Since becoming vegan three years ago, I have really started enjoying Indian food at home. I never really cooked it or knew how to make it but begun experimenting because that’s what happens when you change your lifestyle.
I made the plain curries to start off with but have only recently started experimenting with others, one of them being a spinach based one. I knew what palak paneer stood for as a dish but never knew what it meant. Palak means spinach and paneer means cheese. For the sake of understanding what the dish is (as it’s so well known), I’ve left the name and added sweet potato to it, so you know that’s the combination.
The dish is normally made with cottage cheese cubes or substituted for tofu in a vegan version. I really like the sweet potato in it as I’m trying to limit my intake of soy (also find it bland sometimes) and it’s a wonderful substitute. This dish has landed in our weekly rotation alongside The Spice Carrot & Millet Salad, Vietnamese Salad, Brown Lentil Stew, Coconut Red lentil Dahl and this Potato, Beetroot and Chickpea Salad (normally with a side of tempeh) amongst others that we haven’t shared with you yet.
I always try and cook with what’s in season. I shop only at the farmer’s markets for produce, so if I can’t find it organic there, then I don’t buy it at all. It’s so important to eat with the seasons as in winter our bodies need more hearty, warming foods and in summer cooling, light foods. This reflects how I plan my meals. So for breakfast at the moment I’m mainly having porridge or sourdough pancakes.
This palak sweet potato paneer is so easy to make, you can memorise it quite quickly and add it to your rotation. I imagine that even some of the fussiest eaters will love it! I usually serve it with either brown or basmati rice. What I like about this curry compared to others I make is that garam masala adds a subtle sweet spice to it compared to the curry powder that I’d typically use.
Here’s the recipe and I hope you enjoy it 🙂
- 2 tbsp rice bran or other cooking oil*
- 1 medium onion, diced
- Approx 750gr sweet potato (2 medium sized), chopped into bite sized cubes
- 200 gr baby spinach, washed and drained
- 1 400 gr can of tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 piece of 1 inch ginger
- 2 heaped tbsp garam masala
- 1 can of 400ml coconut milk
- Optional - red chilli deseeded
- Salt to taste
- Saute the onions in a medium to large saucepan on oil until they become translucent.
- Add the sweet potato and cook for a further 7-10 minutes until they are slightly soft.
- In a blender add the spinach, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, garam masala, coconut milk, ¼ cup water and chilli and blend until smooth.
- Add to the saucepan and clean the rest of the sauce out of the blender with a cup of water and add to the saucepan. Cook for around 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sweet potato has cooked but isn't falling apart. Season to taste and serve with rice or quinoa.
*Coconut oil would also work really well.
You can add a small handful of cashews in the blender if you would like it thicker. I prefer this curry a little on the runny side. Enjoy!