Coconut Kale Curry

This recipe has quickly become a favorite.  It’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, creamy and kale-y.   If you like a thick and saucy curry with a powerhouse nutritional profile, then this recipe is for you.

I have made this recipe a few times now, using a variety of yams, sweet potatoes, beans and spices and can report that this recipe is very forgiving with proportions and ripe for experimentation.  Like spicy food?  Up the curry powder to 1/4 cup.  Crazy for coconut?  Use 2 cans of coconut milk and omit the pureed beans.  Watching your saturated fat intake?  Replace the single can of coconut milk with a lite version and let the pureed beans stand alone as the thickener.   Light on sweet potatoes?  Use regular, or even throw some cauliflower in there.


The curry powder will play a dominant role in the flavoring, so make sure that you like your blend.  I use the sweet curry powder blend from Penzey’s, but you can certainly make your own or use whatever variety pleases your palate.

Thanks to Alexandra Dawson and her Vegan Kale and White Bean Korma posted on Food52 for the inspiration!

Coconut Kale Curry

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 large onion, diced (about 3 cups)
5 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 5 cups)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons curry powder, or more to taste
1 can coconut milk
1 cup water
2 bunches of kale, washed, ribbed and chopped
1 (15 ounce) can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, white beans or kidney beans
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

2 cups red or black quinoa
3 cups water, or more as directed
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Rinse quinoa and place in rice cooker with salt and 3 cups water.  I have a simple rice cooker with “On” and “Warm” for settings.  I turn mine to on, leave uncovered and let cook until it bings – generally 15-20 minutes.

Puree coconut milk, 1 cup water and 1 can of white beans (drained and rinsed) in a blender until smooth.   Sauté onions in water until soft in a large, shallow pan over medium-high heat, adding small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking (7-10 minutes).   When onions are soft and translucent, add garlic and ginger and sauté until aromatic.  Stir in curry powder, heating for about 30 seconds more.  Add tomato sauce, sweet potatoes and coconut milk, stirring to combine.  Bring mixture to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent sticking.  Add kale and remaining can of whole beans.  Continue simmering until potatoes are completely soft and kale is cooked, still stirring periodically to prevent sticking.  Season with salt to taste, and serve over red quinoa.


  • I use full fat coconut milk because the light coconut milk is just a watered down version.  I’d rather add my own free water, but you can certainly use 2 cans of light coconut milk in place of the full fat coconut, pureed bean and water mixture – or keep the beans with the 2 cans of  light coconut milk.  There are lots of options here!
  • I always freeze my fresh ginger, and then grate from there.  That’s what the measurement is based on – grated frozen ginger.
  • For convenience, you can purchase pre-preeled garlic (Costco has a large bag in the refrigerated section) and freeze the entire bag.  When you need pressed garlic, take the cloves straight from the freezer and into the garlic press.  So much easier than messing with all that garlic skin!
  • A ratio of 3 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa yields a fairly toothsome quinoa.  If you like your quinoa on the softer side, use 3.5 – 4 cups of water.



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