Easy Market-Day Coconut & Vegetable Curry

PREP TIME: 20mins


I run to our local produce market most Saturdays, it’s become a bit of a ritual and one that I love. We are so blessed in Cape Town to have one of the most inspiring markets on our doorstep.

The Oranjezicht City Farm Market is a celebration of small scale farmers and producers and a real showcase of Cape Towns best produce.

I am rubbish at planning and in an ideal world, I would go to the market with a well planned shopping list of produce needed for my ‘cooking week’ ahead. I have come to terms with the fact that I don’t work like this (‘this’ being a super organised person) but rather that I am inspired by produce and it is from here that the recipes flow.

Like this quick and easy curry I crave when its cold and I want to dig into something warming and nourishing.

This curry is excellent to use with any veggie box orders or when you arrive back from the market with more veggies that you intended to buy (is that not the point of markets?).

When roasting butternut, I tend to choose a butternut with a long ‘neck’ which I slice into rounds, peel and dice. I only slice the neck and tend to stop when I get to the round oval bit with the seeds, I roast the oval bit whole with the diced pieces. Once soft, I scoop out the seeds and pulp and add this to the curry.

Seasonal Swaps: Feel free to chop and change any roots or veggies.

Get Ahead: The curry is even better the next day and can be made well in advance (3 days).

Leftover Ideas: The curry would make a lovely breakfast with two poached or fried eggs on top.

Serves 4


Serving Suggestion:

This would be a real treat with a dollop of yogurt, raita and off course naan or a flatbread. Steamed rice or cauliflower rice would work well too. I served this (not in the pic) with a zippy coriander and kefir yogurt dressing, simply whizz up 2 handfuls coriander, 1 garlic clove, a good pinch of salt and a little kefir yogurt, adding more yogurt until the dressing is the right consistency for you.


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 cardamom pods, bashed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons ginger, minced/grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
  • 1 small butternut, (see intro note) peeled, cut into chunky cubes
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunky cubes
  • 2 parsnips, peeled, cut into chunky cubes
  • 2 turnips, peeled, cut into chunky cubes
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 x tin chickpeas, drained
  • 3 handful chard leaves, white rind removed, leaves shredded
  • salt & pepper
  • chopped coriander to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 190/200c. Line a baking tray with baking paper, add the butternut, turnips, parsnips and sweet potato, drizzle with a little oil and roast in the oven for 30minutes or until tender. Stir the veggies half way through, set aside once done.
  2. Heat the olive oil to a large saucepan, add the cardamom pods, mustard and cumin seeds and heat gently until the seeds sizzles and smell fragrant, add the onions, stir well and cook the onions on a medium heat (the longer the better) covered, until the onions are soft and ‘jammy’ looking. This will take a good 15/20 minutes.
  3. While the onions are cooking, add the paprika, cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric in a small frying pan (dry, don’t add oil), gently warm the pan on the stove until the spices smell fragrant and a little smoke is visible, swirl the pan and set aside.
  4. Back to the onions, once soft, add the garlic, ginger and tomato paste, stir until fragrant, 3 minutes, add the toasted spices and stir well. Add the tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and 1 teaspoon salt, stir well and adjust the seasoning with more salt. This is the base of the curry and at this stage it should taste really great!
  5. Add the cauliflower and simmer for 5/7 minutes until tender but still have a bite (mushy cauli is not great!) add the chickpeas and roasted veggies and stir well to incorporate everything. Finally add the chard leaves, stir well, take the curry of the heat, the heat of the curry is enough to cook the chard leaves.
  6. When ready to serve, sprinkle coriander leaves over the curry and serve alongside steamed rice, naan breads or cauliflower rice. (see serving suggestions).
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