Mar 22, 2019

Chickpea Coconut Curry

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
In this recipe chickpeas are stewed in a creamy coconut sauce made from a homemade curry paste base.

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In this recipe chickpeas are stewed in a creamy coconut sauce made from a homemade curry paste base. The dish is served with a side of naan and fragrant herbs like Thai basil and cilantro. I like to squeeze a little bit of lime juice onto the bread before scooping up the curry. For some added vegetables try stirring in some sautéed spinach as well.

This is my version of the chickpea curry dish at my favorite restaurant in Santa Monica, Cassia. The restaurant serves Southeast Asian cuisine in an open building surrounded by white marble and high ceilings. Cassia is my go-to spot for date nights with my husband Aaron. The restaurant has occupied the same location for the five years we have lived up the street in Santa Monica. It’s our “old faithful” restaurant. There have been plenty of times that we had a reservation at another restaurant and rather than branching out and trying someplace new we instead went with our comfort spot – the place where we have tried every dish on the menu.

Chickpea Coconut Curry

 

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Chickpeas – Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans add texture and protein to this recipe while keeping it vegetarian. Using canned chickpeas in this recipe cuts down on the prep time in this recipe. Swapping with dried chickpeas requires a bit more foresight since they need to be soaked for a long period of time then boiled.
  • Madras Curry Powder – This versatile earthy spice blend is made from coriander, cumin, fenugreek, cassia, peppercorns, curry leaves and turmeric. Not all curry powder is created the same since they often have regional variations. 
  • Fresno peppers – Fresnos can be difficult to find sometimes, they are in peak season in late summer through early fall. While the flavor of jalapeños are similar, making the swap can change the color of the dish. I would recommend substituting Fresno or red chili paste (look for one with no other added ingredients) it can be found in grocery stores in a tube located with the fresh spices.
  • Coconut milk – Coconut comes from the creamy liquid inside mature coconuts. While frequently used in place of dairy, it adds a subtle coconut flavor to this vegetarian (and vegan) curry.
  • Lemongrass – Adding lemongrass to the stew adds a bright, lemony flavor. The stalks are kept whole in this recipe and discarded after curry has cooked.
  • Kefir lime leaves -Lime leaves are frequently used in Southeast Asian cooking to add bright, citrus flavor and can be found at most Asian markets. They freeze well so I like to buy a few packages and keep them around to use as needed. If you cannot locate makrut or kefir lime leaves then a combination of half lime zest and half lemon zest works as a substitute.

 

Chickpea Coconut Curry recipe from cooking with cocktail rings in pot

How to Make Chickpea Coconut Curry

  1. Make the curry paste. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, chilies, curry powder and sugar to a blender or food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Puree until the mixture is smooth. The mixture can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days ahead of time.
  2. Fry the curry paste. Heat a large heavy bottomed-pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through. Stir in the curry paste and fry, stirring frequently to prevent from burning, until the curry paste darkens in color slightly.
  3. Add the coconut milk. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes then add the coconut milk, lemongrass and lime leaves (if using).
  4. Cook the curry. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the broth thickens slightly, about 30 minutes.
  5. Add the chickpeas. Season with salt then add the chickpeas, and cook until the chickpeas are tender, about an additional. Remove the lemongrass stalk and lime leaves and discard (if using) then stir in the lime zest.
  6. Serve. Divide chickpea curry among bowls and garnish with the cilantro. Serve with the Thai basil (optional), lime wedges and naan.

 

Chickpea Coconut Curry recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

How to Serve This Recipe

  • With warmed naan
  • Over rice
  • Add spinach for additional vegetables

 

Other Recipes to Try

 

Chickpea Coconut Curry

chickpeas in a coconut curry broth in a small bowl served on a white platter with a side of naan and limes and thai basil
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the curry paste:

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 fresno chilies (or red jalapeños), deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons madras curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar (or light brown sugar)

For assembly:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 3 13.5-ounce cans coconut milk
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, halved lengthwise and smashed
  • 3 kefir lime leaves (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas , rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Thai basil leaves (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Naan, for serving

Instructions:

For the curry paste:

  • Add the onion, ginger, garlic, chilies, curry powder and sugar to a blender or food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Puree until the mixture is smooth. The mixture can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days ahead of time.

For assembly:

  • Heat a large heavy bottomed-pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through. Add the curry paste and fry, stirring frequently to prevent from burning, until the curry paste darkens in color slightly, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes then add the coconut milk, lemongrass and lime leaves (if using).
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the broth thickens slightly, about 30 minutes.
  • Season with salt then add the chickpeas, and cook until the chickpeas are tender, about an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the lemongrass stalk and lime leaves and discard (if using) then stir in the lime zest.
  • Divide chickpea curry among bowls and garnish with the cilantro. Serve with the Thai basil (optional), lime wedges and naan.

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