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Vegetarian Chickpea Curry With Coconut Milk

This belly-warming Vegetarian Chickpea Curry With Coconut Milk is the perfect cozy dish for cool nights! Makes for a great side dish or main.

Vegetarian Chickpea Curry in pan.

In the past few weeks we’ve had some really damn cold evenings. It’s funny; my mom will often text me from Canada to let me know that it’s colder here in North Carolina than it is up North. Our winters aren’t comparable at all, and I’ll take an NC winter over a miserable Southern Ontario winter ANY day. But now more than ever, it’s been the perfect time to curl up with this cozy and warming chickpea curry with coconut milk.

This dish was born a few years ago out of a desperate attempt to offer a meatless Friendsgiving protein for my vegetarian pals. It turned out to be a smashing success—even for those piling turkey onto their plates.

Vegetarian Chickpea Curry With Coconut Milk.

Curries come in many forms. For this one, I wanted something hearty and substantial—not soupy. I also wanted to keep the recipe simple with minimal and accessible ingredients, and little prep and cooking time. This belly-warming dish was inspired by Chana Masala, a North Indian dish that brings together chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, coriander seed, garlic, chiles, and ginger.

If you’re a fan of chickpeas in general, you need this chickpea curry in your life. It’ll fill you up without weighing you down and, the best part, is you can make it ahead of time. The leftovers are delicious, if not better since the flavors get a chance to mingle and get to know one another.

This makes for a beauty side, but it also serves as a main. You can eat it on it’s own, serve it with some warm naan, or pile it over a fluffy mountain of basmati rice :)

Bamboo bowl of Vegetarian Chickpea Curry.

Bamboo bowl of Vegetarian Chickpea Curry.

Chickpeas are a great addition to any diet.

Vegetarian or not, throwing chickpeas into your meal rotation is smart. They’re a nutritional powerhouse rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Additionally, they’re incredibly filling. So you can easily swap them for meat in curries, chilis, stews, burgers, and other seemingly meat-dependant meals.

Other chickpea recipes I love:

  1. Crispy Chipotle Chickpea Tacos
  2. Taco Grain Bowl with Crispy Chipotle Chickpeas

If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations, and you could be featured in my monthly newsletter <3

Bamboo bowl of Vegetarian Chickpea Curry.
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5 from 3 votes

Vegetarian Chickpea Curry With Coconut Milk

This belly-warming Vegetarian Chickpea Curry With Coconut Milk is the perfect cozy dish for cool nights! Makes for a great side dish or main.
Cuisine Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Killing Thyme

Ingredients

  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red or yellow onion
  • 1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 15 oz cans of chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes drained
  • 2 heaping handfuls of spinach torn or roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 TBSP concentrated Indian curry paste mild, medium, or hot—whatever your preference!
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric optional
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt more to taste if needed

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a skillet over moderate heat.
  • Add the onions, ginger, and garlic. Simmer until fragrant, stirring often to prevent browning; about 2 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas and drained tomatoes. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the torn up spinach and cook until it's wilted down. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may want to add one handful at a time.
  • Add the coconut milk, curry paste, curry powder, turmeric (if using), and salt. Stir until the paste has dissolved and the seasonings have mixed in well. This may take about 2-3 minutes of constant stirring and folding.
  • Let the curry simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and serve with warm naan, pitas, rice, or on its own.
Pin Image with text—Bamboo bowl of Vegetarian Chickpea Curry.

40 Comments

  • Riley
    July 9, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    5 stars
    This is the best thing ever! It’s warm, hearty, and flavorful. Tastes like comfort food. It’s not easy to find recipes that are delicious while also being vegan, healthy, and easy to make, but this recipe is exactly that. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      July 10, 2020 at 11:01 am

      Riley! I’m so glad you loved it. It’s honestly one of my favorites. I still make it in the summer because I miss it if I don’t, but it’s definitely a regular thing here when the cooler weather is in effect. Perfect comfort food <3 Thanks so much for stopping by with feedback!

