Coconut Chickpea Curry (Vegan & GF)

By Jessica Hylton -

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!

Serving Suggestions

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

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!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large 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
Instructions

Instructions

  • 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!

Video

NOTES
Notes:
This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
I’ve been asked this MANY times – this is the curry powder I use! It’s my favourite!
*Many readers have asked and yes you can definitely use reduced-fat coconut milk! You can even use boxed coconut milk if those calories suit you better.
** The coconut flour is optional and up to you! You can also use any other gluten-free flour you have on hand to thicken it, I just loved this flavour the most. You also don’t need to thicken it if you don’t want to, we skip it all the time.
WW POINTS: 6 with reduced fat coconut milk, 12 with regular (natural occurring sugar from tomatoes)
HOW TO STORE:You can store this curry in an air-tight tupperware container in the fridge for up a week. It’s an excellent candidate for freezing and can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
 
A FEW NOTES:
1. This curry lasts for at least 5 days in the fridge as leftovers.
2. You can serve with whole wheat naan bread, basmati rice, or even crispy tortilla chips.
3. I substituted a can of chickpeas in the recipe for ease, but if you want you can buy dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, and then boiled until soft in replacement.
4. If you don’t have coconut flour, you can use regular flour if you’re not gluten-free.
TO ADD HEAT:
1. Crushed red pepper flakes: I would start with 1/4 teaspoon in the beginning so that that gets heated up with everything else. Taste and you can always add another 1/4 teaspoon.
2. Harissa paste: if you have a harissa or chili paste, you can stir a little in before the simmer part so that it can heat up with everything. Even sriracha can work.
3. Lastly, and my favourite, scotch bonnet pepper sauce which adds flavours and lots of heat. A few drops right before simmer again, and you can taste and decide whether you want to add more.
 
Chickpea Recipes Around the World
Spaghetti Squash and Chickpea Meatballs by Nutrition Stripped
Broccoli, Chickpea and Avocado Pita Sandwiches by Cookie & Kate

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 28.5g | Protein: 7.3g | Fat: 9.4g | Sodium: 184.8mg | Sugar: 8.1g
by Jessica

More Vegan Curry Recipes

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Recipe Rating




611 comments

  1. noa says:

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe. I first tried this some weeks ago now and it was beautiful. I’m going to make it again tonight. Thank you.

  2. Maureen says:

    5 stars
    Jessica! THANK YOU for sharing your amazing talent. I am new to the plant based lifestyle and you have made the journey so much easier. I love the Coconut Chickpea Curry recipe that you said was your favorite, and I can’t wait to try the others. God bless you for sharing your passion with me!

  3. Masika says:

    5 stars
    I just found your site and I am so happy. This recipe hit the spot! I added peppers and mushrooms to it. It’s so creamy and satisfying. This will be dinner staple for me.

  4. Noa says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is holy! I’ve made this a number of times now and will be making it more in the future. I have to give this a five * 😅 Thank you 🙏

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thank you so much Noa! We’re so happy that you like it.

  5. Jill says:

    This recipe met and exceeded my expectations. This will be a permanent part of my meal pre menu!

  6. Felicia Raffaele says:

    5 stars
    I absolutely loved this recipe and will try to convert it for my Instant Pot. I used chickpeas that I had bought dried, pressure cooked and then frozen in portions, and I was delicious! I will make it again for sure.

    The only thing I didn’t like was having to scroll forever through the pletora of banners and pictures whilst I only wanted to read the recipe, print and make lunch. I understand bloggers want to monetize their effort, but I’m afraid I’m finding this specific blog a bit too confusing and cluttered. It’s a little frustrating, especially when you have little time and need to sort out your lunch quickly before going back to work. I hope my feedback helps.

  7. Erin B says:

    5 stars
    Thank you Jessica for sharing this easy no hassle recipe. I made this as part of my meal prep for next week. I tasted it and it’s so good! I can’t imagine how much better it will be after the spices have settled overnight, definitely a keeper.

  8. Minni says:

    5 stars
    Wow, this is what my Indian neighbor/friend used to bring for the cook outs along with a bunch of other dishes. It was always delicious and in demand in our neighborhood. She shared the recipe and offered us the spices she brought back from India. Though it doesn’t any difference to the final taste whether you use canned chickpeas and tomatoes or fresh, she preferred using fresh ingredients.

    She always used fresh tomatoes for the gravy and soaked the dry chickpeas overnight, cooked them next morning in her pressure cooker and made the gravy in a huge pot with the spices. Some days she would leave out the coconut milk for a less heavier version of the channa masala. I sometimes went over to watch her cooking authentic Indian meals as our kids were of same age and loved playing together. This brings backs some memories. Thanks.

  9. 5 stars
    Dear Jessica,

    many thanks for the recipe.

    I tried it yesterday and it was super delicious.

    The combination of the herbs is perfect

    Yours sincerely,

    The Vegetarian Hannibal

  10. Kamala says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I cook Indian food every day but usually my chickpea dish is traditional chole/channa masala. Wanted to try something different and came across this recipe. I did not have curry powder so subbed coriander powder instead. My kids really enjoyed it as well and had seconds!

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