My friend Esha also has coeliac disease and she, like me, is a massive foodie. I love going to her flat for dinner because she’s a great cook, our tastes are very similar, and I get to have a nosey through their food cupboards.
One of the nicest dishes she made me was spicy chickpeas in tomato sauce on baked sweet potato. She added fresh coriander, lemon juice, and dollop of creamy Greek yoghurt on top. It’s such a comforting and flavourful dish, and it’s incredibly healthy, full of vitamins A and C!
If you ditch the yoghurt (or substitute for a dairy-free version), this is 100% vegan too.
The Main Ingredients
One of the stars of the show here is the sweet potato. The sweet potato craze hasn’t been one I’ve been particularly into… I’d still rather have a plain ol’ white or red potato for my mash or wedges. I love that sweet potatoes are lower GI than normal potatoes, so they are great for my insulin resistance.
I also watched a programme on Channel 4 about superfoods once and one episode was about sweet potato. They showed how one community had eliminated eye diseases amongst their children by growing sweet potatoes. Vitamin A is found in the beta carotene in the potato, and this aids healthy eye sight!
They’re loaded with great health benefits so I like to include them in my meal plan regularly for variety. Their natural sweetness goes really well with the heat of the spicy chickpeas here.
Chickpeas are our next main actor. Chickpeas are a fantastic source of iron, with just over 6mg per 100g. To put that in perspective, the average man over 18 and woman over 15 needs 8.7mg a day and adult women under 50 need 14.8mg.
They’re full of fibre and protein too, with a good amount of resistant starch which will help stabilise your blood sugars.
The combination of fresh coriander, toasted cumin seeds, zesty lemon, and a hint of chilli brings the simple sweet potato and plain chickpeas to life. This recipe is so more-ish that you might want to cook an extra baked sweet potato for your lunch the next day!
This recipe is fairly hands-off. Once you’ve popped your sweet potatoes in the oven, you can set a timer and forget about them for a while.
The sauce is rich and flavourful and so easy to put together. You simply fry off onions and add minced garlic, cumin seeds, and chilli powder (or fresh chilli if you prefer). Then, chuck in your tinned tomatoes and tomato puree, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
When the sauce is ready, add the chickpeas and heat through. Squeeze lemon and mix through freshly chopped coriander.
Remove your sweet potato from the oven. The flesh should be soft and caramel-sweet. Cut it open, spoon some of the spicy chickpea in tomato sauce mixture in the middle, and dollop with yoghurt.
Spicy Chickpeas in Tomato Sauce on Baked Sweet Potato
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 3 good sized sweet potatoes for baking
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 400g tin tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 400g tin chickpeas, drained
- Juice of one lemon
- Handful of chopped coriander
- Dollop of plain unsweetened yoghurt (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
- Scrub your sweet potatoes clean and pat dry. Prick holes all over each potato with a knife. Coat with a light layer of cooking oil and place on a baking sheet in the preheated oven. They should be ready in 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your potato.
- Meanwhile, in a pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Fry onion for 8-10 minutes until soft.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for a further minute. Then add the cumin seeds and chilli powder for another minute.
- Chuck in the tin of tomatoes and tomato puree and bring to the boil. When boiling, reduce to a simmer and leave for 15 minutes to thicken.
- When thickened, add in your chickpeas and simmer to heat through for another 10 minutes.
- When ready, squeeze the lemon juice in to the mixture along with the chopped coriander.
- Halve your baked sweet potato, place on a plate and spoon some of the chickpea tomato mixture. Serve with green veg (I had steamed sprouts, peas, and kale!) and a dollop of plain unsweetened yoghurt if you like.