3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion, small dice or sliced
1 serrano pepper or red chile, seeded and minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
8 fresh curry leaves or 2 bay leaves
1 large sweet potato, peeled, medium dice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seed, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds, toasted and ground
1/3 cup tomato purée, 1 tablespoon tomato paste + 1/4 cup water, or 1 fresh tomato (peeled, seeded, and chopped)
sea salt, to taste
1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) cooked chickpeas, drained
1 can full-fat coconut milk
freshly cooked basmati rice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Heat Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add oil and onion and sauté about 10 minutes. Turn down heat a bit if needed to prevent burning.
Add serrano pepper, garlic, ginger, and curry leaves. Sauté few minutes more, then add sweet potato, turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek and mustard seed (if using), tomato, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt. Stir to coat sweet potatoes with spices and sauté one minute.
Add chickpeas and coconut milk. Slowly bring up to a boil and simmer until sweet potatoes are soft, about 8-10 minutes.
Serve with freshly cooked basmati rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.
If you are avoiding nightshades (they can cause inflammation for some people), omit tomato and serrano pepper. Add 1/4 cup mashed butternut squash and 1/2 teaspoon ume plum vinegar, which is a great substitution for tomato.