When dinner time rolls around on a weeknight, veggie dishes can be a great go-to. Especially if you’ve been eating less than optimally during the day.
This stir fry (aka sauté or skillet dish) is ready to step up. It doesn’t take much prep work and the cooking time is fairly brief. So you can whip up dinner in a jiffy.
That’s our kind of short-order cooking.
We make stir fry at least once a week. It’s a great way to clean out odds and ends in the fridge. We usually just gather likely looking ingredients that we have on hand, then season them to taste (we typically use Indian or Asian spices/flavors, or sometimes Mediterranean).
We specify ingredient quantities in this recipe. Most of the time, though, we just eyeball the amounts. So you don’t need to aim for exact measurements.
Prep time for this dish is 10 minutes or so. Cooking time adds 15 to 20 minutes.
This recipe yields 3 to 4 main-course servings (depending on how large your appetite is).
Leftovers keep well for a couple of days if refrigerated in an airtight container. BTW, the leftovers are great for breakfast or lunch the next day.
- ~1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 onion, diced or sliced thinly
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon kosher salt for us, but see Notes)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced thinly
- 1-inch piece of ginger, minced finely (peeled or not)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chili crisp (to taste; see Notes for substitutions)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder, preferably Madras (see Notes)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 12 to 16 ounces cooked, diced sweet potatoes (see Notes if you don’t have cooked sweet potatoes on hand)
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup water or vegetable stock (or you could use chicken stock, although that wouldn’t be vegan)
- ½ to 1 cup frozen peas (to taste)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (or parsley, if you prefer)
- Heat a large frying pan over medium stovetop heat. When the pan is hot, add the cooking oil. When the oil is heated (about 15 seconds – it’ll shimmer), add the chopped onion and red bell pepper. Add salt to taste, then sauté until the onion is just translucent (4 to 5 minutes; it’s OK if the onion isn’t totally tender).
- Add the chopped garlic and ginger, then sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the chili crisp, curry powder, and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Then add the diced sweet potato and the chickpeas. Add the water, bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium low. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
- Bring the heat up to medium, uncover the pan, and add the peas. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until the peas are cooked through.
- Add the chopped cilantro, then stir to combine.
- Serve and enjoy.
- We think this dish is enough all by itself, so we don’t usually serve it over rice. But you might prefer to.
- If you don’t have leftover cooked sweet potatoes on hand: Just scrub and peel a sweet potato, then cut it into dice. Place the pieces in a covered microwave-safe dish, along with a scant tablespoon of water. Nuke for about 5 minutes, until tender (you can do this while you’re cooking the onions). Voilà, cooked sweet potato.
- You could substitute white potatoes, but you’ll lose a lot of flavor.
- Chili crisp is a spicy and flavorful Asian chile-based sauce/condiment that gets its crunch from roasted onions. You can buy it at many ethnic markets and grocery stores, and it’s available online.
- No chili crisp on hand? Just substitute any Asian chili sauce. Sriracha would be terrific. You could even use several dashes of a hot sauce, like Tabasco. Or just add some red pepper flakes to the mix.
- We use a prepared curry powder in this dish. We like Madras-style powder, which tends to be a bit hotter than some other versions. But use whatever you like.
- We sometimes mix our own curry powder. But many commercial powders are quite good, so we’re tending to use those more often.
- We like to use chickpeas in this dish because they pair so well with curry spices. But you could substitute almost any kind of bean you fancy.
- If you’re not aiming for a vegan dish, you could substitute pork or chicken for the chickpeas. Just cut the meat into thin strips, then sauté them until done (5 minutes or less). Remove the cooked pieces from the pan and set them aside, then proceed with cooking the onions and red bell pepper.
- You can substitute green, yellow, or orange bell pepper in this dish. We tend to favor red, so that’s what we use.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you’re using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
“Love me some stir fry!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “The sweet potato is really a nice touch.”
“Yup, I yam pleased with this dish,” I said.
“Stirring up trouble again?” said Mrs K R.
“Just showing off my skillet humor,” I said.
“More like out of the frying pan, into the dire,” said Mrs K R.
Guess I should stop stirring the pot.
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I like all the spices you added to this healthy dish and I know I would enjoy it. Thanks John!
Hi Gerlinde, it's a good dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Sounds really delicious, John! And this dish also scores in the "we eat with our eyes" category. I especially appreciate the tip about nuking sweet potatoes—it's good to remember we can use the microwave for actually cooking, not just reheating. Thanks!
Hi Terry, we definitely eat with our eyes! Love colorful food (as long as it's flavorful). :-) Thanks for the comment.
It looks hearty, healthy, and delicious. Yum!
Hi Pam, yum indeed! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Sounds really good. I have not eaten this morning and I would love a small plate of that for a brunch meal!
Hi Anne, much as we like this dish for dinner, it might be even better for breakfast/brunch/lunch. :-) Thanks for the comment.
The combo of flavours, textures and colours of this simple yet mouthwatering is simply perfect.
Hi Angie, nice, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love a good stir fry and I sure do need to eat healthier these days ;)
Hi Dahn, we certainly need as many healthy meals as we can get. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh, all the beautiful color and nutrition in this! I need to stir fry more!
Hi Inger, you do! :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a yummy, healthy meal! I'd love this for lunch.
I love all the colors in the dish. It looks appetizing for even none-vegan person like myself. I love the simplicity of this recipe,
Hi Liz, this really is a nice combo of flavor. And colors. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Holly, we love meat, but we love meals like this even more. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'm always looking for more recipes using sweet potatoes. This will on my table soon. Great recipe.
