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If I had to pick one major staple meal in my life, especially since going vegan, it’d have to be curry. As a student however, I can’t afford lots of spices or fancy ingredients – but as I’ve said before, I live by Gordon Ramsey’s rule: “keep it simple stupid”.

Cost is one major deterrent for many people going vegan, but realistically, you don’t have to be one of these fancy Instagram bloggers who use ingredients you’ve never heard of.

If you’re motivated to make change through your diet, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Therefore, this week I thought I would share my cheap vegan curry recipe, with how much it costs me, to prove that saving the planet doesn’t have to cost you the world. I have used prices from a mid-level supermarket chain in the UK.


Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry

4 servings, 30 minutes
Total cost = around £3.39 (€5) for 4 meals

  • 4 heaped tbsp curry powder
  • 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 chopped onion, I prefer red, but any colour will work!
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium aubergine, diced
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 4 large handfuls of spinach
  • 300g rice, rinsed (75g per serving)
  • Salt for water

Boil the sweet potato in a pan of salted water for around 8 minutes, depending how small you dice it (the smaller, the faster it will cook!), until softened but not mushy.

Remove the potato from the boiled water, but do not throw the water away as we can reuse it for the rice to save water and energy.

While this is boiling, heat the oil and 1tbsp of the curry powder in a large frying pan and add the chopped onion.

Fry the onion until it begins to brown and then add the aubergine.

Fry this for 5 minutes or so, in which time your sweet potato will be done, and you can add your rice to the already boiling water. The rice will take around 12 minutes to cook but follow the instructions on the packaging as this may differ.

Add the coconut milk, the rest of the curry powder and sweet-potato and mix until the curry powder is well spread through the mix to achieve a gold colour. Add more curry powder if necessary (but taste it before doing so, everyone likes different levels of spice!).

Heat until it begins to bubble, then reduce to simmer

After about 5 minutes, add the chickpeas and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes until cooked through. The rice should be done in this time.

Once the rice is done, remove it from the pan and drain. Leave it to stand for a few minutes until the curry is finished. Spread it out across the sieve, with a hole in the middle to let it settle to the ultimate texture.

Finally, add the spinach and watch the mountains of it reduce to nothingness as you stir it into your curry…

Other vegetables work in this dish too of course, peppers and courgettes for example would work best added just after the aubergine begins to brown, and kale makes a great replacement for spinach when it is in season.

Enjoy your cheap as chips meal (or cheap as curry… I can recommend serving this with chips though if you aren’t feeling rice) with friends or portion off and refrigerate to reduce time and money spent cooking during the rest of the week!

Over and out, Bea


About CookThePlanetClean

You are what you eat. The way we consume food has a large impact on the future of our planet, far beyond our plate. Meat consumption in particular affects land use, deforestation, desertification and climate change. CookThePlanetClean is a series on sustainable food, in which we offer you a fun guide to reducing your personal meat consumption. Enjoy!