This easy, fragrant and creamy coconut chickpea curry is not only a delicious plant based meal, but packed full of veggies – not that you’d know!
Mini Jones is going through a phase of picking every bit of onion – and whatever other vegetable is out of favour that particular day – out of every dish I made. So, I wondered, if I blended the onion together with a few other vegetables into a smooth sauce; would he eat it? He did! He also wolfed down a bowlful of the sauce mixed with chickpeas and spinach. That, I reasoned, was a firm win – and one I wanted to share with you.
Although I do want Mini Jones to recognise he is eating vegetables, I am picking my battles carefully. We have just entered the ‘Terrible Twos’ and battles seem to be a part of every day. All day…
For the curry sauce, I saute onion and spices, and then soften vegetables (celery, capsicum/bell pepper, carrot and tomatoes) before adding spices. I then blend until smooth and stir through coconut milk; and the ‘Hidden Vegetable Curry Sauce,’ is made!
I initially used up some very tired looking vegetables sat in the fridge, including some squishy cherry tomatoes. I have since also made it with tinned tomatoes and it worked just as well. I imagine if you had some zucchini, different coloured capsicums/bell peppers – whatever you needed to use up, it would be just as tasty.
This chickpea curry – hidden veggies or no hidden veggies – is also a fantastic dish to make if you are trying to eat more plant based dishes, or do Meatless Monday. It doesn’t taste at all “plant based”, making it perfect to slip into your weekly meal plan. Even if you have been eating plant based for years or if, like me, you just love chickpeas, I encourage you to make it! The coconut milk adds a richness to the curry, so it feels much more decadent than it actually is.
Can I freeze chickpea curry?
Yes, separate into containers and freeze for up to three months.
You can also freeze the sauce on it’s own, without adding the chickpeas, and use it at a later date over tofu, chicken or more vegetables.
Can I make this ahead of time?
This curry can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, so makes the perfect healthy midweek meal as you can just heat and serve. I actually do prefer it the day or two after it is made, as being kept in the fridge overnight gives the flavours a chance to develop.
What to serve with this coconut chickpea curry:
Over a pile of fluffy rice is the obvious one. Also, naan or chapatis are great if you are really in a rush as they take a few seconds to warm under a grill.
I also like to serve it with a sprinkling of toasted cashews over the top as a lighter option.
Have a look at these delicious recipes to serve with your curry:
Quick and Easy Yoghurt Flatbreads from Cook It Real Good – made from just 3 ingredients!
Simple Garlic Naan Recipe from Sprinkles And Sprouts – which really is simple, and freezable!
Fresh Peach Chutney from It’s Not Complicated Recipes – a wonderful way to use fresh peaches
Coconut Chickpea Curry
1 Onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cm Ginger, grated
1 stick celery
1 red or green capsicum/pepper, roughly chopped
1 carrot, grated
4 tomatoes – either fresh or tinned
1 tsp Curry powder
½ tsp ground cumin
4-5 tbsp water
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
2 x 420g tin Chickpeas
Couple handfuls of baby Spinach
Handful Mushrooms, sauted,to serve (optional)
Fry the onion in the olive oil over a low heat for 5-10 minutes until soft.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute before adding the capsicum and carrot. Cook over low heat, covered, until soft - around 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, water, curry powder and ground cumin and simmer for another 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened – you may need to add a little more water if it gets too thick (but be aware you are going to add coconut milk so don’t make it too runny).
Take off the heat and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan and add the coconut milk. Stir well before adding the chickpeas.
Bring to a simmer – don’t boil - and heat gently for 5 minutes, until the chickpeas are warmed through through. Stir in the spinach a minute before serving.
(I also like to saute a few sliced mushrooms in olive oil until golden and stir them through just before serving, but this step is purely optional!)