This is a recipe for a low-fat whole-food plant-based curry. Most curry recipes out there call for coconut milk. But coconut milk is a highly processed food and very high in saturated fat. That can be a problematic food for people with heart disease and for those trying to lose weight. Because I really do love my curry and because it is so delicious and practical, I like to have it as often as I can. I noticed that using store-bought coconut milk too often was causing me to gain weight and get oily skin. So I was determined to find a coconut milk alternative. And I found it! This plant-based curry with sweet potato, broccoli, and chickpeas is also one of my all-time favorite dishes, so I was very happy when I managed to make it even better with homemade coconut milk! I love to serve this curry with some rice.
Ingredients I used for this low-fat plant-based curry recipe
The base of this low-fat curry is sweet potato. There is just something spectacular that happens when sweet potato cooks very tender and starts to thicken up the curry. It gives it a subtle sweet note and a very hearty feel. Every healthy curry needs some greens, and for the green part of this curry, I use broccoli. I love my broccoli steam-cooked. And I discovered a simple trick for steam-cooking broccoli when I was making this recipe. It turns out that you can steam-cook the broccoli without using a steaming basket! Make sure you continue reading if you would like to find out how I do that. For the protein part of this plant-based curry, I use chickpeas. They also provide a little more bite to the dish. I also like to add some hot sauce.
Steam cooking without the steaming basket
When it comes to cooking, I like to use as little pots and pans as I can. I’m all about making one-pot-wonders. So I was looking for a way to steam-cook my broccoli without using an additional pot. And this plant-based curry recipe offered me a solution. It occurred to me, that I can just put my broccoli on top of my boiling sweet-potatoes. I just make sure I distribute them nicely and that there isn’t enough water for them to sink. Then I put a lid on and don’t stir. Broccoli will steam-cook with the steam coming from the boiling veggies underneath. Neat trick, right?
Homemade low-fat coconut milk
Now to the revolutionary part of this low-fat curry recipe. It turns out that low-fat homemade coconut milk is so easy to make, you won’t be buying it ever again. And it is also a way healthier and cheaper option. And it calls for only 2 ingredients plus water! For the hearty base of my homemade coconut milk, I decided to use cashews. Just a few, to mimic the creaminess of regular coconut milk. In comparison to regular coconut milk, this homemade coconut milk is very low in fat. And because we couldn’t call this a coconut milk without eh.. coconut? And because I really like the coconut flavor in my curry, I decided to add a little bit of coconut flour. As it turns out, the coconut flour doesn’t just add to the flavor, but it takes care of the thickness as well. Win, win!
Low-fat plant-based curry with sweet potato, broccoli, chickpeas, and homemade low-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup homemade or ½ cup store-bought coconut milk + ½ water
- 1 large sweet potato peeled
- ½ bunch broccoli florets and stem
- 1 can chickpeas drained
- 1 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts for garnish (*optional)
- 1 tbsp curry spice mix
- salt to taste
For Homemade low-fat Coconut Milk
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
For Homemade low-fat Coconut Milk
- Put cashews, coconut flour, and water into a blender. Blend until smooth. (*see notes)
- Cut the peeled sweet potato in half lengthwise, then cut both halves in half lengthwise again, and slice into thin quarter-moons.
- Add sweet potato to the pan and cover with water. Don't put too much, just enough so it covers the sweet potato.
- Put the lid on and cook for 10 minutes.
- Divide broccoli into bite-size florets. Peel the stem and dice it into small cubes.
- Spread the broccoli evenly over boiling sweet potato.
- Cover and steam cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas and stir.
- Add the homemade coconut milk, curry spice mix, and salt to taste. Add more water if necessary.
- Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes to heat through and thicken up.
- Sprinkle with chopped roasted peanuts (*optional) and serve.
- If you don’t have a high-speed blender, use boiling water. Just make sure the steam can escape the blender.
- The homemade coconut milk migh not be totally smooth because of the coconut flour. How smooth it turns out may depend on your blender.
- I don’t own a high-speed blender, so my homemade coconut milk is pretty grainy, but I don’t notice that in the final dish.
- If the texture of the coconut milk bothers you, you might want to strain it after blending, but that will probably affect the final thickness of the curry.
- You can also omit the coconut flour if you don’t care for the coconut flavor, but it will probably affect the thickness as well.
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