Sweet Potato-Coconut Curry with Black-Eyed Peas & Collard Greens

December 10, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Sometimes even the simplest, smallest tweaks in prep or technique can make the path to weeknight dinner faster, easier, and more rewarding. Such is the case with this streamlined curry. Its steps are simple: combine everything in one pot (including the aromatics, which meld so well with the sauce since they're finely grated), bring it to a simmer, and slide it into the oven. It's virtually hands-off, just the ticket for nights when you want a nourishing, flavor-packed dinner without a lot of fuss.EmilyC

Serves: 4
Prep time: 8 min
Cook time: 35 min


  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated shallot (from 1 1/2- to 2-ounce shallot)
  • 1 Lime, finely grated zest (juice reserved for finishing the dish)
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (brands vary greatly in spiciness, so add more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or substitute soy sauce for a vegan version)
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and sliced into thin, 1/4-inch pieces (note: thin slices ensure a faster cook time)
  • 1 16-ounce can black-eyed peas (rinsed and drained)
  • 3 cups roughly chopped collard greens (about half a bunch), stems and tough ribs removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • For serving: toasted black sesame seeds, warm rice, a handful of torn herbs (like cilantro or mint) if you have them!
In This Recipe


  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a 12-inch ovenproof sauté or braising pan with 2- to 3-inch sides, combine first seven ingredients (ginger through fish sauce), stirring well to integrate, then stir in sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, collards, and salt. Tip: for easy prep, use a Microplane (or other rasp grater) to grate the ginger, shallot, and lime zest directly into the pan; don't worry about the exact amounts. (Note: you may get mostly juice when grating your shallot--this is okay!) Alternatively, process the ginger and shallot to a fine paste in a mini food processor or mortar and pestle.
  3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring a few times to make sure the sweet potatoes and collards are evenly coated in the sauce (if they're not fully submerged, that's fine!). Simmer for a minute or two, then transfer to the oven.
  4. Simmer in the oven (uncovered) for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Tip: Stir the curry after about 15 minutes to ensure even cooking, and check the tenderness of the sweet potatoes. (Lower heat, if needed, if simmering too vigorously.) Thin with a little extra stock or water, if desired.
  5. Squeeze a little lime juice into the curry, and adjust seasoning to taste with salt or fish sauce. Serve warm over rice, topping with black sesame seeds and herbs, if using.

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Reviews (10) Questions (0)

10 Reviews

Jan B. January 14, 2019
I mentioned to my husband what I would be preparing for dinner, which was not smart on my part. He really detests curry. That said, I watched from around the corner as he took his first bite. no grimace or complaint. Saw him eat several more forkfuls rather quickly, a good sign. His review," It's really OK, I am surprised" Bingo Bingo Bam. :-)))<br />Not only was this very tasteful, it was nutritious. The Black eyed peas are packed full of protein and collard greens are a rich source of calcium, Vitamins A,C,K, B-6, and more. This meal is a win. However, the 8 minute prep time was not accurate for me.. takes time to peel and slice those sweet potatoes, chop the greens and grate ginger and shallot. I would say more like 20 minutes. Worth it!!
Author Comment
EmilyC January 15, 2019
Hi Jan! Thanks so much for your note. So glad you liked it, and I loved hearing about how your husband responded to the dish! : )
Dot B. January 8, 2019
This really is as flexible as it is hinted to be. Along the way, I was forced into a few hastily unanticipated substitutions, but the underlying logic of the recipe accepts that. Following the spirit of the thing, if not the precise instructions, produced a wonderful success. I'll do it again.
Author Comment
EmilyC January 8, 2019
Hi Dot! It’s wonderful to hear that you made and liked this! I hear you on unanticipated substitutions (happens to me often!), so I’m so glad you found the recipe forgiving and flexible. Thanks for your note!
Annalee L. January 7, 2019
Emily, this was great! We had a bit of extra time, so we did sauté the aromatics first, and we subbed baby spinach for collards. We are looking forward to trying this again (exactly to recipe) on a weeknight. Thank you so much!
Author Comment
EmilyC January 7, 2019
Yay, so glad you liked this Annalee! Thanks so much for your note!
Jen January 5, 2019
Quite tasty dish! I might recommend either lowering the temp or shortening the time- when I checked in at 20 mins to stir, it was boiling and my squash pieces were pretty close to mush. I pulled it out then and the flavor was great, but if you want your sweet potatoes/ squash more in tact, check in earlier.
Author Comment
EmilyC January 6, 2019
So glad you liked this, Jen! And thanks for the note about oven time! (Goes to show how two ovens can behave differently as this dish has always taken 30+ minutes for me!) I edited to say check the curry at 15 minutes to be safe! Thanks!
Jim S. January 4, 2019
Not sure why an oven is involved for this. I make this all the time on the stove. And you should always add curry paste as you sauté onions and garlic at beginning.
Author Comment
EmilyC January 4, 2019
Hi Jim: I’ve always made curry on the stove, too, starting with sautéing aromatics and curry paste just as you describe! But I’ve found that the oven is a gentler, more even source of heat, and that skipping the sautéing step doesn’t sacrifice flavor. (I wrote about *why* I took these shortcuts in my article!) By all means, feel feee to make this on the stovetop, but on some nights, a hands-off dinner is a godsend. : )