Sri Lankan Sweet Potato and Cashew Nut Curry

Sri Lankan Sweet Potato and Cashew Nut Curry on a white plate with white rice, blue background and glass of water in background
Serves 6-8
Print recipe
  • Prep time 15 mins
  • Cook time 60 mins
  • Ready time 75 mins

A creamy, coconutty curry from world-renowned vegetarian restaurant Mildreds which has been successfully trading in London for 27 years.

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  • vegetable oil
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 4-cm (1½ -inch) chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5-cm (2-inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillies, trimmed and chopped
  • 12 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
  • 4 x 400 ml (14 fl oz) cans coconut cream
  • 100 g (3½ oz) creamed coconut
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 300 g (10 oz) basmati rice, washed thoroughly and strained
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) boiling water
  • salt
  • 250 g (8 oz) roasted cashew nuts, to garnish

To serve

  • garlic rotis (optional)
  • tomato & coconut sambal (optional)


Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C)/400°F (fan 350°C)/gas mark 6.

Drizzle a little vegetable oil on to the base of a roasting tin.

Add the sweet potato pieces, season with salt and mix together thoroughly.

Roast for 15 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside.

Blend the onion, ginger, garlic and chillies together in a food processor to form a smooth paste.

Heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan, add the curry leaves and fry quickly for 10–15 seconds, being careful not to burn them.

Add the curry paste and fry for 6–8 minutes over a medium heat until toasted and fragrant.

Add the turmeric, cinnamon and curry powder, season with salt and fry for a further 2–3 minutes, then stir in the coconut cream, creamed coconut and sugar.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until the curry has thickened and reduced.

Now, cook the rice. Place the basmati in a saucepan, cover with the boiling water, bring back to the boil and simmer, covered, for 10–12 minutes, until the water has evaporated and the rice is tender.

Meanwhile, stir the cooked sweet potato into the curry and cook for a further 6–8 minutes until heated through. Spoon the curry into bowls, garnish with roasted cashew nuts and serve with the rice, and (optional) garlic rotis and tomato and coconut sambal.


Additional notes

“We often partner this creamy, coconutty curry with a simple pea pilaf – it adds a flash of colour and is fragrant without being overpowering, though the curry has more than enough flavour to serve with plain rice if you prefer. We also like to serve it with Garlic Rotis (see page 184 of our cookbook) and Tomato and Coconut Sambal (see page 231 of our cookbook). The rotis require surprisingly little effort to prepare and the mild, fresh flavours of the sambal bring a lovely acidic punch to the plate.”

This recipe is taken from Mildreds’ cookbook, Mildreds: The Cookbook.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Mildreds

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