This easy vegan chickpea curry recipe has a creamy coconut sauce, fragrant Indian spices, and steamed basmati rice.
It’s a comforting and healthy vegan dinner for any time of the week.
What’s A Vegan Chickpea Curry?
A Vegan Chickpea Curry is an Indian-inspired meal where the meat is replaced with chickpeas.
This simple vegan chickpea curry is the best easy vegan recipe to get all your plant-based protein in one meal.
If you just started your vegan journey, chickpea curry is a must-try. It is easy to make even for beginners, it’s tasty, and everyone loves them.
How To Make Vegan Chickpea Curry
The best vegan chickpea curry recipe is creamy, with a thick tomato coconut sauce, full of fragrant spices and soft chickpeas.
Let’s see all the simple ingredients you need to make this creamy chickpea curry vegan and gluten-free!
- Canned chickpeas – a can of chickpea is about 15 oz, and it’s the fastest way to make an easy chickpea curry. Open the can, drain the chickpeas over a sieve and rinse quickly before using them in the recipe. If you want to use dried chickpeas, read my paragraph below on cooking dried chickpeas for a curry recipe.
- Canned coconut Cream – not coconut beverage! Canned coconut cream or canned coconut milk is thicker and usually doesn’t contains additives like sugar or thickener. That’s why canned coconut products are the best option for making a thick coconut curry sauce.
- Tomato paste – this helps thicken the sauce.
- Canned diced tomatoes – one can is about 15 oz.
- Spices – the combination of spices is the key to a tasty, fragrant curry:
- Curry powder – you can swap by garam masala for Indian curry flavor.
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper or chili powder.
- Fresh ginger
- Fresh lime Juice
- Fresh cilantro – or replace it with fresh Italian flat parsley if you don’t like cilantro flavor.
Cooking the Onion, Garlic & Ginger
The first step to making the best chickpea coconut curry is to prepare the sauce. A curry sauce always starts by cooking onion, garlic, and ginger over medium heat in olive oil.
Making the curry paste
When the mixture is fragrant, and the onions are brown and soft, stir in spices and tomato paste and keep cooking.
This will form a thick, fragrant curry paste.
Frying the spices in olive oil with tomato paste enhances the curry sauce flavor and helps to thicken the sauce without adding starchy flours.
Forming The Coconut Curry Sauce
Stir in the liquid ingredients to dissolve the curry paste and form a creamy sauce.
Add in canned coconut cream or milk, canned diced tomatoes, stir, and continue to cook until sauce is bubbly and simmer.
Now that the sauce is ready feel free to add some optional vegetables.
Add 1 or 2 cups of soft and hard vegetables following the recommendation below.
Soft vegetables below cook well in the sauce and don’t require pre-cooking.
- Spinach leaves – if they are large, roughly chop before adding or adding frozen spinach.
- Eggplant – peel, and chop into small cubes.
- Diced capsicum – any color works well.
- Peas fresh or frozen
- Mushrooms – feet removed, sliced.
If you want to add harder vegetables, make sure you steam or roast them before, or they won’t cook well in the sauce. Some of the best vegetables to add to curries are:
- Cauliflower florets
- Potatoes – peeled, diced in small cubes.
- Sweet potatoes – peeled, diced in small cubes.
- Broccoli florets
Finally, stir in the canned chickpeas and continue cooking for 20- 30 minutes or until cooked chickpeas.
This easy vegan curry chickpea recipe is delicious served with about 1/2 cup of steamed rice like:
- Basmati rice
- Jasmine rice
- Brown rice
Or healthier grain:
- Quinoa – red or white quinoa
Or low-carb vegetables:
- Cauliflower rice – pulse fresh cauliflower florets into a rice-like texture in a food processor. Stir fry in olive oil and serve as a low-carb vegan side to the curry.
- Broccoli rice – same technique as above but using fresh broccoli florets.
Below I listed my top 3 vegan flatbread recipes to serve with this curry. Choose the one that matches your diet requirement the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use dried chickpeas in curry?
Yes, you can use dried chickpeas or garbanzo beans in a curry recipe.
However, you must soak or precook the dried beans before adding them to a curry recipe.
How long should the dried chickpeas soak?
Soaking dried chickpeas is time-consuming and requires patience. Below I listed the 2 ways you can prepare dried chickpeas for curry recipes.
- Overnight soak – add the dried chickpeas to a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak overnight or at least 12 hours.
- Quick soak – add the dried chickpeas to a saucepan and simmer for 3 hours.
You can also cook dried chickpeas. Below I listed how long to cook dried chickpeas to use in a chickpea curry recipe.
- In a Slow cooker – cook for 4 hours on high heat.
- In an Instant pot – cook for 1 hour.
How much dried chickpeas is equivalent to 1 cup of canned chickpeas?
Dried chickpeas soak in the water they are immersed in and triple in size. It means that:
- 1 cup of dried chickpeas is equivalent to 3 cups of canned chickpeas.
This vegan curry recipe uses 2 cans of 15 oz chickpeas. It makes about 3 cups of canned chickpeas, so you must soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas for this recipe.
More Vegan Dinner Recipes
If you love quick, easy vegan dinner recipes, I recommend trying one of my other recipes below.
If you love this recipe, share a review or comment below! I love to hear your feedback. Also, join me on Pinterest for more vegan recipe inspiration.
Did You Like This Recipe?
Vegan Chickpea Curry
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Small Yellow Onion - finely diced
- 3 cloves Garlic - Crushed
- ½ inch Ginger - freshly chopped or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 small Red Bell Pepper - finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Curry Powder - or turmeric
- 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 can (14.5 oz) Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 cans (2 x 15 oz) Canned Chickpeas - drained, rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) Coconut Cream - or canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons Lime Juice
- 1 handful Fresh Cilantro - finely chopped
- 3 cup Brown Rice - cooked. 1/2 cup per plate
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook, often stirring until the onions soften and turn brown. It takes about 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste along with all the spices: paprika, cumin, curry powder, and salt. Continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring to form a thick curry paste.
- Stir in diced tomatoes and canned coconut cream to form a smooth coconut curry sauce.
- Stir in diced red capsicum and canned chickpeas.
- Cover the pot and reduce heat to bring to a light simmer. Continue cooking for 20-30 minutes, stirring once in a while, until the chickpeas are soft and cooked.
- Turn off the heat and stir in fresh lime juice and fresh cilantro.
- Serve with basmati rice on the side or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer.
- Rewarm in the microwave or in a saucepan.
- Soft vegetables: spinach, mushrooms, capsicum, peeled cubed eggplants.
- Hard vegetables must be precooked – steaming or roasting method. The best matches with this curry are peeled cubed potatoes/sweet potatoes, cauliflower/broccoli florets.