May 25, 2024

Vegetarian Caribbean Curry with Tofu & Sweet Potatoes (Gluten-Free!)

Dive into a delicious fusion of classic Caribbean flavors with this vegetarian curry starring tender tofu, vibrant sweet potatoes, and hearty rice & peas. Easy to make, bursting with flavor, and perfect for a satisfying weeknight meal!


Rice & Peas:

  • 125g dried kidney beans (or cowpeas, gungo peas, black-eyed beans), soaked & rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 (optional) scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded & chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 100ml low-fat coconut milk
  • 125g white rice (long grain or basmati), rinsed


  • 300g extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp Jamaican curry powder
  • 1/2 (optional) scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded & chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 low-salt seasoning cube, crumbled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 125g sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander (optional), chopped


  1. Rice & Peas: In a large pot, combine soaked beans, onion, thyme, spring onions, garlic, pepper, seasoning, scotch bonnet (if using), and coconut milk. Cover with 400ml water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 40-50 minutes until beans are tender. (Tip: Use canned beans for quicker cooking!)
  2. Add rinsed rice, ensuring 2.5cm water covers the mixture. Cover, simmer for 30 minutes until rice is fluffy.
  3. Curry: Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry tofu cubes until golden, then drain on paper towels.
  4. In the same pan, heat remaining oil and saute onions, garlic, and pepper. Add spices, herbs, seasoning cube, bay leaf, and sweet potatoes. Stir well, cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add 500ml water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-12 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft and curry thickens. (Tip: Substitute butternut squash or pumpkin for sweet potatoes!)
  6. Stir in tofu and spring onions, simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve curry over rice and peas, garnish with coriander (optional) and enjoy!

Additional Tips:

  • Adjust spice level to your preference by adding more or less scotch bonnet pepper.
  • Serve with your favorite Caribbean sides like fried plantains or roti bread.
  • This recipe is easily made vegan by using plant-based milk and omitting the optional scotch bonnet pepper.

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