Lemon Sunshine Curry

Lemon Sunshine Curry

Long before this Lemon Sunshine Curry became a recipe, tested, and ready to share with all of you, it was a dish I cooked one early morning during quarantine. That day I woke up before the sun, seeking some inspiration in the morning's stillness and solitude. Just as the water was boiling for tea inspiration arrived as a declaration: I want to cook something happy. Something happy, bright, and filling.

Even before I knew what I was going to make, I knew who it was going to be for. I was thinking of my Dad, who loves soup and heaps of turmeric in his curries. I was thinking of my Mom and her absolute adoration for all things lemon. I was thinking of my best friend, Olga, who shared she was craving something warming but light during this gray and rainy March. And I was thinking of myself too: What could I cook for my people that would keep me at the stove just long enough to stir in my many wishes and for our collective nourishment?

Sometimes our desires can be a roadmap for what to do next.  That morning I let our shared desires do the cooking. What became of those collective desires is this recipe: It's the happiest curry I know how to make. It's full of chickpeas and tender red potatoes and vibrating with fresh lemon juice, zest, and the rind of one whole preserved lemon. Coconut milk gives this curry a satiny base, and a heaping spoonful of turmeric amplifies the liveliness of this very nourishing meal.

I've made this recipe about a dozen times because it's truly like eating a bowl of sunshine. From its luscious texture to the joyful yellow hue, this is a meal to make when you're ravenous or just feeling blue.

I believe we need recipes that can do a few good things for us all at once and this is one of them. That's what we call a vegetable love spell.

If you're joining the Honest Weight Co-op cooking class on Thursday, February 24th, at 7:00 pm est, we're going to make this for dinner together. Check out the shopping list and swing by the Co-op to pick up everything you need. (The preserved lemons are in the olive bar!)

Looking forward to cooking together,

Hali ‌

Lemon Sunshine Curry

Serves 8

What You'll Need
‌4 Tablespoons fat (olive oil, avocado oil, ghee)‌
‌2 shallots, chopped‌
‌4 cloves garlic, chopped‌
‌2 Tablespoon turmeric‌
‌1 teaspoon cracked black pepper‌
‌1 teaspoon cumin‌
‌1 teaspoon coriander‌
‌2 29 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed‌
‌1 preserved lemon, rinsed, pulp removed, and rind chopped‌
‌2 13 ounce cans full fat coconut milk‌
‌2 cups water‌
‌1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks‌
‌2 lemons, 1 zested and juiced (about 4 ounces juice)‌
‌2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (use vegan butter to keep this entirely plant-based)‌
‌1 Tablespoon Himalayan pink salt‌
‌Jasmine rice for serving

How To Make It:

  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium low heat. Add the shallots and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shallots soften. Turn heat to low and add the garlic, continuing to cook and stir until softened.
  2. Add the spices and cook about 2 minutes until fragrant and darkened in color.
  3. Add the chickpeas and preserved lemon and stir until coated in spices. Add the coconut milk and water and stir to incorporate. Add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Either using an immersion blender or a stand blender working in batches, puree soup until slightly thickened with whole pieces of potato and chickpeas still visible.
  5. Add the zest from 1 lemon and lemon juice. Add the butter and stir until fully incorporated.
  6. Season to taste with salt, about 1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt. Serve over rice. ‌

How to freeze: Once cooled, transfer soup to plastic ½ quart containers. Seal and label with date. The stew can be frozen for up to 6 months. To reheat, defrost in the refrigerator. Thin with water and warm over medium low until heated through.‌

Your Shopping List‌‌

Pantry Item

  • Olive Oil
  • Unsalted butter

Spices & Seasoning

  • Turmeric powder
  • Black Peppercorns (whole or cracked)
  • Cumin powder
  • Coriander powder
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • Himalayan salt/sea salt

Canned Goods

  • 2 29 ounce cans chickpeas
  • 2 13 ounce cans full fat coconut milk


  • 1 lb red potatoes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 shallots