This Chickpea Curry Recipe is full of flavor! All you need is 45 minutes and one pot to make this easy chickpea curry! This recipe is vegan, gluten free and vegetarian. Serve over rice with a side of garlic naan bread!
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Chana Curry is one of my favorite dishes to make. It is full of flavor, can be made in one pan and is super versatile. I make this curry with whatever vegetables / grains I have on hand. Some days I add in cauliflower or zucchini and other days I add in lentils or quinoa in place of the chickpeas. The beauty of this recipe is you can use what you have!
This chickpea curry is loaded with pantry staples like coconut milk, canned chickpeas and curry powder. The coconut milk gives this dish a bit of sweetness and the curry powder brings a little heat. This chickpea curry recipe is by no means overly spicy. If you want to add a bit more heat add a drizzle of Sriracha sauce or crushed red pepper flakes before serving. To tamp down the heat omit the jalapeno from the recipe.
Please don’t be intimidated by the amount of ingredients / spices in this dish. They add so much flavor! I have included substitutions for all the spices so you can use what you have on hand!
What makes this Chickpea Curry so good:
- It’s loaded with flavor: This vegan chickpea curry has over 8 different spices in it!
- Toasting spices: I toast the spices in oil before adding in the sauce. This is also known as blooming the spices. This brings out the flavors in the spices and gives the dish a deeper more aromatic flavor!
- Caramelizing the onion: I cook the diced onion until it is a deep golden brown color and perfectly soft.
- Cook down the tomatoes: We simmer the diced tomatoes for a whopping 15 minutes or until it becomes a thick paste. This thickens up the curry and gives the dish a subtle sweetness.
- Oil: Use your favorite cooking oil. Olive oil, vegetable oil or coconut oil would all work.
- Cloves: I love using whole cloves in this recipe. If you do not have whole cloves you can substitute 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
- Cinnamon Stick: You can also use 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.
- Green Cardamom: Has a great citrusy flavor and adds a bunch of flavor to this curry. I get my green cardamom at my local farmers market. You can also find it in the International isle of the grocery store or online! If you do not have green cardamom you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of ground all spice.
- Dried Spices: Ground turmeric, bay leaves, garam masala, cumin and curry powder are used.
- Jalapeno: Is added for some heat. You can omit if you would like the curry more mild.
- Aromatics: Diced onion, garlic and fresh ginger are added.
- Tomatoes: Are added to give the chickpea coconut curry a subtle sweetness and acidity.
- Coconut Milk: Always make sure to give your can of coconut milk a good shake before opening!
how to make chickpea curry
- Toast the spices: Add oil to a large saute pan and heat over medium high heat. Add in cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and green cardamom. Heat 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Keep an eye on them so they do not burn.
- Caramelize the onion: Add onion and salt and cook over medium heat until golden brown and caramelized, about 5-6 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and jalapeno and saute for one minute.
- Cook down tomatoes: Next add in turmeric, cumin, garam masala, curry powder and diced tomato. Cook tomatoes down to a thick paste over medium heat, about 15 minutes.
- Simmer: Add water, coconut milk, chick peas. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve: Take off of the heat and add in the fresh cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges if desired.
- Add protein: If you are not worried about keeping this vegetarian feel free to add shredded chicken or shrimp to the curry.
- Add other vegetables: I love adding potatoes, spinach, cauliflower and kale in addition to the chickpeas to bump up the nutrients.
- Grains: If you don’t have chickpeas substitute lentils or quinoa. They are both amazing in this dish!
What to serve with this Chickpea Curry
- White, brown rice or basmati rice. For a low carb version try cauliflower rice or quinoa.
- Garlic naan is a must for dipping in the leftover sauce!
- Saag Paneer
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Instant Pot Butter Chicken
- Chicken Biryani
Here are more Curry Inspired Recipes to try!
- Thai Coconut Soup
- Thai Red Curry Meatballs
- Curry Spiced Air Fryer Chickpeas
- Grilled Curry Mango Chicken
- Thai Chicken Satay
products i used
- 1/4 cup oil (olive oil, vegetable oil or coconut oil would all work)
- 5 whole cloves or 3/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stick cinnamon or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 seeds green cardamom, can substitute with 1/2 tsp ground all spice
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- 2 tbsp ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water, or more if needed
- 15 ounce can chick peas
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- lime wedges for serving, if desired
- Add oil to a large saute pan and heat over medium high heat. Add in cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and green cardamom. Heat 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Keep an eye on them so they do not burn.
- Add onion and salt and cook over medium heat until golden brown and caramelized, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add ginger, garlic and jalapeno and saute for one minute.
- Next add in turmeric, cumin, garam masala, curry powder and diced tomato. Cook tomatoes down to a thick paste over medium heat, about 15 minutes.
- Add water, coconut milk, chick peas. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Take off of the heat and add in the fresh cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges if desired.