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A RICH AND CREAMY CHICKPEA CURRY, WITH A GREAT DEPTH OF FLAVORS, SURPRISINGLY READY IN ONLY 10 MINUTES
I have a bit of a problem with this chickpea curry. I cook it ALL THE TIME!
And Dan is getting a bit tired of it lol! But I love it: this is my go-to weeknight meal, for many reasons!
It’s rich, spicy but not overpowering, filling and ready in no time. What’s not to like? Plus, it’s ideal for meal prep Sunday. You can cook a big batch and put it in the fridge or freezer and be done for the week. It’s rich in protein from the chickpeas and iron from the spinach. Plus it’s super cheap to make. A portion comes out at less than $2.
This is all it takes: heat some olive oil, add spices, add chopped onion and garlic, add chickpeas, add spinach! Done!
What spices do you need to make this chickpea curry?
After living in India for over a year, I’ve fallen in love with spices. I always loved cooking with herbs, and I know how much difference they can make to a dish. But I didn’t know much about the depth of flavor spices can add to simple ingredients and how they can turn anything into something incredibly exciting.
I am trying to make your life easy here (and mine too!). That’s why I selected only a few spices, easy to find anywhere:
- Garam masala
- Chili flakes
If you love hot food, you can experiment with a little more spices. My Indian friends might find this recipe a bit mild, but as I said before I eat this most weeks, and I love to get a bit of a kick from the spices without making it too hot.
If you are a big spice lover you can also add:
- A pinch of cinnamon
- Ground clove
- Black pepper
I normally use dry ground spices for this recipe, to keep it quick and simple. If you have fresh ginger, turmeric and chili at home feel free to use them. They’ll give your curry a fragrant aroma.
Other ingredients you will need to make this chickpea curry
This chickpea curry requires only a few ingredients. And you’ll be able to find most of them in your pantry and cupboards.
- Canned chickpeas
- Fresh spinach
- Coconut milk
- Spices (garam masala, turmeric, ginger, chili flakes)
- Olive Oil
This is all you need!
Meal prep it on Sunday!
Meal prep is super easy. Ideally, you want some carbs, some protein, add some vegetables and a bit of healthy fat. Guess what? This chickpea curry has it all. When I meal prep this on Sunday, I normally add some basmati rice and fresh spinach to make it more filling.
If you like the look of these glass meal prep containers, you can find them here.
Can I freeze this chickpea curry?
Oh yes! That’s what makes it ideal for meal prep. You can freeze this curry for up to 3 months (although I normally try to consume my frozen meals within one month, as I find they keep more flavor). You can also simply store it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Is this chickpea curry vegan?
Yep, this surry is naturally vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free!
Can I use any other ingredients?
The great thing about this curry is that you can add pretty much anything to it.
- If you don’t have fresh spinach, you can use frozen spinach. Or if you don’t like spinach try adding kale, Swiss chard or beet greens.
- You don’t have to use chickpeas. You can use any other type of beans. But chickpeas are one of my favorite legumes so I always use them!
- I normally eat this curry with basmati rice, flavored with some aromatic cardamom. But you can also eat it with some delicious naan bread. Or on its own.
- If you want to add more veggies, you can add sweet potatoes, cauliflower or aubergines. But it will take a bit longer to cook.
- A lot of chickpea curry recipes add canned tomato in the mix. You can too, but I prefer this curry without.
- If you like to add a bit more zest to your curry, try a splash of fresh lemon juice and some fresh coriander on top.
10-Minute Chickpea Curry
- 2 cans chickpeas 15 ounces per can, rinsed and drained
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 medium size onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 oz fresh baby spinach, uncooked (10 cups, loosely packed - you can use 10 oz frozen spinach instead of fresh)
- 4 lemon wedges (optional)
- Fresh coriander (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large pan. When the oil smoking hot lower the heat and add the spices (see additional notes below).
- After a few seconds add the chopped onions and the minced garlic.
- Once the onion and garlic are golden brown (around a minute) add the chickpeas and the coconut milk. Add salt to taste.
- Cook for 5 minutes then add the washed fresh spinach, stir well and cover.
- Let the spinach wilt for a couple of minutes. And it's ready to serve.
- You can add a splash of fresh lemon juice and some fresh copped coriander, if you like. But it's not essential.
- This curry is delicious with basmati rice or naan bread.
Yes, you could simply throw the spices into your curry after adding the coconut milk. But the secret to creating a wonderful aromatic curry is to fry the spices in the oil. This will enhance their original flavors, making them bolder and more intense, allowing them to infuse the rest of the ingredients with their aroma. But make sure you don’t burn them! Just let them fry with the onion for a minute or two, until you start to smell the intense curry fragrance.
This method of cooking spices is called Bhunooing and its purpose is to build the flavors of a dish gradually.
First, heat the oil to a high temperature, then lower it to medium heat. Add the spices, and after a few seconds add the chopped onions and then reduce the heat to low until the onions are gold in color. Bhunooing helps to create creamy, rich gravies, thanks to the slow extraction of essential oils from the spices and the gentle cooking of the onions until they are translucent and sweet.
This sort of base is especially delicious with curries, stews, and sauces.
Ready for a yummy chickpea curry?
Let me know what you think!
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