Vegan sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry

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Today is world vegan day, and in the spirit of the day and of the bracing autumnal weather, we’ve cooked up a vivifying vegan curry, with sweet potato, chickpeas and spinach. It’s a good old sling-everything-in-a-pan-and-behold-the-transformative effects-of-heat-and-time kind of meal, perfect for those midweek evenings where the desire for good food threatens to be overridden by lethargy. It’s wholesome enough to eat by itself, but rice is seldom an unwelcome addition to a plate of curry. Here’s what you’ll need (serves four)

2 tbsps of olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2-3 tsps garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry powder, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
2 large sweet potatoes, or three more modestly sized ones, diced
1 400ml tin of chickpeas
150g of spinach
500ml vegetable stock
1 400ml tin of chopped tomatoes
1 400ml tin of coconut milk
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
30g fresh coriander

Begin by frying the onions and garlic in the olive oil. After a short while, add the garam masala, curry powder, cumin, chilli powder and ginger. Let it sizzle over a fairly intense heat until the onions are slightly brown and the spices start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the sweet potato and cook for a little longer.

At this point, deglaze the pan with the vegetable stock and add the three tins – that is, the tomatoes, chickpeas and coconut milk – and the ketchup. Bring the pot to the boil, and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. Let common sense dictate whether or not the sauce has reduced sufficiently to serve; about three minutes before you remove the pan from the heat, however, add the spinach and coriander, chopped fairly coarsely. Season to taste, and serve in which ever way you see fit (a heads up though: lots of shop-bought naan breads contain yogurt and are thus not vegan-friendly. Bummer, eh?)

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