Indian Coconut Chickpea Curry with fresh spinach, a healthy and delicious meat-free curry that is full of flavours. Mild, but lightly spiced, this vegetable curry is so easy to make, and super quick too. Vegetarian and vegan friendly, but even meat lovers will enjoy it too.
I love curries of all sorts, but it's the first time I make one that is completely meat free. The curry sauce is pretty much the same like in this Indian Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk.
Chickpeas can be pretty bland on their own, although I still like them anyway. But this sauce makes them so flavourful, that it is hard to say that this dish is made with veggies only.
The fresh spinach adds not only colour, but also an interesting texture. I used carrots for their sweetness, and they work really well with the other ingredients, but sweet potatoes can be used instead too, I think that's quite a good combination.
I used canned chickpeas, which cuts the cooking time by quite a lot, the dish can be on the table in about half an hour.
If you use dried chickpeas, make sure you soak them beforehand, and boil them separately before adding them to the curry, otherwise they won't be tender enough by the time the sauce is cooked.
- chickpeas - canned and ready to use, just give them a good rinse with cold water
- fresh baby spinach - if you use large leaf spinach, just chop it up
- carrots - they give some nice colour and goodness
- onion - I use yellow onion, but red or shallots could do too
- garlic - as much or as little as you like
- oil - for frying the onion, I used vegetable oil
- spices - hot curry powder, turmeric, cumin and paprika
- chopped tomatoes
- coconut milk - use full fat milk here, as it's better and tastier than the light coconut milk
- vegetable stock - if you don't mind the curry not being vegetarian/vegan, you can go for chicken or beef stock too
You can add any other veggies you like to this dish, and because it's pretty mild, it goes well with kids too. So, perhaps veggies they enjoy most? Kale, peas, potatoes are a good addition here.
It's more of an Indian-style chickpea curry given that I used Indian spices that are common in traditional curries. Again, feel free to use more spices, and add some spiciness too. Cayenne or chilli peppers would be a great addition here.
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- heat up the oil, add the onion and fry until translucent
- add the chopped carrots and garlic, and fry for a further 1 minute
- add the spices and give it a good stir, leaving them to cook for 1 minute to release the flavour
- in go the chickpeas, coconut milk, canned chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock
- leave to cook with a lid on until the sauce is reduced and the vegetables are tender
- the spinach can be added now, no need to cook for longer than 5 minutes, as it wilts quickly
- season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat
What to serve with curry
Like with any good curry, basmati rice is my first choice. Good, fluffy rice that makes everything taste amazing. Or my pilau rice, which is nicely flavoured. But you can also go for other carbs like couscous, any flatbread or even mashed potatoes.
I didn't add any coriander or parsley, as the spinach did a pretty good job at adding colour, but you can add some for extra flavour. I'm one of those weird people who would rather not have coriander (cilantro), but it's a matter of choice here. If you like it, go for it!
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Coconut Chickpea Curry
- 2 tins cooked chickpeas (2 x 400 g, 2 x 13 oz)
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (400 g, 13 oz)
- 1 cup vegetable broth / stock
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach (about 100 g, 3 oz)
- 1 tablespoon hot curry powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Heat up the oil in a large pan.
- Peel and chop the onion, garlic and carrots.
- Fry the onion until translucent, then add the spices, and give it a good stir, then leave to cook for 1 minute.
- Add the carrots and garlic and cook for a further one minute, then in go the cooked chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and vegetable broth and leave to cook with the lid on until the sauce is reduced, and the vegetables are tender.
- Add the spinach and leave to cook for about 5 minutes until it wilts.
- Season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
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