This vibrant Thai coconut chickpea curry is bold, fragrant and utterly delicious. It's also packed full of nutrition, and it comes together in just 30 minutes for the perfect fuss-free weeknight dinner.
Thai coconut chickpea curry can be easily defined as comfort in a bowl. Like most Thai curries, it's quite watery, so you can easily treat it like a curry soup.
No matter how you look at it, I love the bold flavours of this dish and the texture you get from the roasted chickpeas.
If you're looking for inspiration for a tasty weeknight dinner, this chickpea and coconut curry surely delivers.
The curry tastes fantastic on its own, served over a bed of jasmine rice or quinoa or with naan that can soak up all those delicious flavours.
Ingredients and substitutions
Chickpeas — I use canned chickpeas for extra convenience — I always keep some cans in the pantry for those moments I feel like making a curry or simply roast some for a snack.
If you have time, you can cook the chickpeas from scratch for this curry, but you'll need to soak them overnight.
Garam masala — Garam masala is a blend of warm spices that includes cumin, coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
Red onion — I like to use red onion in this curry, but you can also use yellow or brown onion instead.
Garlic and ginger — Fresh garlic and ginger are always best in terms of flavour, but if you're in a hurry, you can also use frozen or jarred versions.
The paste is made with a variety of spices, including cumin, coriander, fennel seeds and turmeric, among others.
Make sure you check your paste is vegan, as some versions contain fish sauce.
Coconut milk — Full-fat coconut milk is perfect for this curry because it makes it super creamy.
Full-fat coconut milk is a good source of healthy fats, has a thick consistency and is rich in flavor.
Light coconut milk is lower in calories and fat content but won't make the sauce as creamy.
Baby spinach — You can substitute the spinach with kale if you like.
How do you make this Thai coconut chickpea curry?
Start by making the roasted chickpeas.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Place one can of chickpeas (rinsed and well-drained) into a bowl and toss them with the olive oil, salt and garam masala.
- Transfer the chickpeas to the baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway, until they're crisp all the way through.
Meanwhile, make the curry.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pan or Dutch oven and add the red onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the Thai red curry paste and chickpeas and fry gently for 2-3 minutes. If you want the curry to be on the thicker side, mash some of the chickpeas with a potato masher.
- Stir in the vegetable stock and coconut milk and simmer for 15 minutes (or until the curry has thickened to your liking).
- Add the spinach and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until it wilts. Stir in the lemon juice and top with the roasted chickpeas, reserving some to garnish individual bowls.
Extra recipe tips
- Serve this Thai coconut with jasmine or basmati rice, topped with fresh coriander and extra lime wedges.
- I like to serve it with this quick and easy Instant Pot basmati rice, which you can cook while you make the curry.
- To make the curry even more filling, add some hearty vegetables such as cauliflower or sweet potato. You can add them right after the onion and stir-fry them for a couple of minutes before continuing with the garlic and ginger.
- This Thai coconut curry with chickpeas will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
If you liked this Thai coconut chickpea curry, you might also like some of my other easy vegan curry recipes:
- Vegan Malaysian Curry
- Aubergine Coconut Curry with Peanut Butter
- Vegan Tofu Thai Red Curry
- Vegan Chickpea and Lentil Curry
- Aubergine and Chickpea Curry
- Easy Vegan Tofu Korma