Coconut Chickpea Curry (Vegan & GF)
This Creamy Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry is the BEST curry recipe I’ve ever tried! All made in one pot, this easy vegan curry is incredibly flavorful, perfect for meal prep, budget-friendly, and one of our go-to weeknight dinners!
The best kind of recipes are the ones that you keep making over and over again, until you finally realize – this is one of my favorite recipes. That’s this Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry. Without a doubt it is our FAVOURITE recipe. We always have all the ingredients in our pantry and it’s incredibly easy to make. Everybody always comes back for seconds!
What Makes this Chickpea Curry So Good?
- It’s packed with flavor: While the cooking process itself is simple, the flavors are out of this world. You’ll definitely feel like you’re eating something that took all day to make (except it didn’t!).
- Quick & easy to make: You’ll only need one pot and 45 minutes to make this vegan dinner. The most effort required is when you prep the ingredients.
- It’s healthy: Even though this vegan curry is creamy, it’s actually healthy, nutritious and protein-packed. Wholesome ingredients for the win!
- A meal prep super star: You’ll have leftovers last for days! This recipe is perfect for meal prep, too.
Notes on the Ingredients
Though we usually have everything we need for this recipe on our pantry shelves, you may have to run to the store for a few odds and ends. Totally worth it, though! Here’s a list of all the essentials:
- Chickpeas – Chickpeas are the star here. They add fiber, texture and make the curry a filling, protein packed meal. I wouldn’t recommend substituting this since it’s the base. Also make sure to drain and rinse them.
- Tomatoes, Onion and Garlic – These veggies are the base of your curry and really add a depth of flavor. If you don’t like tomatoes, you won’t distinctly taste them. However, you can substitute the tomatoes with pumpkin puree, a butternut squash puree or something of the sort. The curry won’t taste exactly the same, but it will give it that beautiful creamy texture!
- Coconut Milk – Coconut milk adds the creaminess to this curry and is what makes the sauce so smooth. I recommend using full fat canned coconut milk.
- Coconut Flour – This is optional, but it will thicken up the curry a little bit. You can also use regular flour.
- Coconut Oil – The oil is for sautéing the onions and tomatoes.
- Garam Masala – This is the main seasoning blend in this recipe! If you can’t find it, you can make your own.
- Additional Seasonings – These extra seasonings (sea salt, ground black pepper, curry powder, cumin and garlic) are simple and compliment the Garam Masala.
- Lime – Ah yes, our other star ingredient! Lime juice adds a subtle citrus note that brings everything together in such a delightful way. Don’t skip it!
How to Make Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
Heat the Oil: In a deep pot over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil. Add in the Onions and Tomatoes: Grind some sea salt and ground black pepper over the mixture and stir together. Lower heat to medium and allow to cook down until juices of the tomatoes are naturally released and onions are soft, about 10 minutes. I’ve found that this step really helps to develop the flavors of the dish and break them all down for the seasonings later.
Add in the Chickpeas: Also mix in the garlic, garam masala, curry powder and cumin. Stir to combine.
Add in the Coconut Milk and Stir Again: Add in the coconut flour (or any flour, optional) which helps to slightly thicken the curry. Bring the curry to a boil, and then reduce to medium-low so that the mixture continues to simmer for 10 to 12 more minutes.
Serve and Enjoy: Taste the curry and season with salt and pepper if you desire. Remove the curry from the heat and squeeze a lime lightly over the top of the curry, stirring to combine. Don’t skip this step!! Allow to cool slightly and then serve. Enjoy!
Tips for Success
As far as vegan dinner ideas go, this one is pretty easy! Chickpea curry will take you 45 minutes tops to prepare and plate, and you’ll have fun doing it too – there’s a lot of room for culinary creativity. Here are some tips that will help you get the best results with your curry:
- Always use the lime. If there’s one tip I always mention for this recipe, it is to always use the lime. It really brings out the layers of flavor in the dish and is an essential part of the recipe!
- Follow the instruction times. Sautéing the veggies makes a real difference to the end product, so I recommend just setting a time and avoiding any temptation to rush this recipe. You will be rewarded.
- Try not to use light coconut milk. This will reduce the richness and creaminess of the curry. It’s okay to do so if you are looking to cut down on fat content, but just be aware of the flavor/texture changes that will occur.
- Make it your own. This is one of those dishes that once you follow the base ingredients well, you can make the dish your own. Add in sweet potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots… it’s up to you. Just taste as you go along and adjust the seasonings for the additions! I love using up extra veggies and adding them into this dish.
- Can I substitute the tomatoes? If you’re not a tomato fan, you won’t taste them. They blend right in and help with the thickness of the curry and all that flavour. If you’re allergic, you can in fact substitute them with pumpkin puree, or a butternut squash puree or something of the sort. It won’t taste exactly the same, but will give it that beautiful creamy texture!
Once you have a pot of coconut chickpea curry, what should you serve with it? A great question. There are many options, but here are just a few ideas:
- Vegetables: As I mentioned above, throw whatever vegetables you like into this curry. Carrots, sweet potato, peppers, you name it – whatever you can think of will make a great add-in!
- Rice: My go-to is Basmati rice, but you can use regular white rice, brown rice, rice noodles, etc. You could even make some cauliflower rice if you’re trying to keep dinnertime super healthy!
- Bread: If you’re not a big fan of rice, get your carbs from naan bread! It’s perfect for sopping up all of that extra curry sauce, and it’s so easy to make.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
This coconut curry can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To reheat, simply microwave for 30-40 seconds, or heat a pot on low on the stovetop and cook the curry until it is warmed through again. You may want to add in some more coconut milk or water if the sauce is too thick.
Can I Freeze Extras?
Sure can! Freeze extra curry in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Pro Tip: store the curry in single servings so that you can thaw one-person lunches or dinners in the fridge throughout the week/month!
Enjoy friends! If you make this Coconut Chickpea Curry, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 medium red onion or yellow onion, diced
- 14 ounces fresh or canned tomatoes, diced (400g)
- sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
- 16 ounces canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed (454g)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons garam masala – I use this one
- 1 teaspoon curry powder I use this one
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 13.5 ounces canned coconut milk*, (383g)
- 2 teaspoons coconut flour, OPTIONAL**
- 1 small lime, juice of
- In a deep pot over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil.
- Add in the onions and tomatoes. Grind some sea salt and ground black pepper over the mixture and stir together. Lower heat to medium and allow to cook down until juices of the tomatoes are naturally released and onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add in the chickpeas, garlic, garam masala, curry powder and cumin. Stir to combine.
- Add in the coconut milk and stir again. Add in the coconut flour which helps to slightly thicken the curry. Bring the curry to a boil, and then reduce to medium-low so that the mixture continues to simmer for 10 to 12 more minutes.
- Taste the curry and season with salt and pepper if you desire. Remove the curry from the heat and squeeze a lime lightly over the top of the curry, stirring to combine. Don’t skip this step!! Allow to cool slightly and then serve. Enjoy!
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