Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

If your haemoglobin levels are low, this recipe is perfect because you have iron in the spinach and vitamin C in the sweet potatoes. That is a very good combination and one which should be sold in bottles like vitamin tablets!!! Spinach is one of those super foods, absolutely packed with goodness; vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, yet low in calories. This is a simple yet delicious dish and one I often make it when I am doing a couple of Indian recipes, I like to mix and match for lots of flavours.  If you are vegan, you can omit the shrimp paste and use 1 teaspoon tamari sauce instead.

A lovely Indian vegetable dish

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free

This recipe is easy to make:

  • Vegan

Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

Serves 4


  • 500 grams (17½ oz) sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 onion (red), chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
  • 1 chilli pepper (red), chopped finely
  • 250 grams (¾ oz) spinach (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 350 millilitres (11¾ fluid oz) coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (or if not available, use fish sauce, Nam Plah)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
  • Pinch of salt (Himalaya or sea salt) and pepper (black)


  1. Peel the 500 grams sweet potatoes and chop into large chunks (bite sized).
  2. Peel the onion and chop finely.
  3. Peel the garlic clove and crush through a garlic press or chop very finely.
  4. Cut the chilli in halves, scoop out the seeds and membranes and chop finely. You might want to use plastic gloves if you have sensitive skin.
  5. If using frozen spinach, place the 250 grams spinach in a sieve, allow to thaw and squeeze excess water out with your hands.
  6. Transfer the sweet potato chunks into a saucepan and fill with water. Cook for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
  7. Heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil in a large frying pan. Heat the onion and 2 garlic cloves for 5 minutes.
  8. Add 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (or fish sauce), 1 teaspoon ground turmeric and a pinch of saffron threads (optional) to the frying pan. Combine well.
  9. Pour the 350 millilitres coconut milk onto the frying pan and add the drained sweet potatoes. Allow to simmer over low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  10. Add a pinch of salt and pepper according to taste.
  11. Add the drained spinach and heat for 2-3 minutes with the lid on.
  12. Serve with chapati bread and brown rice.


  • If you are vegan, you can omit the shrimp paste. Add 1 teaspoon tamari sauce instead.
  • You can use butternut squash or pumpkin instead of the sweet potato. You can also use carrots.   
    If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.


Comments about this recipe

Sailu @ Indian Recipes
06. Oct. 2011

Using ginger and green chili paste and substituting shrimp paste with thick tamarind paste will alleviate the flavor profile by leaps and bounds. Love the combination of sweet potatoes and spinach, a good recipe.

06. Oct. 2011

That sounds very good, thanks for the input :) Glad you liked the combination....