Our vegan chickpea curry is packed full of protein, fibre and iron. Plus it only takes 25 minutes to make – the perfect option for a weeknight dinner with a kick!
Most of the time being a vegetarian is exceptionally easy, but I don’t mind admitting that occasionally I really do crave a meat-based meal.
In my younger, less aware days I ate a lot of meat, and didn’t even think about where it came from, or let alone care.
Or if I did, I blocked it out. But nothing is going to block out this vegan chickpea curry.
Growing up in nineties and naughties Britain, curry was (and still is) an insanely popular dish.
An estimated 12,000 curry houses sprang up around the UK and some of my absolute favourite curries were even invented in Britain (I’m looking at you tikka masala).
In case you haven’t guessed, I really, really like curry.
But what I’ve come to realise in the middle of a curry crave isn’t that I miss a chicken korma or a lamb vindaloo – not at all.
The meat itself was never important – I’m sure some of the curries eaten at 3am on a boozy night out probably didn’t contain what they actually claimed – but it’s rather the meal itself as a whole.
The sauce is where it’s at
The creamy sauce, the exotic spices and the crunchy poppadoms all combining together to make one the world’s favourite meals.
As long as you get the sauce and rice right, you’re on to a winner.
I can’t take the credit – Kat’s fair hand is all over this chickpea curry (though hopefully not in it) and not only does it do away with meat, but it’s vegan too.
Swapping out the milk and cream for a coconut, soy or nut-based variety is easy as veggie pie, and using chickpeas as the main bulk of the meal creates a lovely texture and provides you with a filling boost of fibre and iron.
So what am I saying? If you’re after a wicked, animal friendly curry made to the exact spice level you like – look no further.
Health benefits of chickpeas
A couple of years ago, we released the Amazing Chickpea Spinach Salad (it really is amazing, and is still one of my favourite lunches), and I also wrote about how good chickpeas were for you.
What I didn’t realise was exactly how good.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, or Bengal Grams, or Egyptian Peas, or whatever you like to call them, are ridiculously nutritious.
I’ve don’t think I’ve heard of them referred to as a ‘superfood’ yet, but I’m wondering why not.
Not only do they contain high amounts of fibre, protein and iron, they also contain selenium, folate, B6 and manganese – and the combination of these nutrients in the health benefits is just irrepressible.
To try and sum up (and it’s not easy to summarise these bad boys), because chickpeas are so full of beneficial nutrients they help to improve your blood sugar regulation, reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and aid with healthy bowel function and digestion of your food.
Chickpeas are good for weight loss
On top of that, chickpeas (partly due to their high fibre content) are excellent at keeping you feeling full throughout the day.
That of course comes with a myriad of weight loss and weight maintenance functions.
Every diet should have a home for chickpeas. We recently released our new weight loss eBook, and as you’d expect, chickpeas feature in many of our meal plans – for good reason!
Chickpea Curry FAQ
I’ve added the most frequently asked questions from our readers here, so you don’t have to sift through the entire comment section yourself. If you don’t find the right answer, just write a comment, we’re happy to help!
Yes! You might have noticed that when you drain a can of chickpeas the water can seem a little thick (even borderline goopy). This is due to the starch naturally release by the chickpeas, and depending on your chosen brand this water may also contain added sodium. There’s certainly no harm in cooking with it, but for this dish we recommend rinsing it off for the best results.
If you can handle waiting a moment longer for this delicious vegan curry then we recommend adding your curry paste and letting it cook for around 30 seconds before adding in the coconut milk. This helps to bring out the flavours (and will make your kitchen smell heavenly too!)
Yes! Many readers have tried this dish with red, yellow or green Thai curry paste and it works nicely.
Yep! Just replace each tsp of paste with 3 tsp of powder. Or, if possible, make your own curry paste by using a food processor: 1 thumb sized ginger + 2 cloves of garlic + 2 chilis + 1 tsp cumin. Blend. If it needs some liquid you can use the lime or some coconut milk to help you out.
It’s fine for two more days in the fridge, but I wouldn’t keep it in there for longer. Coconut milk turns funky relatively quickly. Rather chuck it in the freezer if you want to keep it for longer.
Absolutely! I use it often myself.
What our readers are saying
‘My husband made this for us last night. I’m not a huge fan of chickpeas outside of hummus, but MAN was this good. This is a keeper in our house. He said that the lime really made a different in taste.’– Kari ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Whyyyyyy haven’t I made this before now???? EFFING DELICIOUS!!!!! I’m fooling myself into believing that I made enough for 5 days….I’ll be lucky if it lasts two! YUM!!!– Stormy Vegan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is my favorite recipe ever! I stumbled across it on Pinterest & have been making it ever since. I’m not even a vegetarian/vegan; my husband liked to add chicken to this dish but I prefer it just as the recipe calls. It’s so quick & easy too – I make it about once every week! Thanks so much for sharing!– Rachel ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Vegan Chickpea Curry
- ½ cup basmati rice
- 1 cup water
- 2 pinch salt
- 2 medium onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 clove garlic
- ½ lime
- 1-2 tsp curry paste (your favourite or a Tikka Masala curry paste would work great as well)
- 1 can coconut milk (1 can = 1.5 cups)
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1-2 tbsp soy sauce (try one tbsp first, add another if required)
- 2-3 medium tomato (or handful cherry tomatoes, chopped. The sweeter the better ;))
- 1 cup basil, fresh
- 1 tsp maple syrup (sugar is fine too)
- ½ cup sugar snap peas (any green veg you like)
- Add the rice, water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Keep an eye on the rice – when the water is boiling put a lid on it, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 8-10 mins (or as per packet instructions).
- While this is happening chop the onions, garlic, basil and juice the lime.
- Put the oil and onions into a large pan and cook on a low-medium heat until the onions start to soften and turn clear, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic for a further 1 minute.
- Add curry paste and the milk, stirring until the curry is dissolved. Add a pinch of salt. Taste test – if you’d like your curry a little stronger then add another tsp.
- Throw in the drained and rinsed chickpeas (and chopped green veg if you’re using it) and soy sauce, and cook on a medium heat for around 5 minutes, bringing the curry to a boil. If it starts to burn, reduce heat immediately.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped basil, lime juice, soy sauce and gently simmer the curry for another 2 minutes.
- Taste test again, and if desired add a another tbsp soy sauce and the syrup or brown sugar. Give it another stir.
- The rice should be done by now too – fork it through to make it fluffy.
- Serve the curry and rice together with papadoms and naan bread as optional sides.
Calculated for 3 servings, including rice