AAAAAND we're back with my (in)famous Easy Vegan Chickpea Curry. During quarantine, I made a version of this at least once a week. I'd stock up at the grocery store, make more creative recipes earlier in the week, and throw leftover veggies into this curry.
If you're an aspiring vegan, vegetarian, or just trying to eat more veggies, this curry has you covered.
If you're an aspiring vegan, vegetarian, or just trying to eat more veggies, this curry has you covered. It's easy to make without dairy, feels silky and luscious thanks to the coconut milk, and tastes ah-mazing with all the spices. And what's more? You can make it in whatever time you have - I've spent 10 mins on this curry, but I've also spent 60. More time = deeper, more complex flavors.
Quarantine meal, weeknight meal, or even date night meal, there's never a bad time for a curry in my opinion. And this easy vegan chickpea curry is a great place to start.
You'll need some aromatic vegetables to build the base of this curry.
- Onions - green onions cook quickly, but other onions are fine, just put them into the pan a little earlier so they can fully cook.
- Garlic & Ginger - forms the baseline flavor profile you want in Indian cuisine
Tougher veggies will need to be added to the pan earlier than soft veggies.
- Grated Carrot - for sweetness and color - NBD if you don't have, I personally have lots of these laying around
- Crunchy veggies - bell pepper is my personal fave, but no big deal if you don't have
Add your soft veggies once the tough veggies have softened.
- Soft veggies - absorb all the yummy curry and umami flavors (Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Mushrooms and Eggplant all work well)
- Green beans - I had these leftover, totally optional. Could substitute with broccoli...
- Mini-tomatoes - also optional, I happened to have some leftover, they pack a juicy punch
Add spicy peppers before tomatoes and coconut milk so they stay spicy! And add lime once the curry has simmered.
- Spicy pepper - I like serrano, but you can use whatever your taste buds can handle
- Lime - garnish, add a little squeeze at the end for some acid
PRO TIP: if you're trying to cut down on sodium, add citrus to your dishes instead!
- Canned FULL FAT coconut milk - I don't recommend substituting this one. This is what gives the curry that OMG SO CREAMY NEED MORE texture. So, don't mess with reduced fat - it's basically watered down full-fat coconut milk. If you're in a pinch, you could use canned coconut cream and some water - just add the water slowly, or you might end up with a soup.
- Tamari or soy sauce - adds umami/meatier flavor to your veggies, making the curry taste heartier
- Canned beans - I like chickpeas, but any bean will do. This will add protein & fiber, making it a heartier meal.
- Canned tomatoes
- Basmati Rice - for extra carbs if you struggle to stay full & satisfied on veggies alone
I recommend investing in spices. You'll use them in tons of dishes if you learn to use properly. Start with the recipe, but as you get more comfortable, start playing around, and taste often!
- Salt - you should be salting every time you add fresh veggies to your pan to help soften the cell walls and better release the flavor juices
- Curry powder - can replace with curry paste and add a with the Tamari.
- Cumin, Coriander, and Paprika
- Cayenne - add more for spicier curry
First, prep all of your veggies, starting with aromatics like onions and garlic. Sautee in a wide bottom pan over medium heat with a tablespoon or two of cooking oil.
Once onions are soft, add tougher veggies like bell pepper, and cook until soft, or 3-5 minutes. Then add soft vegetables like mushrooms and green beans. When mushrooms release juices, add a couple tablespoons of soy sauce for extra flavor.
Then, add all the spices and stir, letting the aromas sink in for 1-2 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, beans, and coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed (usually needs salt). Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Serve on top of rice, and enjoy!
"Why would I make this curry myself when I can just go to the Indian restaurant down the street and buy some?"
Excellent question. A few reasons...
- It will make good use of those veggies sitting in your fridge
- It's healthy AND hearty
- This way is more cost-effective per serving
- The cook gets to
eatahem, I mean taste throughout to make sure the flavors are right
"I don't have all the ingredients you listed in your recipe, and can't/am too lazy/don't have the $$ etc. to go to the store and buy all of this"
We've all been there. BE CREATIVE! See some of the ideas in this post.Print
The name of the game with this easy chickpea curry is using what you have! Fill in the blanks with whatever is in your fridge or pantry.
- 1 bunch scallions (6-8), thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger (or 1 thumb)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 carrots, grated
- 1-2 serrano peppers (more for spicy)
- 1-2 bell peppers, sliced
- 1 package mushrooms, diced
- 2 zucchini/yellow squash, diced
- 1 package halved mini tomatoes
- 3 cups fresh green beans
- Cilantro (garnish)
- Lime (garnish)
- 1 can chickpeas or beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (REQUIRED, substitute with small can coconut cream and water, added slowly to avoid making a soup)
- 1-2 Tbsp tamari (soy sauce or coconut aminos are also acceptable)
- Cooking oil (I use grapeseed)
- 12 oz can tomatoes (optional)
Spices (adjust to taste)
- 1-2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1-2 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne
- On medium heat, heat up pan with a splash of oil
- Add scallions, garlic and ginger (stir regularly to avoid burning)
- After 1-2 mins, add bell peppers, carrots, and spicy peppers - cook until they soften a bit
- When peppers start to soften, add soft veggies - mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes etc.
- When soft veggies release juices, add a couple Tbsp of tamari - it will reabsorb into the veggies and give them that meaty punch.
- Then add your spices - curry powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne. Stir until evenly distributed.
- Then add canned beans, canned tomatoes (optional), coconut milk, and green beans. Turn heat to low, and cover for at least 5 mins. 10-30 mins for further developed flavors.
- Top with fresh cilantro and serve with basmati rice for extra carbs.
Salt every time you add new veggies to the pan - just a pinch. It releases the juices in the veggies and helps everything break down. Taste once you add the coconut milk for seasoning.
Keywords: Vegetable curry, Vegan curry, Chickpea curry, Bean curry