Sweet Potato Kofta with Turmeric Curry
Sweet Potato Kofta with Turmeric Curry- purple sweet potatoes are mashed with chickpeas and spices then served with a warming turmeric curry. The perfect cozy winter meal! (vegan + gluten-free)
This is another recipe inspired by the lovely vegan wedding we attended earlier this year. If you’ve never heard of kofta, it is essentially a version on standard meatballs made with different spices depending on the regional origin of the recipe.
The dish we had at the wedding was prepared with purple sweet potatoes (my personal favorite) and served with a Thai-inspired curry sauce that made for one incredibly tasty and aesthetically pleasing meal.
The texture of the kofta is probably my favorite part. The outside is baked until golden and crisp while the inside is soft and flavorful with plenty of spice.
I wasn’t able to get the recipe from the chef but I tested a few versions and I feel like this one came pretty close. The kofta is made by peeling and boiling the sweet potatoes until soft. Then they are mashed with spices and tossed with a bit of flour for shape and texture.
I used chickpea flour for it’s protein benefit but any mild flavored flour (such as oat or all purpose) will work in it’s place. I also tested them with a can of chickpeas blended in the food processor (instead of flour) and the texture was slightly softer on the inside but still delicious. So you have the option to go either way. I will tell you that the flour version is much easier since you don’t have to wash the food processor.
Once the potato mixture is formed, it gets shaped into separate balls then baked in the oven for about 20 minutes. While they’re baking, the curry is cooked on the stovetop by sautéing vegetables with ginger, jalapeño, and garlic. With a few key spices added along with some coconut milk, a luxurious curry forms that’s good enough to eat on it’s own.
I like to serve the kofta and curry with rice for some extra protein but you could totally leave that part out and make it a grain-free meal.
It’s not the fastest of recipes to prepare but it makes almost 5 servings so I promise it’s worth it. The kofta freezes well too so it’s great for leftovers on a lazy night. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Sweet Potato Kofta with Turmeric Curry
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
For the Kofta
- 3 cups mashed sweet purple potato (about 3 medium-size potatoes, peeled)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour (or 15-ounce can of chickpeas)*
For the Turmeric Curry
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (about 2-inch knob)
- 1 jalapeño, cored and finely chopped (optional)
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 bell peppers, cored and sliced into 2” strips
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon curry
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- juice of 1 lime
- cilantro for garnish
- cooked brown rice for serving (optional)
In a large pot, place the peeled sweet potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft enough to mash. Drain the excess water and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
Mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher. Add the chickpea flour, cumin, chili powder and salt then stir to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and place on the lined baking sheet. Lightly coat (or spray) each one with high heat oil then bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until light golden brown. Flip each one and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables for the curry. In a skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, peppers, and carrot, sprinkle with spices and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add salt to taste (I use about 1/4 teaspoon). Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Serve warm with cooked kofta and rice. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!
*If you are unable to find chickpea flour you can also use oat flour. Or, for a grain-free option, you can sub a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas. If you use chickpeas, I recommend blending the potatoes and chickpeas together in a food processor (with seasonings) until well combined.