This creamy vegan chickpea curry is a delicious dish that is bursting with flavours from fragrant aromatics and a medley of spices. This recipe is a twist on conventional curry by excluding coconut milk, resulting in a lighter version that is perfect for those who avoid coconut products or just don’t like the taste of it.
It’s really easy to make and perfect for your weekly meal rotation, as it serves six! It’s a budget-friendly, nutritious and super tasty way to enjoy a plant-based protein-packed ingredient.
What makes this chickpea curry so good?
- Creamy texture thanks to the cashew sauce
- Budget-friendly ingredients
- Easy to make
- Nutritious and satisfying
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
- Perfect for those avoiding coconut-based products
- Great meal prep option
This recipe was originally intended to be a 30-minute meal, but to make a flavourful curry, it does take a little longer for all the aromatics and spices to develop and deepen in flavour. This is why I make big batches of curry, so we can have leftovers as the dish gets better with age.
What ingredients are used for this curry?
- Make sure to soak the cashews for the cashew sauce in room-temperature water for at least 2 hours or in boiling water (as mentioned in the recipe) for 20 minutes to soften them. Otherwise, you may end up with very small chunks of cashew in your curry, and it won’t be as thick and creamy.
- Adding the spices at the right time plays a big role in how the dish will end up tasting. For example, cooking down the aromatics (onion, garlic, ginger and chilli) and then adding most of the spices will create a great base for any curry.
- If it’s not tomato season where you are, I would avoid using fresh tomatoes as the flavour just won’t be there. You can instead use a can of chopped tomatoes in their place.
Variations of this dish
- If you’re not avoiding coconut products, you can swap the cashew sauce for 1 can of coconut milk. Add it in at the same time as the chickpeas and let it simmer.
- Add vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkin (squash), peas, broccoli, zucchini, or spinach to this curry to add more nutrients. I’ve kept it as a simple chickpea curry recipe so that you’ve got a great base to work with.
- You can adjust the spice level according to your preference. If one green chilli is too spicy for you, start with half and see how you like it. You can always add fresh sliced chilli at the end when serving.
- We really like adding a big dollop of plain unsweetened coconut yoghurt at the end. It balances the heat in the curry and adds another dimension of flavour to the dish.
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This curry can be stored as part of meal prep or frozen to be enjoyed later when you need a quick midweek comforting dinner. Here’s how:
- Fridge – You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. It is important to ensure that the container is sealed tightly to maintain the freshness and quality of the curry and that your fridge doesn’t smell like a curry as well.
- Freezer – To freeze it for later use, divide it among airtight containers, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top to allow for expansion during freezing. Label the containers with the date and contents, then place them in the freezer. Use within a couple of months of storing.
When you’re ready to enjoy, just thaw it out in the fridge overnight or on the bench for a few hours before reheating.
- Serve the vegan chickpea curry over cooked rice with warm naan or roti.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for added freshness.
- Don’t want to eat it with rice? Use other grains like quinoa, millet or brown rice.
- For a refreshing twist, serve the curry over a bed of fresh spinach leaves or mixed greens.
- Top the curry with a dollop of vegan yogurt or coconut cream for added creaminess.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted cashews or sliced almonds for extra crunch and texture.
- Pair the curry with a side of roasted vegetables, such as cauliflower, carrots, or Brussels sprouts, for a nutritious and colourful plate.
- Add a touch of heat with a drizzle of your favourite hot sauce or a sprinkle of red chilli flakes.
- Serve with a side of homemade pickles or chutney for a tangy and flavourful accompaniment.
Love Indian food? Some more delicious recipes.
- Creamy Red Lentil Curry
- Matar Paneer with Tofu
- Dal Makhani (Black Lentil Dal)
- Palak Paneer with Sweet Potato
- Cauliflower Potato Curry with Coconut Milk
- Smashed Curry Roasted Potatoes