Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil…when you’re in need of warming comfort food, but also want healthy…make this. All made in just ONE pot (or in your instant pot), in less than an hour, and using good for us ingredients like sweet potatoes, warming spices, and creamy coconut milk. It’s cozy, a little spicy, and filled with vegetables. Serve this creamy stew over rice. Then, finish each bowl off with spiced sesame chili oil. It’s hearty, full of greens, and so delicious. Great for just about any night of the week. Plus the leftovers the next day make for the best lunch!

overhead photo of Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil

Hard to believe I have yet to mention this, but we had our second snowfall of the (very early) fall season this past Sunday. It wasn’t nearly as much snow as we got back in September…(September 8th to be exact…way too early), but a nice 5″ coating. Along with the snow came a shift in our weather, with bitterly cold temperatures in the morning and at night.

Sunday was, well, cold. All I wanted to do was cozy up by the fire with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Or just something warm. There’s something about the first early snowfalls of the season that always feel the coldest. I think it’s that we’re not used to the chillier weather. Either way, the drop in temperatures of course has me craving all the coziest of foods.

Yes, I know, to be expected. But here’s the thing, I love my fall plates of pasta and my cozy, cheesy soups. But I was really feeling the need to switch things up. To break away from the classic autumn comfort foods, and instead create something just as warming and cozy.

side angle prep photo of Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew cooking on the stove

At first, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make. I had to do some thinking, but then it finally hit me while hiking, stew! I should make a stew!

But not the usual kind. Beef stew is much more my brother’s thing. But for me? I prefer a stew with sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and a mix of warming spices all served over steamed rice. And then? Topped with a spicy, zesty, chili oil, because we all know I love a good sauce (and trust me, this oil is key).

I went back and forth on whether to call this soup, curry, or stew, but in the end, I decided this is creamier than soup, but not quite a curry, so stew it was! Sounds a little odd, but don’t worry about the name, it’s delicious, and that’s all that really matters.

overhead photo of Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew in pot

This one is simple, here are the steps.

Yup, yet another one pot recipe that can also be made in the instant pot. Any way you make it, this recipe is easy. Here are the key steps.

First things first, your rice. I like to use basmati rice, but you could easily cook up brown rice or even use quinoa. If you ask me, stick with the steamed basmati, I like it best with this dish.

While the rice is cooking, make the stew. I usually just make this on the stove. Start with an onion and oil, add lots of fresh ginger and garlic, then toss in some cubed sweet potatoes. Once that’s all cooked together for a minute, add in all the flavor…the spices. I’m using a mix of warming garam masala, turmeric, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Garam masala is an Indian spice blend usually made of cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, plus a few others. It’s all my favorite autumn spices in one. I keep this on hand at all times to create quick and healthy meals.

overhead photo of Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil

Once you’ve added the spices, add enough water to cover the sweet potatoes. You can also use vegetable broth if preferred, but the stew has so many flavors, that it’s not really needed. Bring the mix to a boil and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Add the coconut milk and kale and that’s that. It’s a pretty simple but yet so delicious.

overhead close up photo of Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil

While the stew is simmering, make the spiced oil.

And yes, you NEED this oil. It’s really the reason I made the recipe. It’s inspired a bit by the Middle Eastern sauce, Chermoula, which is made with oil, seeds, spices, and lots of fresh herbs.

I decided to opt-out of the herbs and instead create a spiced oil. And you guys? This oil/sauce is everything. It’s the perfect finishing touch to this stew. Think a little spicy, garlicky, and flavored with cumin and sesame. So delicious.

Serve the stew over the rice, then add lots of the chili oil. Finish with cilantro and done. Oh, and add fresh naan for scooping up all the creamy, coconutty sauce.

I can’t tell you how much I love this recipe. This stew is SO flavorful, SO full of color, and filled with good for us ingredients. It’s the creamiest, most flavorful bowl. The best part, well aside from all the deliciousness, is that this requires no more than two pots and less than an hour.

And lastly, I swear the leftovers taste even better the following day. The flavors then have time to mend, and the sauce is just more intense…just a little added bonus!

overhead photo of Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil with hands on bowl

Looking for other healthy fall dinners? Here are a few ideas: 

Persian Herb and Chickpea Stew with Rice

Sweet Potato Lentil Curry with Crispy Sesame Chickpeas

Crockpot Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup

Lastly, if you make this Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil | halfbakedharvest.com
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4.2 from 263 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Ginger Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Spiced Chili Oil

When you’re in need of warming comfort food, but also want healthy AND delicious!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients

Spiced Chili Oil

Instructions

Stove-Top

  1. 1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook 5 minutes until soft. Add the ginger, garlic, and sweet potatoes and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne and cook another minute. 

    2. Add 3 cups water. Season generously with salt. Bring the mix to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender. 

    3. Stir in the coconut milk and kale, cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro. 

    4. Meanwhile, make the chili oil. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the garlic is fragrant, 5 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds, chili flakes, and cumin seeds, cook 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the paprika. Season the oil with salt. Let cool.

    4. To serve, divide the rice among bowls and ladle the stew overtop. Spoon over the chili oil and top with cilantro. Serve with Naan on the side. Enjoy!

Instant Pot

  1. 1. Set Instant pot to sauté. Add the olive oil and onion and cook 5 minutes until soft. Add the ginger, garlic, and sweet potatoes and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne and cook another minute. 

    2. Add 3 cups water. Season generously with salt. Cover, select the manual setting, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

    3. Once done cooking, use the quick release function and release the steam. Set the Instant pot to sauté. Stir in the coconut milk and kale, and cook 5 minutes. Turn the instant pot off. Stir in the cilantro.

    4. Finish as directed above through step 4.

overhead horizontal photo of Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil