What is chickpea curry and how can you make it?

How To Make Chickpea Curry


January 20, 2022

If you feel like cooking a delicious curry but you don’t have meat in the house or you’re not sure how to go about making a plant-based, healthy, yet satisfying curry, don’t worry.

We’ve got you covered with a chickpea curry recipe.

What is chickpea curry?

This type of curry makes chickpeas the base of the dish, so it can be vegan or vegetarian. The great thing about this curry is that there are many variations of it.

With that in mind, here’s what to know about chickpea curry (and curry in general), why chickpeas are healthy, and how you can try different ways to perfect your homemade chickpea curry so it’s full of flavor. 

What Is Curry? 

What Is Curry?

Curry can refer to the curry powder you buy from the grocery store or the actual curry dish, which is creamy, spicy, and usually enjoyed with a side dish such as rice or naan

The interesting thing about curry is that it means different things in different regions of the world, such as China, India, Japan, and Thailand.

However, it has become a general term for a dish that’s seasoned, contains a protein, and has a sauce. 

What Is Chickpea Curry? 

Chickpea Curry As a alternative to meat based curry

Chickpea curry is a fantastic alternative to meat-based curry. It makes use of filling and satisfying chickpeas and cooks them with a variety of healthy and delicious ingredients, such as tomatoes, spices, onions, and fresh herbs.

While sometimes beans are the star of a curry, using chickpeas is a refreshing alternative so that vegan nights at your home don’t have to become boring if you like to eat curries regularly. 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Chickpeas? 

Chickpeas are packed with healthy ingredients. Let’s take a look at them.  

  • Chickpeas are a great source of protein, with one cup of cooked chickpeas containing 14.5 grams of protein. This is a good contribution to your daily protein requirements, bearing in mind that women need around 46 grams of protein per day while men require 56 grams. Protein is beneficial because it makes you feel fuller for longer and it’s good for your bones and muscles. 
  • Chickpeas are a low glycemic index food, so they don’t make your blood sugar spike after consumption. This also makes them safe to consume if you’re diabetic.
  • Chickpeas contain soluble fiber. This is a type of fiber that mixes with water and it boosts the amount of healthy bacteria in the gut. 
  • Chickpeas are good for the heart. This is because they contain minerals such as potassium and magnesium, both of which prevent high blood pressure
  • Chickpeas contain iron. One cup of chickpeas gives you about 26 percent of your daily requirement of iron. This is necessary for brain development, physical growth, and red blood cell production. 
  • Chickpeas are a highly versatile food as they can be enjoyed in a variety of meals, such as sandwiches, salads, hummus, and soups. 

What Curry To Use In Chickpea Curry 

Curry powder with cinnamon and black pepper

When making chickpea curry, you can add the curry in different forms. 

For example, one recipe makes use of dhana jeera powder which is a blend of cumin seeds, spices, and coriander seeds, as well as garam masala, which is a spice blend that’s popular in Indian curries.

It contains cinnamon, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, mace, and peppercorns. The recipe also makes use of green chili paste and red chili powder to add a punch of flavor.

In a different recipe for chana masala, which is an Indian curry that contains chickpeas, you’ll add curry in the form of garam masala and ingredients such as ground cumin, turmeric, coriander, black mustard seeds, and ginger to give you a dish that’s full of flavor. 

For increased convenience, you can also use curry powder in recipes. This is a store-bought blend that contains turmeric as a base and ingredients like ginger, cloves, cardamom, caraway, nutmeg, dried basil, poppy seeds, saffron, and cinnamon. 

Simple Chickpea Curry Recipe 

Recipe for simple chickpeas curry

Right, now that we’ve looked at chickpea curry in a bit more detail, here’s an easy chickpea curry recipe you can make at home tonight.

What’s great about it is that you cook it all in one pot and it makes use of many ingredients you’ll probably already have at home. It’s also quick to make, so it’s perfect for weeknights. 

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1 medium onion (sliced) 
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced) 
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (crushed) 
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 can coconut milk 
  • 2 cans chickpeas (drained, rinsed) 


  1. In a large pot, heat your oil on medium-low heat on the stove. 
  2. Add the garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes. 
  3. Cook the blend and stir it regularly until the onion is gold in color and soft. 
  4. Add the curry powder and cumin. Stir well until the ingredients are toasted. 
  5. Now, add the crushed tomatoes and pour in the coconut milk. 
  6. Add the chickpeas and stir well. 
  7. Reduce the temperature to a lower heat so the curry can simmer. You want to do this until the sauce becomes thick and the chickpeas are soft. 
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can serve the curry with naan or rice. 

Chickpea Curry Variations 

There are many different ways in which you can make tasty chickpea curry at home.

This is thanks to the versatility of chickpeas and how they work with a variety of flavors and ingredients. Here are some variations to try at home. 

Chickpea and coconut curry

Chickpeas with coconut milk

Coconut milk is a healthy and delicious addition to a chickpea curry. This recipe contains other nutritious ingredients that will elevate your vegetarian curry, such as squash and spinach.

Coconut milk is traditionally a staple in curry because it gives a sweetness to the dish so that its spices become beautifully balanced.

Saag chana masala

This type of chickpea curry makes use of green and red chilies that give extra spiciness to the dish. Their flavors are further enhanced by the use of garam masala and chili powder.

To make it more nutritious, the recipe contains spinach for increased vitamins and fiber. 

Vegan chickpea curry

If you want to cut out all animal-based products from your curry, this vegan chickpea curry recipe will tick all the right boxes – you’ll get a delicious and healthy dish.

This recipe contains chickpeas, garlic, onion, ginger root, curry powder, cumin, turmeric powder, full-fat coconut milk, tomato paste, and coconut flour to make it creamier. It’s easy to make and you can personalize it by substituting ingredients you don’t have. 

Gobi Masala 

Gobi Masala

Cauliflower is common in Indian food because it lends itself to various flavors without taking over the entire dish. It’s also healthy as it’s low in carbs but high in fiber. Gobi masala is basically a cauliflower curry.

This recipe contains onion, garlic, ginger, yogurt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, bay leaf, fenugreek leaves, caraway seeds, and low-fat cream. It’s a creamy, spicy curry you’ll love, whether you’re on a vegetarian diet or not. 

What is curry powder vs curry paste?

Curry powder is a dry blend of spices and other ingredients while a curry paste is made with fresh ingredients. It can also be blended with oil. 

Can you eat chickpeas every day?

Chickpeas contain protein and fiber which makes them healthy but in large amounts they could cause problems with digestion, such as bloating and gas. 

Can you eat canned chickpeas raw?

Canned chickpeas can be eaten straight from the can or thrown into meals. This is because they aren’t raw but pre-cooked.

Generally, you shouldn’t eat raw chickpeas because, like other pulses, they can contain toxins that are difficult to digest. 


If you want to make curry without any meat in it, you should try making it with chickpeas.

These are tasty and healthy, plus they’re versatile to use with a variety of other ingredients, such as spinach and cauliflower. 

In this article, we’ve given you information about how to make a simple chickpea curry, as well as featured recipe variations for creative cooking at home.



Tamara is an avid foodie and successful restaurateur. She has dedicated a large chunk of her life to researching healthy food recipes and diet plans, and also teaching people how to improve their eating habits. Using Eatomology, Tamara shares the very best diet plans, cookbooks, and more. Also, for those on a quest to improve their kitchen, Tamara shares some awesome and high-quality kitchen equipment recommendations as well as buying guides on her website.