This Thai inspired creamy vegan chickpea curry is one of my favourite dishes ever! Spicy, creamy and tangy at the same time – a true party for your taste buds. Very easy to make, this dish also freezes really well so it’s a great dish to meal prep for your weekly lunches.
I made this dish numerous times and used a few different vegetables each time but I must say that the crunchy Asian mix goes really well with the creaminess of this curry. Although it is creamy, this vegan chickpea curry is 100% vegan and is a bit spicy I must admit. But as it is Thai inspired it couldn’t be any other way.
Ingredients are, in my opinion easily accessible and also fully customizable.
So what will you need to make this recipe?
- 250g of cooked or canned chickpeas.
- 250g of mixed Asian vegetables. I got some canned bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and some grated carrots. Those can be purchased in most larger supermarkets but if this is not possible for you, it can be easily replaced with some frozen veggie mix or some red and yellow peppers for example.
- 2 small or one large onion.
- 3 cloves of garlic
- half a teaspoon of ginger powder or fresh ginger (a size of a thumbnail)
- 2 heaped tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 heaped tablespoons of red Thai curry paste
- half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
- half a teaspoon of ground coriander
- salt and pepper to taste
- half a cup of warm water
- olive oil for frying
- half a lime
- a can of coconut milk
- a handful of fresh spinach or other greens (optional)
As with all curries – the spices are the key to achieve a great taste. Turmeric is fabulous in curries and also has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is bar far the most magical ingredients out there – with its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and many more properties. Corriander is full of immune-boosting antioxidants. Garlic is well known as potentially being a natural antibiotic.
But most importantly all these ingredients combined together just taste so good!
The whole dish comes together in just under one hour and serves around 3 to 4 portions.
I like using dried chickpeas. The taste and quality seem to work better for me. However, if you choose to do the same – the peas need to be soaked for at least 4 hours (or overnight) and then cooked for around one hour.
Purchasing dried over canned chickpeas have lots of benefits. Firstly it is much cheaper as once soaked and cooked you get much more for your money (from 200g of died product you will gain around 500g of cooked one). Then, of course, you can cook them to your liking and depending on what are you going to use them for – softer or firmer. Storage is a good point as well – its easier to store one small bag of dried chickpeas the 4 cans of them.
But many of us are intimidated by buying dried legumes but let me assure you – it’s super easy to prepare them.
So how do you cook dried chickpeas? Preferably soak overnight (minimum 6 hours). It takes no effort at all - for one part of dried product pour 4 parts of cold filtered water. Set aside. Chickpeas should at least triple in volume. Ones soaked - drain and rinse. Cook in a pot with triple amount of water, add salt and bring to boil. Simmer over medium heat. Often whilst cooking, peas will produce a bit of a foam swimming on top. It is absolutely normal - just skim it with the spoon and continue cooking. After around 45 minutes you can start checking on your chickpeas. Basically pick one up and taste it. At this point, they should be perfectly fine to eat.I would say for curries, chillies or salads - just under one hour of cooking time should be just fine. For hummus or other dips or pastes - I would prolong cooking up to 1/h so the chickpeas are really soft.
Ones your legumes are ready – the curry will come by in no time.
- Slice onion and fry with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil until lightly caramelised. We will add spices early in the cooking process as this will enhance their flavour. This process is called ‘blooming’ since it helps extract all the flavours. Add salt, pepper, turmeric and ground coriander first. Stir for one minute. Then add chopped garlic and ginger. Stir for another minute.
- Make sure you keep stirring so the species don’t burn – add a touch more of oil if needed.
- Now add tomato paste. Fry while stirring for around a minute or so and then slowly pour the boiled water. Stir vigorously. Add Thai paste.
- Fry this mixture for a short period of time and then add the chickpeas into the pan. Stir while making sure the peas are covered thoroughly with the sauce mixture. Simmer for around 5 minutes.
- Now add the canned vegetables. Those don’t need much cooking so we can add them towards the end yet we want them to absorb all the flavours. Cook for around 5 minutes. Squeeze half a lime in. Simmer for another 5 minutes. It is fine to add a bit more water if the sauce becomes too dry. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If the red Thai sauce you’ve used wasn’t overly hot – now you can add a pinch of chilly flakes or sliced chilli peppers. But do taste it first 🙂
- Finally pour the coconut milk. One can is fine – it will make it super creamy, velvety and deliciously coconutty!
- Optionally add some greens towards the very end. I like adding a handful of spinach or beet leaves – but this time I sprinkled some sliced green jalapenos. Spinach goes really well though – I highly recommend it.
Serve with rice or bread of your liking. And voila! Your creamy vegan chickpea curry is ready!
As always – I am looking forward to your comments. Please add a photo as well 🙂 Bon Apetit!