Peanut Curry for the Hungry Days

November 20, 2009


The downside to having well over 100 cookbooks is that you tend to overlook old favorites in favor of shiny new toys.  I have my books stored as follows:  one cabinet houses two shelves of the high rotation favorites, one shelf houses international cookbooks, one has baking books, a separate somewhat annoying-to-get-to shelf is reserved for the lesser used books, and a kitchen counter houses all the overflow.  In my high rotation cabinet sits The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook.  It isn’t sexy or fancy but it has some of my favorite recipes.  Most of the dishes in this large book are healthy but substantial.  A winning combination if there ever was one.

You know those days where you could just eat all day long and never feel full?  Where nothing is really satisfying?  That is the kind of day to make this curry.  It is incredibly hearty without being too rich and it is so healthy with all kinds of vegetables and beans.  I serve mine on a bed of rice and with a dollop of yogurt on top, but you could easily leave that out and keep it vegan.  The spices here are intoxicating and there is just enough peanut butter here to make it interesting but not so much as to be overwhelming.  If you are wanting to make that naan, it is a perfect accompaniment to this stew.


One Year Ago:  Brussels Sprout Hash with Caramelized Shallots and Parmesan and Thyme Crackers

Peanut Curry with Sweet Potato and Collard Greens
Adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook
Serves 4 generously

I know this is a long list of ingredients but it actually comes together quite quickly.  I have substituted spinach for the collard greens here with good results.

2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. whole mustard seeds
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground tumeric
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 14-ounce can lite coconut milk, or more to taste
2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
1 large bunch collard greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When it’s hot, add the onion and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add all the spices and cook for another minute, then add the red pepper, the potatoes, the sweet potato, and the tomatoes.  Cover and let simmer over medium-low, until the potatoes have cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and peanut butter.  Add the collard greens and the chickpeas and stir well to combine.  Cook until the collard greens have wilted down enough to be soft, about 15 minutes.  If the curry seems to thick, add more coconut milk or water to thin it.


  1. That looks so, so delicious.

    Comment by Hannah — November 21, 2009 @ 2:52 am

  2. Love the peanut butter in this! looks like a flavorful and filling dish..

    Comment by Veggie Belly — November 21, 2009 @ 4:18 am

  3. Yum. This unusual curry looks so good and would definitely please my son, the vegan

    Comment by tasteofbeirut — November 21, 2009 @ 6:06 am

  4. Ah, that’s very interesting with the potatoes and sweet potatoes. Potatoes in a peanut curry sauce isn’t a combination that I have seen before, and seems very worthy of trying! I do believe that this dish would be very satisfying on hungry days.

    Gorgeous photos too, by the way. I find it very challenging to photograph peanut sauce dishes!

    Comment by The Ordinary Vegetarian — November 21, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

  5. I am SO making this this week! I can’t wait- I can tell it’s going to be a hit around here ;)

    Comment by Ele — November 21, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

  6. Yay! When I read your post about the naan, I was hoping you were going to share this recipe next. Can’t wait to try it, looks delicious. I’ve been wanting that cookbook, but you are doing a good job of keeping me up on yummy recipes. Thanks!

    Comment by Mara — November 22, 2009 @ 12:13 am

  7. this looks so good and easy too! I just bought some locally grown sweet potatoes but I had no plan for them yet- I guess I know what I’ll make with them now!

    Comment by Emily Rose — November 22, 2009 @ 3:16 am

  8. […] Russian kale will stand in for collard greens in Dana’s Peanut Curry recipe. I’m always looking for new curries to make, and as soon as this one was posted […]

    Pingback by Bread & Veg – A cooking blog - Kitchenist — November 22, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

  9. I guess I’m going to have to get this cookbook! Your meal looks amazing…but then again I’m a sucker for anything with sweet potatoes and peanut butter.

    Comment by kickpleat — November 22, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

  10. That looks right up my street Dana. I would really enjoy tucking into this.

    Bookmark coming up :)

    Comment by Jacqueline — November 22, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

  11. This mix of vegetables with the coconut milk and peanut butter sounds fantastic. I’m making this next time I have collards from my CSA!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — November 22, 2009 @ 11:39 pm

  12. this sounds delicious, I love sweet potato but never tried it with curry. Oh, and I hear ya about the cookbooks!

    Comment by veron — November 23, 2009 @ 1:54 am

  13. Sounds SO good! I’ve always known that there are better uses for peanut butter outside of PB&Js :)

    Comment by maris — November 23, 2009 @ 2:21 am

  14. My hubs doesn’t like curry and he is allergic to peanuts. I will have to make this for a girls night in:)

    Comment by Maria — November 23, 2009 @ 3:29 pm

  15. Oh YUMMMMMM I love squash/sweet potato and greens combinations, I made acorn squash, collard greens, and cannelini beans a couple weeks ago, the peanut curry aspect would definitely round it out to be a hearty meal!

    Comment by Jess — November 23, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

  16. I am having one of those days today. Where is Kirk? Why isn’t he home so I can eat dinner?! Curses! This recipe looks fantastic. The cookbook sounds great too. And, Dana, are you serious? Over 100 cookbooks? I’m sooooooo jealous!

    Comment by redmenace — November 24, 2009 @ 2:36 am

  17. That looks like my kind of meal! Yum. I’ve never heard of that cookbook but have now added it to my wishlist!

    Comment by Ashley — December 4, 2009 @ 3:20 pm

  18. […] Peanut Curry: This was really good. I loved the flavor the coconut milk added. I actually think I might try it […]

    Pingback by Cooking adventures, part II « By Singing Light — March 2, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  19. This is my favorite recipe from her book…that I’ve tried so far! I still have many to try, but this is just oh-so-good! :)

    Comment by Brennan — September 22, 2012 @ 1:52 am

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