Vegan Potato Peanut Curry

You'd never guess how easy it is to make this simple but exotic recipe. You'll be able to make it in under 25 minutes from start to finish, and in a particularly risible example of laughable cheapness, you'll find that it costs a mere 70-75c per serving.

This kind of meal simply makes me laugh out loud at how fun, easy and inexpensive it is to cook healthy and interesting meals at home.
Vegan Potato Peanut Curry

1.5 to 2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled, and diced into ~2 inch cubes
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (olive, corn or canola)
2 Tablespoons tahini sauce
3 Tablespoons peanut butter
4-5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1) In a large saucepot, add the potatoes, canned tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

2) While the potatoes are simmering, combine the oil, tahini, peanut butter, garlic and spices in a separate small saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes, until the peanut sauce simmers and becomes a bit frothy. Remove from heat and add the tahini-peanut butter mixture to the simmering potatoes.

3) Simmer everything for another 10 minutes or so until the potatoes are just tender but firm to the bite. Serve over rice.

Serves 4-5. Can be easily doubled.

A few brief cooking notes:
1) Don't bother to peel the potatoes unless you really want to. It adds a lot of extra prep work and it removes a lot of healthy nutrients from the dish.

2) Don't be afraid of the full teaspoon of cayenne. The spicy heat really adds a lot of depth to the recipe.

3) A word on tahini for readers unfamiliar with it: tahini is a smooth paste made from ground sesame seeds. Many grocery stores will carry it, but if not, you can always find it in your local health food or ethnic food shops. Most people like tahini, but some people simply cannot abide by the taste. If you're a tahini non-abider, don't bother to make this dish. You aren't gonna like it.

Related Posts:
The 25 Best Laughably Cheap Recipes at Casual Kitchen
11 Really Easy Rice Side Dishes
African Peanut Stew
Attention Vegetarians and Vegans! Fresh Corn and Tomato Soup

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Jim Hohl said...

Looks like a yummy recipe. I wouldn't mind trying it with some tofu to give it more texture. Question: you said it could be doubled, but how would that impact cooking time?

Daniel said...

Hi Jim, doubling the recipe shouldn't significantly change the cooking time. It might take a minute or two longer to cook the potatoes to your liking (because there's double the water and diced tomatoes to heat up along with them), but that should be it.


Kira said...

Yum, I know I'm going to love the flavors in this dish! Have you managed to find cheap(er) tahini? I know you only use a little bit at a time, but the jar itself is NOT a cheap initial investment.

Daniel said...

Good point KMAYS, and no, we usually buy a big jar of tahini ($5 to $6) and grin and bear it. It keeps for a long time and you can of course use it for lots of batches of hummus too.

However, if you have a middle-eastern ethnic foods store near you (most sizeable towns and cities do), I'd try there and see if you could find better prices.

Thanks for your comment!


I use a very similar recipe to make curried chicken and/or fish - it's so good.

You can also use sweet potatoes (leave out the tomatoes), and replace the tomatoes with pecans - super delicious.

You can even make a curried sweet potato, or butternut, or pumpkin soup using these same ingredients; adjusting the amount so you have enough to serve four.

In fact, I've also tossed this with noodles (instead of potatoes); keep the tomatoes, and it's a great pasta side-dish for fresh fish (salmon or cod are very good).

Joanne said...

This looks amazing! The only thing that would make it better - sweet potatoes.

Daniel said...

Joanne and Happy: thanks so much for the sweet potato suggestion! That is an exceptional modification idea. Some great ideas here.


The Veggie Queen said...

This sounds like a simply delicious recipe. I would likely add some garbanzo beans for more protein but otherwise - just great. I might make it in the pressure cooker and even with presoaked dried beans, it will only take about 14 minutes at pressure.

What's not to like about potatoes, cayenne and tahini?

Thanks for the post.

Unknown said...

Yummy! I cannot wait to try this out.

chow and chatter said...

oh wow this looks so tasty

The Calico Cat said...

In my local stores, you have to buy a gallon (not literal buy way more than 2 TBS) of Tahini.

What do you do with the rest? I would end up tossing it, so wouldn't that raise the serving costs?

I would appreciate a reply via e-mail. You see, I am interested in the answer. & I found this recipe post in a "greatest hits" post so it is not very probable that I would find this post again to look for the answers. Thanks.

The Calico Cat said...

I forgot, sorry I don't read everyone elses comments. (In case my questions had been asked previously.) Those seem like private conversations to me...

Daniel said...

Calico Cat: thanks for your question. First, no need to consider everyone else's comments private--they are there for you as a resource too.

Second, for others who actually do read the commments, KMAYS and Happy in Nevada touch on this question.

As far as finding cheaper and smaller sizes of Tahini, try looking outside your standard food retailing options and visit some ethnic food stores in your community. And do NOT just toss the rest of a jar of perfectly good tahini. It keeps for a very long time. Moreover, CK ran a post sharing 17 easy hummus recipes--that in of itself should be a way to use up whatever's left.

I'll address this subject in greater depth in about two weeks with an "Ask Casual Kitchen" column.


thedancinganimal said...

About the Tahini...I have always just made it. It only takes a little bit longer. As she mentions it is just ground up sesame seeds, so if you can find those in bulk for cheap and have a spice grinder and some vegetable oil you'd be able to make just as much as you need for this recipe and it'd likely be significantly cheaper.

Daniel said...

Thanks thedancinganimal! I like your thinking.


Amy said...

Just made the recipe that sounded so deliscious, but it lacked spice enhancement ( hotness was excellent )what other spice could be added in addition to tumeric?

Daniel said...

Amy, I'm not sure to be honest. The dish's main, "primary" flavors are the cayenne, garlic, the peanut flavor from the peanut butter, and the slightly bitter flavor of the tahini. It's not really meant to be any more complicated than that.

But if you find any spices that complement this dish well in your opinion, come back and share them here!