Dishing Up the Dirt

Sweet Potato Chana Masala

As the weather cools down I am loving heartier dishes that are chock full of warming spices. Even though we are done with our farming season for the year we still have a lot of cleanup work in the fields. I’m not a huge fan of cleanup work and the chilly weather doesn’t help. I’m known to sneak away from chores for a bit and warm up in the greenhouse (I love to grab one of the girls to help warm my hands too!)

The only thing that gets me through a day of cleanup chores this time of year is the promise of a hot shower and a spicy meal.  I made this dinner on a particularly chilly night here at Tumbleweed and it really hit the spot. It was a perfect balance of sweet and spicy!

Speaking of spicy, now that we have more free time I finally cleaned out my spice cabinet and restocked it with fresh jars from my favorite spice shop (Savory Spice) in Portland. If you live in the area and haven’t checked them out you must! They have a great selection and even some really fun tastings in their shop. It’s always a great field trip when we go to Portland and swing in for a tasting.

I’ve learned over the years that it’s extremely important to use good quality spices (just like good quality produce) and routinely clean out my spice cabinet since spices get old and lose their potency. Thankfully, I came back from Portland with a bag of fresh spices and new inspiration for the kitchen.

We are still harvesting greens and herbs for ourselves at the farm and with a surplus of sweet potatoes in the barn this recipe was another farm-to-table favorite. I love ordering chana masala at Indian restaurants and this home cooked version is so simple to prepare that I’m excited to make it more often this winter. We threw in the sweet potato for good measure and I love the sweetness it adds to this spicy dish.

This meal is comforting, healthy and will warm you from the inside out. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do. Grab a fork!

Sweet Potato Chana Masala

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 40 minutes    Serves: 4-6

  • 1 medium-large sweet potato (about 1 1/2 cups cubed)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1-2 Tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • fresh cilantro for serving
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Cut the sweet potato into small cubes and toss with 1 Tablespoon of slightly melted coconut oil (or oil of choice) Place on a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until fork tender and slightly browned. About 12-15 minutes. Toss the sweet potato halfway through cooking.
  3. While sweet potato roasts heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, until soft. About 5-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, garam masala, paprika, salt and pepper and continue to cook for about 2 more minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the roasted sweet potato, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, chickpeas and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Taste test and adjust seasonings if need be. Serve with minced cilantro and cooked brown rice.


*Use this recipe as a guide. *Adjust measurements and ingredients as need be. *Always taste test as you go.

Leave a Reply

26 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Chana Masala

  1. I can’t even keep up with all your delicious recipes these days! I’ve never made chana masala, but a sweet potato version seems right up my alley. It’s been coooold here too. Love the looks of this!

  2. This looks delicious, especially with garam masala. Sweet potato, chickpea and coconut milk are one of my favorite combos in a cold weather stew!

    1. Laura Plumb says:

      Hi Katie, Nice to see you here, and as usual agree. I also love these ingredient combos! With the grounding texture of the sweet potato, I am not even sure it needs the chickpeas, other than fulfilling the promise of its name: “channa.” Thanks Andrea!

      1. Andrea says:

        This would be delicious minus the chickpeas but I love the extra protein boost and flavor. I hope you give this a whirl!

  3. Nicola says:

    I’m so with you on the spice cupboard! Looks delicious.

  4. francesca says:

    I love that chicks are your hand warmers 🙂 I just made an epic portion of tikka masala – could have used a little more veg + sweetness!

    1. Andrea says:

      I hope you give this a whirl!

  5. Your life looks so idyllic! And this meal is definitely the perfect solution to this chilly weather we have been having! Yum!

  6. Stephanie says:

    I made this recipe last night and it was delicious! I served it for some friends in town and everyone loved it. I can’t wait to make it again soon!

    1. Andrea says:

      Woohoo! I’m so happy you enjoyed this as much as we did. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  7. Ariana says:

    What of goodies, wow and I want a place at the table.

  8. Kim says:

    This sounds perfect for the snowy day we’re having here in Colorado.

  9. Lauren C says:

    Since happily discovering your blog, I have really enjoyed substituting the same old boring chicken breasts or thighs with sweet potatoes and chickpeas in my Indian cuisine (and Mexican, with black beans). Now I’m also using butternut squash since it’s everywhere this time of year. You have taught me that you don’t lose any flavor (usually you gain it!) by using good quality produce as a substitute for meat. And, my meat loving guy often chooses the vegetarian option when I let him decide if we use meat or not! Thanks Andrea for all of the inspiration!

  10. Rebecca says:

    Drool…. that looks so yummy. Amazing photos too!

  11. Rachel says:

    I can’t wait to make this on Saturday for some visiting friends! Can you substitute coconut milk with almond milk?

    1. Andrea says:

      I’m so excited for you to make this! I haven’t tried this with almond milk but I’m sure it will work just fine. The only thing I can imagine is that it wont be as creamy. Let me know how it turns out!!

  12. Tracey says:

    This was delicious! I used dried ginger and lite coconut milk, and it still turned out great!

  13. I made this recipe this week when we had friends coming for dinner and everyone loved it! I really liked how simple it was to throw together and it tasted amazing!! I’ll definitely be making this again 🙂

  14. liz says:

    Made this last night. It was fantastic! Thanks for another great recipe!

  15. Sue Phillips says:

    Happy New Year!!
    Made this for dinner last night. It was fabulous! We topped it with pomegranate, cilantro and Sumac. It will be added to our family’s list of favourites. Thank you so much!

  16. liz says:

    wow! this was fantastic. so simple yet flavorful. can’t wait for this recipe to be in our regular rotation. thanks again for anther great recipe!

  17. ashley says:

    this was incredible! the only change we made was to use quinoa instead of brown rice. It was excellent! thank you thank you thank you!

  18. Katie Crouch says:

    Tonight will be the third time I cook this beautiful, soul-warming curry. Thank you for the recipe and for being a constant source of inspiration. Love & light.

    1. Andrea says:

      I’m so happy you love this as much as we do! Happy cooking!

  19. Erin says:

    Just wanted to say that I really love this recipe! It’s so easy and the flavors are complex and perfect. Thank you for all your great ideas!

    1. Andrea says:

      so happy you love this too! thanks for the lovely comment.

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