Chickpeas Curry

Chickpea Curry
A friend asked me for a recipe with chickpeas, and how could I resist?After all, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are only my favorite legumes in the whole world. Not only are they delicious and healthy, of course, but the texture and taste are hearty enough to satisfy any palate- even that of the most die-hard meat-eater.I wanted to make something more special, though, than a chhole or a hummus, the dishes I tend to cook most often with chickpeas. So I did something decadent- I put together my three most favorite ingredients in one dish. Chickpeas, coconut and potatoes. Can food get any better?

You will need garam masala for this dish, and while I already have one recipe for garam masala on my blog, I made it slightly differently here so I am going to give you that recipe too. But feel free to use store-bought if you don’t want to go to the extra trouble.

This dish would make for a very special dinner, paired with something like my raisin and nut pilaf or even with rotis or chapatis.


Chickpeas Curry
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked for at least 2 hours, then cooked until tender. {It's fine to use canned. Substitute with 2½ cups canned chickpeas and drain and rinse thoroughly before using).
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced, plus 1 tomato, sliced for garnish
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced and cooked until tender. (I just bung them in the microwave for about 4 minutes after dicing, with about ½ cup water)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 cup light coconut milk (if using regular, halve the quantity)
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • 1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Garam masala ingredients:
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1-inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  1. Roast the garam masala ingredients in a dry skillet over medium-low heat about 5 minutes or until the spices smell fragrant. Remove to a plate, cool, then powder in a coffee grinder.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan.
  3. Add the onion and saute about 5 minutes over medium heat until the onions begin to caramelize slightly.
  4. Add the garlic and stir for another minute until the garlic no longer smells raw.
  5. Add the powdered spices- the turmeric, chili powder and all of the garam masala. Stir for another minute.
  6. Add the tomatoes. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until you see the oil beginning to separate, around five minutes.
  7. Add the potatoes and chickpeas and stir thoroughly. Add salt to taste.
  8. Let the mixture come to a boil, turn down the heat,and simmer for another 5 minutes. Mash some of the chickpeas and poatoes with the back of a ladle to thicken the sauce.
  9. Add the coconut milk and turn off the heat. Stir the coconut milk in.
  10. Add the cilantro and tomatoes for garnish. Spritz with some lemon. Serve hot!
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  1. says

    hi Vaishali!!thankx for dropping by…..that led to my coming have an absolutely wonderful blog with appetizing dishes and snaps:))

  2. says

    Chickpeas are forever so much more than diamonds can ever hope to be. This is a blissful recipe, Vaishali. I’m mad about chickpeas, too.

    (P.S. Haven’t forgotten about spreading the “Nice” around. I am very scattered lately due to sad and worrying news w/in the family — hard to focus now, but I will address in due time. Promise. )

  3. says

    Lavi, Saswati, Uma, Rupa: Thanks.

    Happy Cook- that’s a cute name your daughter came up with :)

    Siri- Hope you try it and like it. Let me know how it turned out!

    Dear Susan- I am keeping my fingers crossed that things work out for you and I wish you the very best. Don’t even worry about the award now- there’ll be plenty of time for it later.

  4. says

    I made this tonight with the naan bread and invited some of my non-vegan family members over to try it. They LOVED it! And so do I, of course. All of your recipes are divine. Seriously…have not had a bad one yet!

  5. says

    I made two changes and this recipe worked like a beauty. From a chickpea-hating person I have turned into a chickpea-lover thanks to this one. First change was I dry-roasted coconut powder and added it (very Maharashtrian-like) since I didn’t have access to coconut cream. Secondly I used ready-to-use chana masala because I have no access to a grinder or a pestle and mortar. They tasted heavenly!
    Only thing was that chana still upset my stomach. So I was wondering how to know that chana has been fully cooked. Does the skin come off? Next time I’m also going to add ajwain (Bishop’s weed) while boiling them so as to avoid stomach issues.
    Thanks for the delicious recipe!!! :)

    • says

      Hi Deepti, glad you liked the curry. Adding roasted coconut is a good idea– most Indian recipes do that, but I sub with coconut milk very often because I don’t easily get fresh coconut here.
      Beans and legumes like chickpeas can cause a lot of gas, especially if you aren’t used to eating them frequently. You can avoid that to some extent by soaking your chickpeas overnight and then throw away the draining water and wash them thoroughly before cooking. The best way, however, is to eat beans more frequently so your body gets used to the fiber. You might want to check with your doctor if you have an allergy that might be causing the discomfort. Also, eating undercooked chickpeas can cause stomach discomfort. Make sure that the chickpea, after cooking, is mashable– it mashes when you squeeze between your thumb and forefinger, and doesn’t have a bite to it when you eat. Well cooked chickpeas should be tender and creamy.

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