Chickpea Curry – In 30 Minutes or Less

Jul 15, 2019 | Recipes

Chickpea Curry is a classic vegetarian dish that can be made in about a thousand different ways. It can be served as either a main course or as a side dish with other curries. And, it is really, really tasty.

This version is made very quickly from scratch and still manages to have an intensely rich flavour. This is a fairly mild curry as far as my tastes go but, some may find it spicy. You know yourself better than I do so put only as much chili in as you are comfortable. If you like it really spicy, put in more.

I suggest that if you are going to be serving this curry as a main dish that you serve it with naan bread or roti. We do make rice to have with it within the 30-minute window, but it is always nice to have a bit of bread with curry.

Let’s get to it. This is how to make

Chickpea Curry In 30 Minutes or Less

5:57 pm – Rice

Okay, I started at kind of a weird time but it doesn’t matter. The first thing I had to do was get the water on for the rice. I measured out 2 cups of hot tap water, poured it into a medium-sized pot and turned it on high. I added a pinch of salt to the water and then measured out 1 cup of rice and set it aside.

Even though most rice is cooked in a similar way there are often small differences that can have a big effect. Always read and follow the instructions for your specific brand of rice as they may be different than mine.

5:58 pm – Onion

With the water on for the rice, it was time to get down to business with an onion. I actually had half a red onion in the fridge leftover from something else so I decided to use that to make the curry. You can just as easily use white onion.

For the onion, I diced it into fairly large pieces. Then, I peeled and chopped three cloves of garlic and set this all aside.

6:00 – Pepper

Because we are cooking this kind of like a stir-fry it was really important that all the ingredients were prepped and ready to go before we started cooking.

With the onion and garlic prepped and set aside it was time to cut a red bell pepper and a carrot.

For the red pepper, I simply cut the sides off using my knife to follow the curves of the pepper to minimize cutting loss. I then diced the pepper pieces.

The carrot I washed, left the peel on and diced.

Also, just as I started cutting the carrot the water for the rice started to boil. I put the rice in the water, gave it a quick stir, covered the pot and turned the heat down to low. I set a fifteen-minute timer and went back to my vegetables.

6:03 pm – Tomato

The final vegetable I had to cut was one big tomato which I diced. Right before I started cutting the tomato I turned on my wok over medium-high heat. This way it would be nice and hot once I was done cutting the tomato and I could go right into cooking.

To dice the tomato I first cut it in half. Then, I made three horizontal slices, then three vertical slices. Finally, I cut across the slices I had made giving me evenly diced pieces of tomato.

6:05 pm – Wok with Ben

At this point, the wok was nice and hot. I add about 2 tbsp of canola oil to it along with the onions and garlic. In all honesty, I didn’t mean to add the garlic in at the same time as the onions but they had gotten all pushed together on my cutting board. I actually recommend that you cook the onions for a minute or two prior to adding the garlic in. My garlic didn’t burn but it was pretty close.

6:07 pm – Carrots in

I cooked the onion and garlic for about two minutes then added in my carrot. I would have preferred to cook the onions a bit longer but, like I said my garlic almost burnt.

6:08 pm – Spices

When making a curry it is important to cook the spices for a minute or two in oil. This “opens” the spices and draws out their essential oils. This frying of the spices completely changes their flavour. This is partly what gives Indian food such depth of flavour. However, it is important that care is taken when frying the spices as they burn and turn bitter very quickly. One to two minutes is all that is needed.

I used 2 tbsp yellow curry powder, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp cumin, 1-2 tsp chili flakes, a pinch of salt, and a few turns of pepper.

6:10 pm – Tomatoes

With the spices now toasted, it was time to add in the tomatoes. Adding in a wet ingredient like tomatoes will stop the toasting/frying process of the spices. This is crucial in preventing them from burning.

I cooked the tomato for about two minutes which helped to pull a little bit of natural sweetness out of it.

I also added in the bell pepper along with 2 tsp of grated ginger. I generally keep my ginger in the freezer and then just grate it on a microplane when I want it. So, I grated 2 tsp of frozen ginger right in on top of the tomatoes. Because the ginger is grated so fine it only takes a second to cook.

6:12 pm – Chickpeas

With all the vegetables and spices cooking away in the wok, it was time to add in the chickpeas which I opened and drained quickly then poured into the wok. I cooked the chickpeas for one minute before adding in 1 can or coconut milk.

I brought this to a boil and then reduced the heat to medium to let the curry simmer.

6:17 pm – Rice

At 6:17 the timer went off for the rice. I removed it from the burner, leaving the cover on the pot, and let the rice rest for another five minutes. This timing worked out perfectly with the curry.

While I was waiting for the curry and rice to finished I chopped up four green onions and 2-3 tbsp of cilantro to use to finish my curry. I set these aside until the very last minute.

6:22 pm – Finishing Touches

At 6:22 the rice had rested and the curry was pretty much done. I fluffed the rice with a fork and put some in a bowl. I added the cilantro and green onion to the curry tasted it and noticed that the flavours were just a little flat. To fix this I added a few squeezes of lemon juice along with a pinch of salt. That was all it took. I plated a scoop of curry next to the rice and finished it with a piece of homemade chickpea roti. Dinner was ready!

Chickpea Curry Conclusion

It goes without saying that this curry is quick to make. I mean, that’s the whole point of these posts. But, I can’t stress how delicious and filling this is. And, it makes amazing leftovers.

There are all kinds of other vegetables you could add to this like spinach and sweet potato for example. You could add more protein by adding black beans, tofu, chicken, or even fish. Or, as I said, in the beginning, you could serve this as I side dish with a few other curries.

With a dish this good and quick to make you just can’t lose.

Thank you as always for reading. If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends. And, remember to subscribe to the blog so you never miss a post.

Chickpea Curry

A quick and delicious recipe for a filling chickpea curry
Prep Time: 22 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: 30 minute meals, Chickpea Curry, Curry, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1/2 ea Red Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 ea Red Bell pepper, diced
  • 1 ea Carrot, diced
  • 1 ea Tomato, diced
  • 2 tsp Grated Giner
  • 1 can Chickpeas
  • 1 can Coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Yellow Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1-2 tsp Chili Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Lemon Juice to taste
  • 4 ea Green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil


  • Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the oil along with the onion and cook for two minutes.
  • Add in the garlic and cook for one more minute.
  • Next, add in the carrot and cook for an additional two minutes.
  • Put the spices in the pan and cook, stirring for one-two minutes or until they become very aromatic.
  • Put the tomatoes and peppers in the pan along with the ginger and cook for another two-three minutes.
  • Drain the chickpeas and add those in along with the coconut milk.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about ten minutes.
  • Finish the curry with the green onions, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Serve with steamed rice and naan bread.
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