This Chickpea Vegetable Curry is what meat-free dreams are made of. Hearty chickpeas are simmered in a super easy red curry and coconut sauce until they’re soft and infused with the rich flavor. The saucy chickpeas are served over a bed of jasmine rice studded with golden raisins, crunchy cashews, and lots of chopped cilantro.
Chickpea Vegetable Curry
Coming from a non-vegetarian, you MUST make this Chickpea Vegetable Curry, regardless of your meat-eating stance. Chickpea vegetable curry is perfect for those nights when you want a semi-fancy dinner, that’s delicious, but really don’t want to put in much effort.
Chickpea vegetable curry is…
- Slightly sweet.
- SWIMMING in luscious coconut red curry sauce.
- And it’s everything I could ever want in a comfort dish, without the meat.
Oh, and it’s actually pretty good for you. Another win. We need a few of those as of late.
We basically have two things going on in one. Coconut curry chickpeas and an equally delicious, yet simple, jasmine rice studded with raisins, cashews and cilantro. Let’s do this.
If you’ve been around here for a while, then you know, coconut curry dishes are no stranger to us. Some of my all-time favorite dishes on the blog involve coconut curry, this Vegetable Coconut Curry Soup (also meatless!), these Coconut Curry Meatballs, and this Coconut Curry Risotto are probably my top three, but there are so many others.
While they are all very different in terms of protein and ingredients, they DO all have one thing in common.
Red curry paste.
Many recipes call for curry powder or other forms of curry, but my very favorite way to add in a little curry to dishes is with red curry paste.
First off, it’s easy to work with – really easy – stir it in, and let it work its magic on just about anything.
Second, it adds a lovely subtle spice both in terms of level of heat and the actual assortment of spices.
Third, it lasts FOREVER. If I didn’t make curry dishes all the time, it would last in the fridge for close to a year. Which also makes this meal something perfect for all those pantry staple dinners we’re all in desperate need of. Between the canned chickpeas, rice, and coconut milk, virtually every ingredient this recipe calls for is something that’s going to last in your pantry or fridge for many many months.
Ingredients in Chickpea Vegetable Curry
Coconut oil. You could really use any oil, but whenever I make curry, I always like to use coconut oil as the fat. Peanut, canola, or even sesame oil will also work.
Onion and garlic.
Chickpeas. This recipe calls for two cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained.
Red curry paste. We’ve mentioned how much we love curry paste, and this is the kind we use. But we haven’t addressed the bigger question. What is in red curry paste? It’s actually a combination of red bell pepper paired with red chilies, garlic, ginger, and onion. Some versions also have notes of cumin, coriander or other spices, but each one is just a little bit different.
Coconut milk. I typically like to use light coconut milk, just to keep the fat and calories down a little bit, but feel free to use full-fat if that’s all you can get or have it on hand.
Jasmine rice. Normally I would never ever recommend instant rice, however, we are trying to make things quick and easy, so I am somewhat bashfully, telling you to pick up a box of five-minute jasmine rice. The fact that we are adding in plump golden raisins, salty crunchy cashews, and plenty of chopped cilantro, makes it a little bit more acceptable.
If you already have brown rice, white rice, or regular Jasmine rice on hand, then by all means, use what you’ve got.
How to make Chickpea Vegetable Curry
Cook the rice. Cook the rice as instructed on the package, but add in salt and a little bit of coconut oil. Once the rice is done cooking, stir in cilantro, raisins, and cashews. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and keep warm.
Sweat onions and garlic. While the rice steams, cook the onions and garlic over a low heat with a little bit of coconut oil. Add the chickpeas and red curry paste. Cook for a minute or two.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Stir in the coconut milk, brown sugar, peanut butter, and remaining salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce has thickened a little bit, it should take about 8-10 minutes.
Assemble. Spoon a little bit of the rice on to a plate. Cover with chickpeas. Drizzle sauce on top. Sprinkle with chopped cashews, raisins, and cilantro.
How can I make this Chickpea Vegetable Curry in advance?
This one is easy. Make the chickpea vegetable curry. Make the cashew and raisin rice. Cool them both completely. Store separately in two airtight container. Microwave both when you’re ready to eat.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- If you want to use regular jasmine rice, brown Jasmin rice, brown rice, white rice, or even quinoa, go for it!
- The crunch factor is one of my favorite parts of this chickpea vegetable curry, but you don’t have to use cashews. Peanut, macadamia nuts, or pine nuts would also work great.
- For an extra boost of veggies, sauté onion with bell peppers, baby corn, or mushrooms.
- For extra spice, add in more red curry paste or a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper.
- If you like your curry a little more on the sweeter side, add in more brown sugar.
Pretty things/tools used in today’s post
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups Minute Jasmine rice
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil, divided
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 - 14 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp red curry paste
- 14 oz light coconut milk
- 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews
- Large skillet
- Add water to a medium sauce pan with a lid. Bring a boil. Add the instant rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and cover with a lid. Remove from heat and let steam for five minutes.
- Heat a medium skillet to a medium-low heat. Add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Add onion. Sweat onions until slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic. Cook another minute.
- Add chickpeas and curry paste to the pan. Stir to combine and cook for one minute. Stir in coconut milk, peanut butter, brown sugar, and remaining salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until slightly thickned. thickened, about 10 minutes.
- While the chickpeas are simmering, fluff the rice with a fork and add remaning coconut oil, cilantro, raisins and cashews. Toss to combine. Season rice with salt and pepper.
- When you're ready to serve, spoon rice on to plates or in bowls. Spoon the chickpeas on top. Drizzle with sauce. Sprinkle with extra cashews and cilantro if desired.