Hi Lea Ann, for the longest time, the only way we used sweet potatoes was as a really sweet Thanksgiving side. We've learned the error of our ways. :-) They so versatile, aren't they? Thanks for the comment.
Loving the combination of sweet potatoes and chickpea, and the colours are wonderful here!
Hi Ben, we do like colorful food. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Living on my own and working two doors away from the kitchen this type of stirfry appears on the table about three times a week altho' some animal protein usually also makes the journey from fridge to wok ! Do not use enough sweet potato in such but should ! My usual seasoning usually stays on the SE Asian rather than S Asian side . . . I have lived and cooked under such influences too long to use any so-called Madras powder -:) . . . real Indian chefs believe that to be the wickedest interpretation of Indian cooking the Western cooks ever foisted on the world !!!
Hi Eha, this is actually more Chinese than Indian (and Chinese do typically use curry powder, when they do curry), but I do take your point. :-) I resisted the commercial preparations for years -- often still do -- but good blends have a lot going for them. Thanks for the comment.
you two are so funny! I loooove chickpeas and my pantry always has half a dozen tins within. I'm afraid i have to agree with Eha - curry powders are the devil's work :) So much turmeric etc. Tho saying that i do have some sri lankan curry powder in my pantry...
Hi Sherry, yup, we used to be pretty militant about not using curry powder, but are just so much more relaxed these days. Getting older. :-) Thanks for the comment.
John - Actually I meant more 'Madras Powder' than 'all' available 'curry' powders . . . I have spoken to dozens of South Asian chefs and seen more on 'real' Indian etc cookery shows and the normally super-polite chefs swear most rudely at their cuisine being so misrepresented in the Western world ! Making some dishes like curried egg or curry-based salad dressings I also use ready-made powders tho' never ones bought from a supermarkets, there being such great spice merchants available. Geography makes people like Sherry and me seem 'purist' :) !!!
Hi Eha, thanks for the clarification.
I healthy looking vegetarian dish. Looks like a winner John.
Hi MJ, it is a winner. :-) Thanks for the comment.
OMG! I love everything in this stir-fry . Looks so delicious and so healthy!
Hi Judee, a lot of flavor in this dish. A LOT. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Meatless Mondays just got more delicious! Believe it or not this is exactly the kind of dish we would enjoy for breakfast.
Hi Bobbi, leftovers are great for breakfast. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is a really beautiful dish, John. As they say, we eat with our eyes… And my eyes want a big bowl of this! I have most everything here on hand, so I plan to have this is one of our veggie meals this coming week. Now that we bought Lord Krishna‘s book, we have promised ourselves at least three fully vegetarian meals every week. Let’s hope we can stick to it!
Hi David, we end up eating vegetarian so often! SO easy to play with flavors with veggies. Still love meat, though. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Yay, another use for chili crisp. I don't know what my fridge would be like without a jar always on hand. It's good on most anything. ;)
Hi Carolyn, the chili crisp really adds a lot of pizzazz to this dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Sweet potato is a clever addition to a stir fry, I wouldn't have thought of it. I just love the colour against the bright red bell pepper and the subtle yellow of the chick peas. The textures must be wonderful too. As we are all trying to be meatless every now and then, it's fantastic to have another tried and true recipe to put into our repertoire.
Hi Eva, we had some sweet potatoes that we wanted to use, and that was the motivation for this dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I can totally enjoy this weeknight dish! At our house we typically at the end of the week take whatever is left and bring it together too.
Your dish here with sweet potato, and chick peas is very healthy, and very filling.
Hi Velva, aren't dishes like this fun to make? Real favorites of ours. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love sweet potatoes and chickpeas. This is my kind of cooking!
I love this John! I need more sweet potatoes in my life.
Hi Debra, definitely our kind, too! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Jeff, we all do! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Yes! They are are great dishes to be made during the week with leftovers and pantry items.
Totally agree! :-)
I usually feel like a short order cook on weeknights. I have three different dietary needs to meet at dinner. To satisfy most needs we've been doing mostly plant-based, gluten-free and this fits the bill deliciously! (Oh, and steak on the side for one of my sons. haha!) :-) ~Valentina
Sounds like a great meal when you are looking to go meatless. Nice and healthy and delicious.
Hi Valentina, no wonder you're such a great cook -- you have lots of experience juggling different recipes and ingredients! Sounds like this dish should appeal to much of your crew. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Dawn, really delicious. Really, really. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Definitely a great stir fry for weeknights!
Chili crisp? Never heard of it but sounds like I gotta try it! Several years ago, I visited a street called 'Frying Pan Road' in Borrego Springs, Calif. As a crowning touch, you should make this dish there!
Hi Balvinder, it is! Really tasty. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Fran, you HAVE to try chili crisp! Terrific in both savory and sweet dishes. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I Yam What I Yam said Popeye the Sailor.
Love this. I'm looking to include more meatless meals and this dish looks delish.
What a healthy dish with rich ingredients. Looks really very healthy and hearty. Thanks for the recipe. Greetings.
Hi Amalia, that Popeye fella is pretty perceptive, isn't he? :-) This is SO worth trying! Thanks for the comment.
Hi B&S, it's such a tasty, healthy dish. Really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I cook like this a lot. Just look in the fridge and see what's available and hope it turns out good. But somehow curry always makes things totally good!
Hi Abbe, this is actually the main way we cook. Fun. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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