pan.
- Add in the sweet potato, carrot, bell pepper, and butter beans and stir to evenly distribute. Fill the coconut milk can up halfway with water and add that to the pot as well so there is more liquid to cover the veggies.
- Bring this mixture up to a boil and then reduce heat to low or medium-low to establish a gentle simmer. Simmer this mixture, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, stirring it occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- The stew can be eaten as soon as the sweet potatoes are tender, but I like to keep simmering it for up to 30 minutes to allow it to become very thick and creamy. If you prefer a thinner consistency, feel free to simmer for just 20 minutes!
- Give the curry a taste and season generously with salt to preference. Some curry powders already contain salt, but if you are using a salt-free curry powder you will likely have to add at least 1 teaspoon of salt, and maybe more.