Turmeric roasted sweet potato, tomato and tamarind curry

Vibrant vegan sweet potato, cherry tomato and tamarind curry.
Vibrant vegan sweet potato, cherry tomato and tamarind curry. Photo: Katrina Meynink

The vibrancy of this curry lies in the bright sourness of tamarind and the fragrant hit of fresh curry leaves, so both are worth seeking out.


1kg sweet potato, peeled and chopped into large bite-sized chunks

1½ tbsp coconut oil, warmed to liquid consistency

2 tsp ground turmeric

250g cherry tomatoes on the vine

2 tsp fenugreek seeds, coarsely crushed

2 tsp white peppercorns, coarsely crushed

1 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely crushed

1 tsp brown mustard seeds, coarsely crushed

1 cinnamon quill

12 fresh curry leaves (plus extra to serve)

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 long green chillies, thinly sliced (plus extra to serve)

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tsp ground coriander

2 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1½ tbsp tamarind puree softened in 2 tbsp boiling water

700ml vegetable stock or water

500ml coconut milk

To serve

steamed basmati rice

coriander sprigs


curry leaves

sliced green chilli

spinach leaves


Preheat oven to 180C and line a roasting tray with baking paper.

Toss sweet potato pieces, ½ tbsp coconut oil and turmeric in a bowl until coated. Pour onto prepared tray and roast until golden (about 45 minutes). When 15 minutes remain, add the cherry tomatoes to the tray. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon of coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the crushed spices, cinnamon stick and curry leaves, and stir until spices pop (1 minute).

Add onion, garlic and green chilli and cook until tender, stirring occasionally (4 to 5 minutes).

Stir in the dried chilli flakes and ground coriander, and once fragrant, add chopped tomatoes and cook until they begin to break down (2 to 3 minutes).

Add the softened tamarind and 700ml water or vegetable stock, and simmer for 8 to 10  minutes.

Add the coconut milk and simmer for a further 4 to 5 minutes, before adding the roasted sweet potato and tomatoes. Serve with rice and garnishes of your choice.

Note: the roasted sweet potato and tomatoes should warm through in the curry, but if you prefer, you can add them earlier while it's still on the stovetop.