Easy Vegetarian / Vegan Chickpea Curry Recipe

Chickpea Curry Recipe

The weather turned cold and rainy, so I turned to a lonely can of chickpeas in my cupboard. I never used to care for the texture of chickpeas, but over the past few years, I’ve come to love chickpeas. When used as the protein in this vegetarian / vegan curry, the garbanzos add a creamy texture that’s perfect with brown rice.

And, not only is this curry delicious, it’s economical. I stock up on cans of chickpeas when they go on sale so this quick meal is always ready to go. From start to finish, it only takes 20-30 minutes before it’s on the table. You could also make this with  dried garbanzo beans.

The BBC gets credit for the recipe, and I’ve only slightly adjusted it. In the photo above, you’ll see that I added a plentiful handful of fresh cilantro just before serving. The bright cilantro flavor is perfect with the spicy curry.

For added vegetable content, I’ve also made this recipe with a few handfuls of baby spinach stirred in at the end, just so the heat wilts it.

Chickpea Curry Recipe

adapted from the the BBC website
Serves 2

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minched
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water (or slightly more)
1 fresh tomato diced
1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated (or finely minced)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or Swerve substitute), lightly packed
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 handfuls fresh baby spinach (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and garlic, frying until onions caramelize. Next, add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, red pepper flakes and salt. Fry for one minute to lightly toast the spices.

Add the water and diced tomato. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add chickpea and stir to combine. Using a fork, mash about 1/3 of the chickpeas. Cover the pan and simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Stir in ginger, brown sugar, garam masala and fresh cilantro (and/or a few handfuls of spinach). Serve over rice and enjoy!

This curry can be made a day ahead and it also freezes well. I made a double batch and froze some for a future quick dinner.

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  1. Chickpea curry sounds great! I always seem to have plenty of chickpeas around for sprouting. In fact I think I’ll try this recipe with sprouted chickpeas, just to add a bit more healthiness into the mixture :) Thanks!!

  2. I love chickpeas especially! My sister and I are vegetarian, and my family are Muslim (so they can only eat halal meat), so we rarely have meat at home. Chickpeas are so tasty and so easily made into a meal the whole family will agree to eat (my mum balks at tofu). We usually buy them in large amounts (6-10 regular size cans) from Asian supermarkets because it’s much cheaper, and have them mixed with brown rice, tomatoes, veggie mince, onions and biryani spices.

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