Vegan Chickpea Curry – Ready in 25 mins and soooooooo worth it!

Vegan Chickpea Curry - An awesome animal friendly take on the insanely popular dish. And you know what? It rocks! | hurrythefoodup.com

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.

Vegan Chickpea Curry - An awesome animal friendly take on the insanely popular dish. And you know what? It rocks! | hurrythefoodup.com

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 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.

Vegan Chickpea Curry - An awesome animal friendly take on the insanely popular dish. And you know what? It rocks! | hurrythefoodup.com

Which is where this curry came from. 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 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.

Vegan Chickpea Curry - An awesome animal friendly take on the insanely popular dish. And you know what? It rocks! | hurrythefoodup.com
Calculated for 3 servings, including rice

Vegan Chickpea Curry – Health Benefits

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 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), you can expect an upturn in blood-sugar regulation, a decrease in heart disease chances, a lowering of cancer causes through the selenium and folate, an increase in liver enzyme function, and better digestion. And that’s just a few, really! Check out here and here if you’re interested in learning more.

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!

*note for the nutritional table – we make our chickpea salad with a little rice – this makes the proteins found in the chickpeas and rice a ‘complete’ protein, meaning our bodies can utilise it in the best possible way.

Vegan Chickpea Curry - An awesome animal friendly take on the insanely popular dish. And you know what? It rocks! | hurrythefoodup.com

4.96 from 25 votes
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Vegan Chickpea Curry

Vegan Chickpea Curry. Our awesome vegan take on the insanely popular dish. Ridiculously tasty and nutritious - just look at all that protein, fibre and iron

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 480 kcal
Author HurryTheFoodUp

Ingredients

  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1-2 tbsp of your favourite curry paste. (a Tikka Masala curry paste would work great as well)
  • 1 can coconut milk (1 can = 1.5 cups )
  • 1 can chickpeas , drained and rinsed (1 can = ca. 400g with liquid)
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce (try one tbsp first, add another if required)
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes/ handful cherry tomatoes, chopped. The sweeter the better 😉
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (sugar is fine too)

Instructions

  1. Add the rice, water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil (could also be done the Indian way from our Buddha Bowls). 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.
  2. While this is happening chop the onions, garlic, basil and juice the lime.
  3. 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.
  4. Add 1 tbsp curry paste and the milk, stirring until the curry is dissolved. Add another pinch of salt. Taste test - if you’d like your curry a little stronger then add another tbsp.
  5. Throw in the 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.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped basil, lime juice and gently simmer the curry for another 2 minutes. Taste test again, and if desired add a second tbsp soy sauce and the syrup or brown sugar. Give it another stir.

  7. The rice should be done by now too - fork it through to make it fluffy.
  8. Serve the curry and rice together with papadoms and naan bread as optional sides.

Recipe Notes

If you liked this recipe: you’ve gotta check out some more chickpea ideas! Here’s our Avocado Chickpea Salad (ready in just five mins!) and the Amazing Chickpea Spinach Salad is so-called for a very good reason. Enjoy!

Are you having trouble going vegetarian or eating healthier? Fear not, the 30 Day Healthy Veggie Challenge is here to help!

98 comments

  1. This is a dish I could eat everyday and never be sick of! Yum!

  2. Sooo funny, I literally had something so similar for lunch today! My veggies were zucchini and red bell peppers though. I love curry SO much and this looks divine and vibrant! I could eat all of that and then some! I love adding that splash of lime juice right before devouring it too. Gorgeous Howie!

  3. Oh this looks amazing! I love a green curry, and I haven’t made one with chickpeas.

  4. This is the perfect go-to Tuesday meal, or Monday, Friday or Sunday!

  5. I have such a weakness for curry! I could literally eat it every day. Chickpeas sound fantastic in it!


  6. When I saw that first picture, I knew that it had coconut milk in it. I love curries with coconut milk, they have that inherent sweetness that balances out the spice perfectly. Great recipe!

  7. Yum! Love curried dishes like these! Especially with tikka masala!

  8. Oh my, this looks soooo tasty, I gotta try it !

  9. Fab recipe. I food processed a cauliflower into cauli rice n stirred it thro until cooked. Also added extra can of chick peas some extra stock tons of spinach to make a huge pan for separating and freezing. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Hi,
    when am I supposed to add the basil leaves? Are they to be cooked with the sauce or served raw as a garnish?

    • H Karoline! Very good point, I’ll have to update that. Chop the basil and add it to the sauce along with the tomato and lime juice. Set a couple of basil leaves aside for garnish 🙂

      Thanks for pointing this out!


  11. I made this yesterday with red curry paste and had it for lunch today. It was so good! Thank you for sharing.

  12. This sounds delicious! And so easy! Definitely cooking this for the family some time.

  13. I am unable to see your chickpea curry. It is just blank.

    Is there a reason? I have tried a number of ways.

    Thanks,
    Kate


  14. 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. And, he added some red pepper flakes and since we didn’t have curry paste, he added garam masala, curry powder, and extra coriander.

