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Chickpea Curry

Recipe: Chickpea Curry

Summary: An easy Meatless Monday garbanzo bean curry that relies on pantry staples, this is packed with Indian flavors and wonderful textures. Dress it up or down, depending on what bed you put it on.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or sub another oil)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Grind of fresh pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fennel or anise seeds
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger)
  • 1 (15- to 19-ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce can lite coconut milk (Thai Kitchen makes a good version)
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in own juice (or sub 1-1 1/4 cups salsa)
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce
  • Lemon or lime
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro (optional)


  1. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet, and sauté onion until it browns, about 10 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, the garlic, coriander, cumin and anise and sauté another minute. The spices will smell fragrant!
  2. Add ginger, chickpeas, coconut milk, tomatoes with juice and a pinch of pepper flakes, stir, bring to a boil and then turn heat down until it is just simmering. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. The curry will thicken, but during that time if it looks like it is drying out too much, add a bit of water, cover and continue cooking for the full 30 minutes.
  3. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over the curry, stir, taste and adjust salt and spicy heat to your liking.
  4. Serves 4-5.

Quick notes

I have used as much as 3 cups of cooked chickpeas here, and it has worked out well.

In the version I photographed here, I used Kala Chana – black chickpeas – that I soaked overnight, boiled for 1 hour, drained, and then used in this recipe. They are wonderful! But use what you have or can get your hands on. Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans, or ceci.


Serve over: Steamed rice or other favorite cooked grain, steamed sliced potatoes, wilted greens, or even polenta!

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 4-5
Culinary tradition: Indian …ish
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 

Chickpea Curry [1]

I'm a member of the clean plate club when it comes to this dish!