      Reply
  • […] Killing Thyme/ Via killingthyme.net […]

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  • Megan
    June 2, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    5 stars
    OMG. This was amazingly simple and full flavored. A hit at our house!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      June 4, 2020 at 8:43 pm

      Megan! I’m so glad. This is a favorite here as well. I always considered it cold-weather comfort food but I can’t help myself and eat it all year long—even in the thick of our NC summers!

      Reply
  • […] Killing Thyme / Via killingthyme.net […]

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  • […] Killing Thyme / Via killingthyme.net […]

    Reply
  • […] chickpea curry over rice – this was SO GOOD! If you like curry and chickpeas, you’ll love this combination. […]

    Reply
  • richard crompton
    December 18, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Well I’m 62 and at last starting to cook. My wife and daughter loved this meal, as did I , particularly as my wife has a rotten cold at the moment (I added some extra chilli flakes) . So thank you, I am definitely going to cook it again.

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      December 18, 2019 at 4:24 pm

      Richard! I’m so glad you enjoyed this dish and were able to sooth your ailing wife. Extra chili is always a good idea ;) Thanks so much for stopping by with feedback!

      Reply
      • Tim
        April 14, 2020 at 6:38 am

        does it matter if you use red or green curry paste?

        Reply
        • Killing Thyme
          April 14, 2020 at 7:03 am

          Hi Tim! Yes. A green curry paste has a different flavor than red. Though, I’m sure it would still be a tasty curry. So if that’s all you’ve got, I say, go for it. Let me know how it turns out?

          Reply
  • Gail
    November 28, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Why is this listed as vegetarian and not vegan? I see no animal ingredients.

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      November 28, 2019 at 10:49 am

      Then I guess it classifies as both! ;)

      Reply
  • Carolyn Schiffmann
    November 23, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    5 stars
    Really delicious! We are trying to go more vegetarian these days so I tried this last night. I LOVED it! Hubby finished off leftovers so I’m taking that as a positive – LOL. I’ll be making this again.

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      November 27, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      I’m so glad you all enjoyed it! My husband won’t eat chickpeas, so I always have the entire batch to myself. Lol ;)
      Thanks for the feedback, Carolyn!

      Reply
  • Lexie
    July 27, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Made this tonight on a whim and my family LOVED it! Even my picky 5 year old who asked for a second helping! What a great recipe. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      July 28, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      Lexie! Thanks so much for the feedback. You know it’s a hit when picky kids can approve :)

      Reply
  • Easy Thai Red Curry With Tofu | Killing Thyme
    February 14, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    […] curries are your jam, you need this Thai Coconut Fish Curry With Kabocha Squash and this Vegetarian Chickpea Curry With Coconut Milk in your life. OR. Bring your sandwich game up a few notches with this Healthy Curry Chicken Salad […]

    Reply
  • Margie
    February 2, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    This looks so good. Can I make ahead and freeze?

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      February 2, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks Margie! And yes! This should hold up in the freezer just fine.

      Reply
  • Amanda
    December 14, 2018 at 11:33 am

    These photos are so tempting! I love chickpeas, and I especially love dishes where chickpeas are the primary ingredient. They’re so hearty and satisfying without making you feel like you’ve eaten something heavy. I’ve never had a chickpea curry, and I feel like this is a gigantic void in my cooking rotation after reading this recipe! Those wonderful spices with the coconut milk must be so good with the chickpeas (and I love that you can choose your level of heat!). Will be making this one soon!

    Reply
  • Marisa Franca
    December 10, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    5 stars
    If it’s one thing we never run out of is chickpeas! We love them and are always trying to find new ways to use them. Your Vegetarian chickpea curry sounds so tasty and what a great idea for a meatless meal. Love the recipe.

    Reply
  • Traci
    December 10, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Oh yeah! I’m always up for a chickpea curry loaded with vegetables! I always have a ton of vegetables on hand (because I’m a produce hoarder LOL), so a dish like this gets made in my kitchen at least twice a month. Looks like I’ll have to be trying your recipe…thanks for sharing! :)

    Reply
  • Tracy
    December 10, 2018 at 12:20 am

    Colder in NC than in Canada?! Now that’s just WRONG. But this chickpea curry – oh my gosh thank you! I’ve been trying to think of new ways to eat more vegetarian that my husband (the carnivore) will love AND I was just looking at a bunch of chickpeas. Pinning this for later!