    • That’s so good to hear! It’s really popular in our house too, and we often cook it for friends. Awesome that you found your way around it without the paste – gotta love it when a recipe is versatile enough you can change things and it still tastes great. Thanks for posting Kari!


  15. This was soo good. I added a lil’ garlic hummus and used green thai curry paste and added turmeric and some spinach which wilted so nicely. Will be making this again and again!

    • Really, really glad you enjoyed it Erin! I can imagine the green thai fits nicely in there too – and a bit of spinach is always welcome 😉 ahhh haha I’m getting really hungry thinking of it now!

  16. Make sure to use gluten free soy sauce if you are serving to people with an allergy (soy sauce usually has wheat)


  17. Made this a couple days ago and it’s super delicious and cozy, perfect thing to eat in fall. I didn’t have enough chickpeas on hand so I just added a generous amount of broccoli and for the milk I used unsweetened almond. It’s a bit too spicy for me even with just 1 Tbsp curry paste, but thats just personal preference and I’ll adjust accordingly next time – will definitely make again, thanks for the recipe 😀

    • Hi Rebecca,
      thanks a ton for coming back to let us know how you liked it (and awesome it was good!). Almond milk sounds definitely very good too!! Never thought of it. Yees, spices can be a bit tricky at times 😉

    • Really glad you enjoyed it Rebecca! It’s definitely a good one to eat at this time of year. It sounds like you substituted things perfectly. Thanks for letting us know!


  18. I just made this on this rainy fall day and it is delish. I added spinich as veg of choice .
    The sprinkle of lime before serving put this right over the top for me. I can’t wait to make it again.

  19. Can I use home made pesto for flavoring? I can’t get fresh basil this time of the year.

  20. About how much was your can of coconut milk- 1.5 cups?


  21. Excellent!!!
    I loved the pinch of lime wich brings a good freshness to the curry. I added Romanesco cabbage for a bit of crunch.

  22. Do you add the liquid (water/salt the chickpeas are canned in) with the chickpeas into the pot?


  23. An amazing recipe guys!! We would definitely try it. It’s an alternative to a recipe we have here in Greece. We cook the chickpeas with olive oil, lemon juice and dry oregano and then mix it with rice.
    Thank you for sharing it 🙂

    Panos & Mirella

  24. Hi,I have a question regarding the curry- the recipe says “curry paste”. I have Thai yellow paste, Thai red paste, or curry powder.
    Which one (or combination) would you recommend intend of the suggested curry paste in the recipe? I can’t find the recipe paste in our local grocery store .
    Thanks!
    Cant wait to try this dish!

    • Hi Pnina!
      I’d go with the yellow curry paste. Those Thai pastes are usually quite spicy. I’d go for the less spicier yellow curry. Start slow, with a rather small tbsp, mix in and check the spice level. If it’s spicy enough but you still need flavor, use your curry powder. That way you should be able to take advantage of the richer flavour of pastes without over spicing things 🙂


  25. This is my new favorite recipe. I stumbled upon it on Pinterest and on the nights I’m not making it, I’m dreaming about how delicious it is. Any recommendations on a side dish to serve with it?

  26. so i started making this dish realizing i do not have any curry paste is there anyhing else i can use as a quick substitute?

    • No curry at all? Peanut butter sauce!
      Try

      1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
      1 tbsp soy sauce (light or dark are both great)
      1-2 tsp maple syrup

      But I guess my answer came too late, huh?


  27. This is the best vegetarian curry I’ve had, made it last night and it’s sooooo good.
    Just a quick question, can it be frozen?
    Great website, really love your recipes, the Sweet Potato Soup is also excellent!!

    • Hi Paddy, no idea how your comment slipped through, sorry for the late reply!!
      I would say yes, but I never tried it to be honest. As for the curry, I noticed it’s even tastier the next day. So I think flavourwise there isn’t a problem at all.

      Really glad you liked both of our recipes, thanks! 😀


  28. Yum! I would love to try it❤❤❤

  29. Just wondering if you saw my question about freezing this dish? Thanks.

  30. Alma @ Writer India

    Oh! This looks remarkable! I enjoy an eco-friendly curry, and I haven’t made one with chickpeas. An amazing dish Boys!! We would most definitely try it.

  31. Can I use plain white rice instead of basmati..?


  32. I was hesitant to make this last night…lime…with coconut milk…huh…OMG this is amazing!!! Thank you for sharing this. I now must check out more recipes on your site.

    • Thank you Liz!! Yeah, it all really fits together well doesn’t it? It’s one of those recipes that just somehow ‘works’. Thanks for letting us know how much you enjoyed it, it really means a lot! Look forward to hearing which other recipes you try 🙂


  33. I made this about a month ago. I added some boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Sorry, I like meat! It was delicious! My 12 year old son liked it as well, but would not eat the chickpeas. He said he didn’t like the texture. I was wondering if I could use lentils next time?

