Creamy Coconut Curry and Why I Love Fairtrade Ingredients

Submitted by Trinity on Wed, 11/25/2015 - 21:14

A curry is a dish of food pieces cooked in a richly, spiced sauce. Every region of the world has it's own style and technique, often inspired by whatever is available locally. Unlike much of the world's population, I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to buy ingredients from all over the world in my local health food store. Spices and tropical ingredients really bring culinary magic into my life - I feel totally blessed!

I always source fair-trade and organic ingredients wherever possible. Supporting ethical food practices really makes a difference to people's lives out there. It's all about the energy, so foods that have been ethically sourced not only contribute towards raising our own spiritual vibration, but also the collective vibration of others and the planet. It's fascinating to think that people we'll never meet in person, play such an important role in our every day culinary experience - something that can be easily taken for granted. Before preparing my curries, I always stop to appreciate that these intensely aromatic dishes, are only possible because people far away, spent the time to pick these spices and foods for me.

In my kitchen, curries are inspired by warming spices that just want to be in the pot together. Creamy coconut sauce, infused with fresh ginger, freshly crushed cardamom seeds, ground coriander and a little je n'sais quoi really does it for me. The following combination has lots of chickpeas and is the sort of dish I might create when I want to serve up a tasty, high protein meal.

This coconut chickpea curry recipe is a tasty infusion of ingredients using things like fresh ginger, cardamom seeds, turmeric, coriander, sweet potatoes and mushrooms.

Cardamom is one of my favourite ingredients, bringing an aromatic sweet-spicy infusion of magic. I always favour the pods over the pre-ground stuff, because ready ground cardamom loses its flavour so quickly that it can be rather disappointing. It's really easy to grind your own and well worth the effort. It's important to buy good quality, green pods. I've created a short video to show you how to use cardamom pods...

Turmeric makes a special appearance in this recipe, responsible for giving your dish a rich yellow colour. Although it's claim to fame really is its outstanding health benefits. Turmeric has been shown to act as a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and offers incredible all round support.

Fresh ginger is another favourite addition, bringing a distinctive zesty flavour to combining particularly well with the other ingredients in this recipe. It is a well loved, tried and tested, flavoursome spice that has been revered for a myriad of health benefits throughout the aeons. You can really all about the health benefits of ginger here: 10 reasons why we all should be eating ginger

This creamy coconut curry is a splendid infusion of ingredients that not only taste delicious together, but are supportive to our healthy and longevity. It serves well on its own or on top of rice, millet or quinoa. Enjoy!


  • 400g sweet potato (2 medium sized)
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms (two large handfuls) - also known as crimini mushrooms
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 300g cooked chickpeas (2 cups)
  • 100ml water (just UNDER 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of chili powder (or white pepper)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
  • 250ml coconut cream (one cup)
  • Small handful of fresh parsley

How to make

  1. Chop sweet potato (skins still on) into small cubes. No more than 1.5cm (half inch) cubed works best to allow for minimal cooking time and absorption of spices.
  2. Slice mushrooms and saute for no more than a couple of minutes in a pan.
  3. Toss the sweet potatoes into the pan of mushrooms, add the water and mix in. Replace the lid (important not to boil all the water off) and bring to a simmer.
  4. Finely grate a teaspoon worth of fresh ginger and mix into the pan.
  5. Crush cardamom seeds (watch my short cardamom pod video above to see how) and mix into the pan.
  6. Mix in the ground coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder and tomato puree at this stage and allow all ingredients to dance together.
  7. Make sure you replace the lid to keep the moisture in, but do stir frequently. The sweet potatoes should cook in the steam and there should be enough water so that it doesn't boil dry (but be careful, too much water will thin the coconut cream too much).
  8. After about 10 minutes of cooking, stir in the chickpeas.
  9. When it looks like all of the water has absorbed into the rest of the ingredients, stir in the coconut cream.
  10. This recipe is ready when you can pierce the sweet potato with a fork.
  11. Finely chop the parsley and add it right at the end.
  12. Serve immediately or reheat later. If you do serve later, then you might like to add a splash of water to loosen it up again for re-heating.

This article was shared by Trinity Bourne, the resident, Openhand Retreat Chef. Trinity is the author of Trinity's Conscious Kitchen and Angelicious, two books designed to inspired the soul through conscious cuisine. Find out more about her latest publication here:

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Trinity, the photograph of the coconut curry makes me want to jump through the computer screen to eat it!

Fascinating about cardamon. Have never used fresh cardamon before. I am definitely inspired. Wondering if I can feed the pods, once the seeds have been freed, to the horses and dogs.

Just love the video---even Peter watched it :-)

love, tigger

They just get better and better.....
This sounds absolutely 'top drawer'!!!
Another one that I simply must try.
I'm really looking forward to receiving a copy of Angelicious - some delicious and vibrant cooking for the holidays.
Thank you.

Thank you for that Tigger... it makes it all worthwhile. I've started a new series of short 'how to....' in the kitchen videos. This was my first. My favourite things but that perhaps everyone is not aware of. Every time I think of Peter, I think of that awesome song burst in the kitchen whilst preparing food for your animal friends :) I wonder what they will thing of cardamom pods - you'll have to let me know.

You are such a gem Cynthia! Angelicious will be on it's way via Jan today. I am so thrilled to know you'll be receiving it soon and can't wait to have you trying some new conscious delight. You will love it.

Hi Cynthia,
Your Angelicious book is in the mail to you today. It is AWESOME !! Everything I have cooked out of it has been spectacular, so far. You are going to love it.
Missing you this week. xoxo Jan

Finally got to watch the video...I used the Cardamon Powder but now I have found Cardamon seeds but I think they are black? hmmmm....

soon I am heading over to my mother in laws and she has your Trinity's Conscious kitchen book and I will bring Angelicious, which I got her for Xmas ;) lol....and we will be dabbing into more of your sweets and Recipe's :)


The actual seeds are meant to be black - the pods are supposed to be green (although there is a variety of cardamom pods that are black, although they aren't true cardamom and have a different flavour).

I feel so touched that you are gifting my book. Enjoy.