Spicy coconut stew

When you come in from a long day at work, a weekend away, or a busy day of socialising, the idea of cooking a meal may seem tiresome, if not downright dreadful. Even if you love cooking, sometimes you want food without hassle or thought. Yep, time for a takeaway. Delicious, yet not always the most nutritious, not to mention costly.

So what if you had a recipe that you need only cook once, yet can eat twice, or even three nights running, depending on your appetite? That’s right, batch cooking is a great way to save time and money, as well as giving an opportunity to be more experimental in the kitchen, and up your fruit and veg intake tenfold.

It’s warming, packed with veggies and has just the right amount of spice to warm your cockles for the cooler months ahead. 

From chilli con carne to curry or stew, batch-cooking is cheap, cheerful and the recipes are easy to amend to fit your taste. Each week, I plan to include at least one batch cooked meal, ready to pop in the fridge for my lunches, or an “emergency meal” for those days when I’m feeling a bit lazy. And that’s the thing with batch cooking; you need very little cooking talent. All you need is a big pot, a splash of imagination and plenty of leftover veggies (oh, and a stack of storage tubs!). 

This spicy coconut stew is perfect for so many occasions – whether you’re hosting a dinner party with friends, cooking a meal for two, or batch cooking your lunches for the week ahead. It’s warming, packed with veggies and has just the right amount of spice to warm your cockles for the cooler months ahead. 

Spicy coconut stew

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (we used coconut oil here)
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillies, sliced
  • 400g mushrooms, sliced
  • 400g chickpeas
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 200g baby corn/mangetout mix
  • 4 tsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 cans of coconut milk


In a large pot over medium heat, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes. 

In another pan, add the cauliflower to water. Bring to boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, mushrooms, baby corn, mangetout and chilli to the large pot, and sauté for another minute. Add the chickpeas and soy sauce, stir over heat for a minute and add the coconut milk. Add the cauliflower and mix. Let simmer for 15 minutes and add the frozen peas.

If feeding a dinner party, make it go further by adding some meat or tofu and serving with sticky rice. If feeding a meal for two, serve hot in a bowl and save the rest for lunch. 

Our nutritionist Amy Prior says…

I just love this recipe! Anything that can be slow or batch-cooked is fantastic in my opinion. We all live busy, hectic lives so a recipe like this that can be made, stored in batches and reheated when needed is perfect. 

Using red onions instead of white is a great, easy way to get another colour into the dish – the anthocyanins contained in the red onion (which gives the onion its colour) are antioxidants and so beneficial to health. 

Tamari is a lovely inclusion here as it is fermented and gluten-free, so good for coeliacs. Often recipes with many ingredients can be troublesome for those with intolerances and allergies, so by swapping just one ingredient, you can be sure all eaters are comfortable. 

The variety of vegetables used here is excellent. We all know we should be eating at least five portions of fruit and veg a day, but really variety is key. I’d much rather clients eat 10 varieties, even if they aren’t the full portion. We have seven varieties in this recipe, and there’s still scope to add more because dishes like this are just so versatile!

Sticky rice can spike blood sugar, so swapping for brown or Basmati can help. Or you can even take out the cauliflower and make a side of cauli-rice as a creative twist on this recipe. 

Find out more about nutritionist Amy.

This recipe was originally published in Happiful magazine. To purchase your copy, head to shop.happiful.com.

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Written by Ellen Lees
Head of Content.
Written by Ellen Lees
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