This chickpea curry is an adaptation of this chicken curry recipe I learned to make while working at Fork in Philadelphia many years ago. In place of 8 bone-in chicken thighs, I’ve swapped in two cans of drained chickpeas.
A few notes:
- I have only ever made this recipe with canned chickpeas, but if you wish to cook the chickpeas from scratch, here are two methods I love: Simple Slow Cooker Chickpeas (I make these often) and How to Cook Chickpeas From Scratch.
- Thai red curry paste. Maesri is the brand I buy at the Asian market. You can find it online, too. I use roughly 1.5 tablespoons for this recipe, which makes the curry spicy but not outrageously so. If you are sensitive to heat, start with a tablespoon and adjust the sauce with more at the end.
- Fish sauce: To keep this recipe vegetarian (vegan actually), simply omit it. You’ll likely need to add a bit more salt to the cooking liquid.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 to 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (see notes above)
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes (canned) or 3 to 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can (13.5 oz) unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce, optional, see notes above
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked chickpeas, see notes above
- 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped, or more or less to taste
- cooked Basmati or Jasmine rice (or any rice you like)
- Heat oven to 400ºF.
- In a large sauté pan over hight heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, and immediately turn the heat to medium-low. Stir every so often, and cook until the onions soften and begin browning at the edges, about 5 minutes.
- Add the curry powder, turmeric, and Thai red curry paste to the onions, and stir until the onions are coated in the spices, about a minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. (If you are using fresh tomatoes, cook until they just begin to soften, about a minute.) Add the can of coconut milk. Fill up the empty can of coconut milk with water and add to the pan. Add the fish sauce, if using, and brown sugar to the pan and whisk to combine. At this point, I’ve been adding 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, but you may need more or less to taste depending on if you are using the fish sauce and the brand of curry paste you are using. I suggest bringing the mixture to a simmer, tasting it, then adding salt to taste. You can always add more at the end, too.
- Add the chickpeas and bring to a simmer. Transfer the pan to the oven uncovered and cook for 35 to 40 minutes — the liquid will reduce considerably but depending on how saucy you want it, you may want to cook it for more or less time. Note: If you make this ahead, you will need to add more water upon reheating.
- Add cilantro and stir. Taste. Adjust with salt to taste. Spoon rice into bowls. Top with the chickpeas and sauce, and serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: American, Thai
Keywords: chickpeas, curry, red curry paste, coconut milk