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Spoon tucked into a bowl of rice and chickpea curry.

Chickpea Coconut Curry

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Indian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan


This Chickpea Coconut Curry takes 30 minutes to make, but is loaded with flavorful whole spices and creamy coconut. Naturally vegan, gluten free and the perfect easy weeknight vegan dinner recipe.


  • 2 tsp neutral oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ red or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 34 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala 
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup red lentils, rinsed well
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 12 bay leaves
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. Warm your oil in a pan and add in cumin seeds. Move your cumin seeds around and allow to toast and bloom for about a minute.
  2. Add the onions to the pan with a pinch of salt and continue to sauté until softened.
  3. Stir in the garlic, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, black pepper and salt and sauté well until fragrant.
  4. To the pan, stir in the crushed tomatoes along with the chickpeas and red lentils then top with your bay leaves.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk, water, and vegetable bouillon cube and stir well to combine.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until red lentils have fully cooked.
  7. Give the mixture a good and adjust salt and pepper to taste, then serve with rice and a squeeze of lemon.


The longer your curry sits, the thicker it will get due to the starches within the beans and lentils. If you like your curry to be a little looser, feel free to stir in a few splashes of vegetable broth.

If you can, try to opt for whole spices for this dish, especially the cumin. Whole spices tend to retain their flavor much better than pre-ground spices in jars. While your curry will still be flavorful if you use ground spices, using whole spice will just take it up a notch. 

For an extra boost of iron absorption and flavor to the dish, add a squeeze of lemon juice when ready to serve. The vitamin C  in the lemon naturally helps to better absorb iron.