    • Absolutely!
      Actually I often use lentils, when I only have dry chickpeas around, since they take quite some time to prepare. Lentils are done way quicker. Works really good with them 🙂


  34. I made this for dinner tonight and wow – delicious! I used a Thai red curry that I had in the fridge and it worked great. Definitely going into regular dinner rotation.
    Thanks!

  35. I made this last night and it was a big hit with all the family. Just one question. It was quite liquidy. I added the can of chickpeas with its liquid. Was that correct?

    • Hi Lisa! Really awesome you liked the recipe! It’s definitely better to drain and rinse the chickpeas. I just updated the recipe to make this more clear. Thanks for the heads up!

  36. Aha! My mistake. Next time I’ll drain them. Thanks for the reply.


  37. I pinned this recipe quite a while ago. My husband and I have been slowly making the shift to a vegan diet. After living in Ireland for a year (and being introduced to curry there), I wanted to introduce my family to a vegan friendly version. Love how easy it was to make. I didn’t have curry paste, but used curry spice, dash of red crushed pepper, and a dash of both cumin and coriander along with a touch of brown sugar. Unfortunately we were all out of limes, so we didn’t get to experience it with that flavor added…but no matter, it was still delicious and filling. I’m excited to have leftovers for work lunches this week! Thanks, I’ll definitely try more of your vegan recipes!!

    • Hi Holly! I hope you enjoy Ireland so far 🙂
      Cool that the recipe turned out well even without some ingredients. As for the lime you could substitute it with lemon or even vinegar. It’s all about getting a lightly sour touch to it. Thanks for your comment and we’ll keep on developing more vegan stuff! 😀


  38. Man, this is good.


  39. This was delicious!! It’s definitely going into my rotation. Husband who’s a picky eater loved it. I may double because there wasn’t enough left for leftovers!! I couldn’t find the curry paste you recommend so I used Thai Kitchen green curry paste and it worked fine. Thanks!

  40. Do I have to use the rice? Does it make a difference?

    • Hi Morgan, rice is definitely a personal preference of mine with curry – but you certainly don’t have to use it! You could swap it out for another side (naan bread is delicious too) but the chickpeas are filling enough in their own right for it to be a complete meal as well 🙂


  41. I’m slowly making my way into a completely vegan diet and I’m so glad I found this!! I made it tonight for dinner and it was delicious, I threw in diced chicken breasts for my husband and he loved it as well. I also used pesto instead of basil since I didn’t have any on hand. Thank you for a great recipe that I will be making over and over.

    • That’s awesome to hear Destiney! Really glad you enjoyed it. The pesto is a perfect replacement for basil, great idea! Would also add a nice extra bit of consistency to the sauce too I imagine. Thanks for letting us know and keep enjoying the vegan diet! 🙂


  42. So yummy! I did end up with a lot more curry than rice though, I might suggest making some extra. Pretty easy and affordable too.

  43. Could you use a Thai Green Curry paste with this? Also, do you mean 2-3 full tomatoes chopped or maybe cherry tomatoes halved as in picture? Gonna try this one today!

    • Hi Alan! Yep, absolutely – in fact, I almost always use green Thai Curry Paste for this recipe. And Yep, a good handful or two of halved cherry tomatoes work great in this recipe. Hope you’ll like it 😀

  44. Could you use a crock pot for this recipe?

    • Hi Tara! Hmmm, I never worked with a crockpot to be honest. I can’t help you out there unfortunately 🙁

    • You could definitely use a crockpot. I would throw it all in EXCEPT the lime and cook on low for 4-6 hours. I probably wouldn’t cook it on high because the curry paste and coconut milk could separate. Add the lime in the last 30 minutes or so of cooking.


  45. I’m about to make this for my husband and I’m really excited to try it! Do the cherry tomatoes need to be chopped? Also, the directions mention syrup and brown sugar, but they are not in the ingredients list. Are they optional?

  46. This was delicious, will definitely make again. I used almond milk and 3tblsp of madras curry paste and it was just right spice wise. great recipe – thank you

    • You’re very welcome Kate! Thanks for sharing your variation on it – it’s such a versatile dish. Madras is a personal favourite of mine too, I like it with that little extra kick 🙂


  47. I just made this and it is really good! My 2 year old has been picking out the chickpeas and eating them! Thank you for sharing the recipe!!!


  48. I made the meal just now, with a few amendments (didn’t have maple syrup, garlic), and about to eat 🙂 Wanted to ask, since I’m trying to control/improve diet (calories, protein) with wanting to increase lean mass, I noticed it says the ingredients make 3 servings… is the nutritional info that’s listed per serving i.e. for example, if I ate myself (1 serving), is it 480 kcal? Thanks.


  49. I know I’m a few months late to the party, but I was looking to make something out of my norm tonight and found this recipe. I’m so glad I did because it was delicious!! I was worried about how all of the ingredients would work together but they came together beautifully. I used green curry paste and ended up having to use 2 tbs or so because I didn’t find it spicy. I will definitely make this again. Thank you!!!

    • Coool man!! Wow, 2 tbsp green curry paste probably would knock me out 😀
      You definitely are comfortable with a different spice level than me. Glad you liked the recipe and thanks for the comment!

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