It’s so easy to make this healthy vegan Chickpea Curry recipe using canned chickpeas, warm spices, and fresh veggies. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner and will be ready in under half an hour.
Recipes that use pantry ingredients are great to have in your meal plans. They don’t require much in the way of planning and depending on how your pantry is stocked, you may have the ingredients already on hand. Canned chickpeas, canned tomatoes, and canned coconut milk make this flavorful meal so simple. Meals that use beans as the main source of protein are budget-friendly too.
You can make Indian Food at home! You don’t need to order takeout, and you can make the whole thing from scratch. Start with this curry with chickpeas, and then move on to some of my other delicious, quick, and easy curries, like Coconut Shrimp Curry and Sweet Potato Curry.
Looking for an Instant Pot curry recipe? Making curry is easy, but making curry in your instant pot is even better. Try Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Curry is Ready Fast: Vegan meals like this one can often be cooked in a very small amount of time. This entire meal is ready in less than 30 minutes, and that includes the time it takes to chop and prepare the ingredients!
- A Healthy Option: The perfect way to reset after a holiday or a period of unhealthy eating is to make a really tasty and healthy meal. Chickpea curry is packed with protein, fiber, veggies, and spices, and is low in fat. It’s also a vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free recipe.
- The Perfect Amount of Spice: For this mild chickpea curry, I like to use fresh jalapeno or a milder red chili. Traditional Indian curries often use very hot peppers, and if you like your curry to be spicy, feel free to add crushed red pepper flakes, powdered Kashmiri peppers, or even a hotter pepper powder.
Here’s what you need to make Chickpea Curry:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Chili: These fresh aromatics create the base flavor of this vegetarian curry. Use a jalapeno pepper for mild heat, or choose a hotter pepper if you prefer.
- Spices: Turmeric, cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika work together to create another layer of warm, smoky, herby flavor.
- Garam masala: On top of the above spices, this classic Indian spice blend is a must. It’s spicy and fragrant. Use this recipe to mix your own, or buy a premade spice mix if you prefer.
- Diced Tomatoes: One standard-sized can is the perfect amount for this curry recipe.
- Water and Coconut Milk: These add liquid to the curry which helps to cook the ingredients and create an amazing sauce. For making curry, you want to use canned coconut milk, rather than the kind that comes in a box or carton. It’s thicker and more flavorful!
- Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas make this recipe super easy! You can of course use garbanzo beans that you’ve cooked yourself as well.
How to Make Chickpea Curry
Is it your first time making curry? Don’t worry, it’s easy!
- Sauté: In a medium pot, over medium heat, heat olive oil and sauté the aromatics (onion, ginger, garlic, and chili/jalapeno) for about three minutes until softened.
- Add the Spices: Add the Garam Masala, turmeric, coriander, and cumin to the pan, and cook for 30 seconds to wake up the flavors.
- Simmer: Add the diced tomatoes and water to the pot. Then add the coconut milk and let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes until it reduces and the sauce thickens.
- Finish: Add in the chickpeas, season with salt, and cook for a few more minutes to warm through. Remove from heat and serve over rice, garnished with chopped cilantro leaves.
Extra Hungry? Try my recipe for Chickpea and Potato Curry. It’s very similar, but has the addition of potatoes to make it a heartier option.
- Drain and rinse the beans, but not the tomatoes: Chickpeas should be drained and rinsed before adding to recipes, but with the canned tomatoes, you will want to use the liquid in the can as well.
- Mise en place: This is a french term that is loosely translated to mean, “everything prepped and ready to go”. I like to chop all of the ingredients and have everything measured out before I start cooking. Because curries cook so quickly, you won’t have time to prep as you go.
- Use full-fat coconut milk: Canned, full-fat coconut milk is what you want to use when making curry. Be sure to shake the can really well before opening it, as the liquid and fat can separate in the can.
- For a less spicy curry: If you want this curry to be very mild, you can reduce the amount of peppers you add in the beginning. I find that using a jalapeno pepper gives chickpea curry the perfect amount of flavor without overpowering the recipe with heat. You can also leave out the garam masala if you want the flavor to be more simple.
- Add Vegetables: Make a Veggie Chickpea Curry by adding in any type of vegetables that you like. Either steam them and add them in with the chickpeas or cut them small enough that you can sauté them with the onion.
What to Serve with Chickpea Curry
Serve curry with any type of rice. I like to make fluffy basmati rice (it’s super easy in the Instant Pot), or jasmine rice. Brown rice is delicious too. Try my recipes for Jeera (cumin) rice or Turmeric rice if you want to make dinner extra special. The flavors will complement the spices in the curry recipe.
Make Homemade Naan Bread, or serve with roti or pita bread for dipping.
Yes, this recipe freezes quite well! I like to freeze it in individual serving sizes, either with or without rice. You can also freeze larger amounts. Be sure to store the curry in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 6 months. Pro tip: The turmeric in this curry will stain your plastic containers. Use glass containers or disposable freezer bags for storage!
The spices we are using in this Chickpea Curry are warm and fragrant but not particularly hot and spicy. We get mild heat from jalapeno peppers. Feel free to add a spicier pepper or pepper powder if you want spicy chickpea curry.
You should cook your chickpeas before making this recipe if you aren’t going to use canned beans. You will need 1 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas if you’re cooking them yourself. Check out my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Hummus if you want to know how I cook them in the Instant Pot.
No, there is no need to peel the skin from the chickpeas. It takes forever, and the skin is actually full of fiber so you should enjoy it!
I hope you try this super easy chickpea curry recipe! In my opinion, it’s the best recipe to start with if you’ve never made curry before, and it’s also a great easy dinner recipe to have in your toolbox.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon gingerroot grated
- 1 chili or jalapeño minced
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 can (14oz/400g) diced tomatoes
- 1 cup (240ml) water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 can (14oz/400g) chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon salt
- fresh cilantro for garnish
- In a medium pot, over medium heat, heat oil and saute the aromatics (onion, ginger, garlic, and chili/jalapeño), about 3 minutes.
- Add the spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garam masala), and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add diced tomatoes followed by water. Add coconut milk, and let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes until it reduces and the sauce thickens.
- Add in the chickpeas, season with salt, and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat, and serve over rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen