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This is a delicious and creamy coconut chickpea curry that you’ll want to eat with family and friends time and time again.
Growing up in the nineties and naughties Britain, the 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 Indian food, especially curry.
But what I’ve come to realise in the middle of a curry craving isn’t that I miss the chicken in a korma or the lamb in a vindaloo – not at all.
The meat itself was never important but it’s rather the meal itself as a whole.
The creamy sauce, the exotic spices and the crunchy poppadoms all combine together to make one of the world’s favourite meals.
As long as you get the sauce and rice right, you’re on to a winner.
Which is where this curry came from. I can’t take the credit – Kat’s fair hand is all over this chickpea curry recipe.
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.
Using chickpeas as the main bulk of the meal creates a lovely texture and provides us with a filling boost of fibre and iron.
If you’re looking for inspiration follow this link to find more vegetarian recipes like this one.
So what makes our vegan chickpea curry so special you ask?
Let’s take a look at what’s in this healthy one-pot meal.
This is a simple meal with a cooking time of under 30 minutes!
To start any good vegan chickpea curry you need to make a base, but I’m not using gluten-filled rues or anti-vegan ingredients like ghee.
Instead, I chose to use simple and healthy ingredients that will give us a great base for our curry.
Onions and garlic are going to give so much flavour and don’t get me started on the curry paste. I chose a paste as the flavour is more concentrated than what you’d get from a curry powder.
It’s also going to give great colour to the dish.
You can choose to add more than what the recipe suggests depending on how hot you like it.
To finish off the base of this vegan curry I am adding a can of coconut milk. It’s vegan, creamy and creates a delicious curry sauce when combined with the paste.
To bulk out this meal and keep you feeling full, I used two key ingredients. First of all, I added a can of chickpeas to the sauce. They’re going to give a great texture and they have a nice bite too.
The second ingredient is rice. I chose basmati rice, however, you can serve it with whatever rice you have in your store cupboard.
Rice is filling, healthy and gluten-free which makes it a great accompaniment to this dish.
To finish this recipe off, as if it couldn’t get any better, I added chopped fresh tomatoes. You know the kind that tastes like a sunbeam burst in your mouth? Throw them in.
Then add some basil, it gives a great pop of colour next to the tomatoes.
And finally, to really make this curry taste out of this world I added a combination of lime juice for zing, soy sauce for the umami tang, and maple syrup for that sweet balance.
There you have it, a top recipe that you will want to make way more than once!
How many calories are in coconut milk chickpea curry?
I love it when comfort food is also really healthy it makes my taste buds even happier!
In this dish there are 465 calories which is an ideal amount for a well-balanced meal.
There is also 13 grams of protein.
Here are the other nutritional facts about this tasty weeknight dinner:
Although traditionally curries may be viewed as unhealthy junk food a recipe such as this one can is actually be really healthy.
In particular, curry paste provides some top health benefits which come from the various Indian spices.
These include memory-boosting, anti-inflammatory and fat-loss properties.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are high in fibre so eating meals containing them is a great way to help you feel fuller for longer.
They also contain high levels of plant protein so they make the perfect animal protein alternative for vegans and veggies like us!
As this meal is higher in protein than some, my delicious coconut chickpea curry can help you not only reach your protein goals but in turn, it may help you towards losing weight or gaining muscles depending on what journey you’re on.
If you’d like more high-protein meal inspiration make sure to download your free 7-day high-protein meal plan, and if you love it we also do a recurrent weekly high-protein plan too to keep the ideas flowing.
In fact, if you’re struggling with losing the pounds you might find this article on how to break your weight-loss plateau useful.
How to make curry with chickpeas?
Time needed: 25 minutes.
This recipe is super simple to make especially as you can easily find all the fresh ingredients in the grocery stores.
- Prep time
To start with cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet. Chop the onions, garlic, basil and juice the lime.
- Cook time
Fry the onions in oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan until they start to turn clear. Add the garlic, fry for a further minute.
Add 1 teaspoon of curry paste, and the creamy coconutmilk, and stir well. Add salt and taste test – you can choose how much flavor you’d like. If you’d like it a little stronger then add another teaspoon of curry paste.
Add drained and rinsed canned chickpeas (and optional fave veg), and bring the curry to a boil. If it burns though, be sure to reduce the heat.
- To finish
Add the chopped tomatoes, basil, lime juice, soy sauce and gently simmer the curry. Taste test again, and if desired add a second tablespoon of soy sauce and then the syrup. Stir again. Serve and enjoy!
- Top tip!
To make it gluten-free use GF soy sauce or you can leave the soy sauce out altogether.
Chickpea coconut curry FAQs
If you’ve got questions about chickpea curry it’s a good thing we have the answers!
How to store and reheat?
You can store my chickpea curry in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. To reheat place in a microwave-safe bowl and warm until heated throughout (It also tastes better the next day too).
What to serve it with?
I served my chickpea curry with rice, but you could serve it with extra veg or even some naan bread (or of course vegan naan bread).
Can I make it ahead?
You could make this chickpea curry ahead of time and reheat it later or if you make it in a slow cooker you could keep it warm in there too.
How do restaurants make curry so creamy?
The key ingredient to making any curry nice and creamy in any restaurant is definitely the canned coconut milk.
Is curry better with coconut or milk?
Coconut milk is preferred to other dairy and non-dairy milk alternatives in curry as it is rich and creamy. It helps to give a thicker sauce and carry the flavour of the spices in the dish.
Is coconut milk healthy in curries?
As it is made from cocount, coconut milk is a healthy, non-dairy alternative to milk and works great in creating a creamy curry sauce.
It also comes in a light version if you want to reduce the overall calories of the dish.
There are a couple of delicious ways you could tweak this recipe next time:
- Extra veg: Add extra vegetables to the curry, how about some sweet potatoes, baby spinach or cauliflower?
- Different spices: How about trying a Thai red curry paste (or even green) to change up the variety of spices?
- Low carb: To keep those carbs down swap out the basmati rice with cauliflower rice.
More recipes like this
If you enjoyed this meal take a look at these ones below:
Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
If you’re looking for comfort food that is kind to your waistline you’ll love this delicious vegan chickpea curry!
- ½ cup basmati rice
- 1 cup water
- 2 pinch salt
- 2 onions
- 1 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 low fat coconut milk (1 can = 1.5 cups = 375ml) (use regular if you prefer the taste!)
- 1 can chickpeas (1 can = 15oz = 435g)
- 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).
½ cup basmati rice, 1 cup water, 2 pinch salt
- While this is happening chop the onions, garlic, basil and juice the lime.
2 onions, 3 clove garlic, 1 cup basil, fresh, ½ 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.
1 tbsp olive oil
- 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.
1-2 tsp curry paste, 1 can low fat coconut milk
- Throw in the drained and rinsed chickpeas. If using sugar snap peas (or other green veg), add them now too. Cook on a medium heat for around 5 minutes, bringing the curry to a boil. If it starts to burn, reduce heat immediately.
1 can chickpeas, ½ cup sugar snap peas
- Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped basil, lime juice, soy sauce and gently simmer the curry for another 2 minutes.
2-3 medium tomato, 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
- Taste test again, and if desired add a another tbsp soy sauce and the syrup or brown sugar. Give it another stir.
1 tsp maple syrup
- 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.
Note for the nutritional table: we make our chickpea curry 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.
There you have it a meal that takes little effort but produces maximum flavor! It’s my opinion that this curry tastes amazing, but I’m sure you’ll also soon agree.
It is a family favourite recipe in our household and I know it will also become yours too. It would be too easy to eat the whole thing so don’t forget to share!
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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