I think it is safe to say that one of my favourite continents for food inspiration is Asia. Thai, Vietnamese, Israeli, Japanese…and today – I’m Indian-inspired. A land of spices and flavours. I’m in love with warm curries, samosas, chutneys, naan bread, paneer, rice…everything. It’s so good. And since it is very cold and snowy up here in the Great White North, I’ve created this creamy, hearty curry to cozy up with in front of the TV, with the snow falling on the other side of the wall.
I’m lucky to live in the most multicultural country in the world, in a city that embraces diversity and highlights it on every corner. I’m able to walk through the downtown core and fulfill cravings of any kind with just a few steps. We are a nation rich in culture, and thus rich in cuisines from around the world, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to gain new perspectives through the city’s eats.
This curry dish is by no means traditional. I haven’t had the pleasure of learning, first-hand, what it takes to put together an amazing Indian-style curry, but I do eat a lot of food (like, a lot!), and this is my take on curry, with a few twists. What I do know is that a decent chunk of the Indian population is vegetarian, and it’s exciting that a dish without meat can be so fulfilling and hearty. My Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry is meatless, but you can always add your choice of meat protein (or tofu, or paneer), if that’s your thing!
Because there is a bit of prep work that goes into making a curry, I like to do all of the chopping and measuring first so that everything is ready to go into the pot at the proper time. So, let’s start with the vegetables. You will need about one and a half cups of both, sweet potatoes and cauliflower florets. I like to chop both into smaller size pieces so they cook through in the time it takes the curry to develop. You will also need an onion, baby spinach and some minced garlic. Flavour!
It is a good idea to also have the spices ready. This prevents one of the spices from burning while you try to measure out all of the rest. I chose to use curry powder, garam masala, cumin, cayenne (optional), coriander, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper for this recipe. As soon as they hit the pan, your house will fill with the most wonderful aroma!
The base of the sauce is made up of diced tomatoes (you can use fresh or canned), full-fat coconut milk, and cashew milk. Obviously the cashew milk isn’t a typical base in a curry, but I promise it gives it a creaminess and smooth flavour that you won’t be mad about. I always like to use the Silk brand. You may substitute this for any other milk of your choice – coconut milk, almond milk or even regular milk if you consume dairy.
There are a few more ingredients to prep and then it is time to cook! You will need some tomato paste to help thicken and enrich the flavour of the curry, some coconut flour to act as another thickener (this is optional) and some lime to finish it off and brighten it up. Of course toppings like avocado and cilantro are always encouraged.
This curry, like all other curries are best served with rice and naan bread. Two carbs, one girl. Just the way I like it.
Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1.5 cups cauliflower florets
- 1.5 cups sweet potato, small dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 3/4 cup cashew milk (may sub for coconut milk or almond milk, I prefer Silk brand)
- 1.5 tbsp coconut flour (optional)
- 2 big handfuls of spinach
- Juice of half a lime
- olive oil
- Cooked rice and naan bread to serve with
- Avocado and fresh cilantro for topping (optional)
- Put 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and let it cook down until it is transparent. About 5 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower and sweet potato to the pot and allow vegetables to begin to soften. This takes about 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the minced garlic, curry powder, garam masala, cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cayenne (if using), 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Stir for a few seconds, coating all of the vegetables with the spices. Quickly add the tomato paste and mix again to coat the veggies.
- Add in the diced tomatoes and allow everything to simmer together for another 10 minutes.
- Pour in the coconut milk, the cashew milk and add in the coconut flour. Stir well and simmer for at least 15 minutes, or until the curry has developed and thickened.
- Toss in the spinach and let the heat of the pot wilt it down. This does not take long.
- Turn the heat off and add a squeeze of lime to the curry. Mix it all together and spoon over cooked rice.
- Serve with warm, buttery naan bread, avocado, a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and an extra lime wedge.
Any protein would be a great addition to this dish. I would recommend tofu or paneer to maintain the vegetarianism, or chicken or shrimp if you eat meat.