    Reply
  • Leah
    December 9, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    This sounds so flavorful and tasty! What a great filling meal, and so easy for a weeknight dinner. I would love to try this out, and I love the coconut milk touch, makes it sound so rich and yummy!

    Reply
  • Daniela
    December 8, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    5 stars
    I’m always looking for inventive ways to use chickpeas, and this curry sounds amazing. It’s also a bonus that it’s made with coconut milk because I have a hard time digesting dairy. Beautiful photographs, too!

    Reply
  • Mackenzie
    December 7, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    I never would have thought to serve a curry at a Friendsgiving, but the flavorful marriage of the spices probably brings a welcomed profile to the table. Thanksgiving dishes can always feel so similar, that this curry breaks up the monotony very well.
    I’ve never been a fan of soupy curries, so this recipe is perfect for me! Just hand me this and some garlic naan and I’m one happy lady!

    Reply
  • Carmy
    December 7, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve recently started making simple chickpea curries at home whenever I’m looking for something warm and cozy to eat. I almost always have a can of chickpeas in my pantry. This is the perfect curry to dig into on a cold winter day. Which brand of paste do you use/prefer?

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      December 12, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Hey Carmy! I use Patak’s. I need to hunt down an Indian market in this area and see what kind of pastes they have, but I’ve found that Patak’s offers up a really great flavor.

      Reply
  • Ilana
    December 6, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    This was delicious – made it tonight for dinner! Could you give me some guidance on Curry paste? I’ve never used it before and wasn’t sure what to buy. I’ve seen it in a couple of your recipes.

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      December 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      Hi Ilana! I’m so glad you enjoyed this.
      I’m happy to guide you however I can with curry pastes! There are different kinds, which can definitely get confusing. For Indian-inspired dishes, the best one you can find at your run-of-the-mill grocery store is Patak’s (So you can see the bottle: https://www.amazon.com/Pataks-Mild-Curry-Paste-10/dp/B000JMBE3Q). If you have an Indian market near you, you could definitely get something authentic there.

      For Thai-inspired dishes, I highly recommend Maesri or Mae Ploy. You should be able to find those in any East or Southeast Asian market. Mayyyybe the grocery store. The easiest grab at most grocery stores seems to be Thai Kitchen, but I’d leave that for a last resort.

      I hope this helps!

      Reply
      • Ilana
        December 10, 2018 at 4:19 pm

        Thanks so much! I found Patak’s Madras Curry paste at the supermarket and used that.

        Reply
  • Trish
    December 6, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Girrrrrrl, this dinner is my JAM! I’m in love with all things curry AND 30 minutes or less. I would have been one very happy friend at that Friendsgiving. I’m popping this on my to-make list!

    Reply
  • Holly
    December 6, 2018 at 8:49 am

    What a hearty and warm meal for a cold winter’s evening! The colors are vibrant and your dish sounds so flavorful. Can’t wait to try it! Pinned and yummed so I have the recipe for later.

    Reply
  • Lisa
    December 5, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    5 stars
    I was just thinking about what to make for dinner tonight and came across your post. I’ve checked my pantry and I have everything, but spinach for this luscious looking curry. I’m wondering if I could substitute kale for the spinach, if I blanched and drained it first. Think it would be ok?

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      December 5, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      Hey Lisa!
      I totally think that would work. I often swap one for the other in soups and curries. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  • Debra
    December 3, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    5 stars
    Love how quick and simple this is. I would definitely make this during the busy week and be so happy to have left overs for lunch the next day. I’m always looking for more one pot healthy meals that are vegetarian, yet offer complete nutrition. Wonderful recipe.

    Reply
  • Gloria
    December 3, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    5 stars
    I happen to always have chickpeas in the cupboard. What a great “meatless” meal. We love curries of all kinds. Coconut milk makes them so delicious. I need to give this delicious recipe a try soon. I know hubby would love it too.

    Reply

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