Creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry
Creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry
5 from 1 vote
Take your tastebuds on a thrilling journey without leaving your kitchen. Creamy coconut chickpea curry is the weeknight warrior you didn’t know you needed. It’s a fusion of hearty chickpeas and creamy coconut milk, with spices that'll dazzle your senses.
Creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry

You are about to embark on a culinary adventure that marries earthy, protein-packed chickpeas with the luxuriously creamy texture of coconut milk. Say hello to the Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry, an amalgam of flavours and textures that defies simplistic categorization.

Rooted in the culinary traditions of Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine, this dish has become an international sensation for its blend of spices and ease of preparation. 

While the origins of chickpea curry can be traced back to South Asia, the use of coconut milk lends it a tropical flair, commonly found in Thai and other Southeast Asian cuisines.  

Essentially, we’re talking about a hybrid recipe here that draws from multiple cultural cookbooks. Sounds fancy, right? Well, let me spill the beans—or should I say chickpeas? This dish is deceptively easy to make. It’s a one-pot wonder that even kitchen novices can conquer. 

What’s that? You’ve had chickpea curry before, you say? Ah, but let me dazzle you with the scope for variation within this single recipe. You can play around with the level of heat by adjusting the cayenne pepper.  

Want a burst of colour? Throw in vegetables of your choice! From green peas to baby spinach, the world—or at least your fridge—is your oyster. 

If you’re not sold yet, let’s talk about how versatile this Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry is.  

Serve it over rice for a wholesome meal or with flatbread if you’re aiming for something light yet satisfying. Oh, and did I mention that this is a vegan and gluten-free dish? That’s right; it’s a crowd-pleaser that ticks multiple dietary boxes. 

As far as spices go, we’re employing the stalwarts of any spice rack worthy of its salt. 

Curry powder, ground cumin, and ground coriander are the backbone, offering depth and complexity. Turmeric throws in a splash of colour and a wealth of health benefits, while cayenne pepper adds that optional, yet highly recommended, kick. 

I must say, however, that the pièce de résistance of this dish is undoubtedly the coconut milk. It’s the silk that weaves through the tapestry of flavours, binding everything into a creamy, dreamy culinary masterpiece.  

And for those of you questioning the “cream” in the name, one taste will cast away all your doubts. It’s an indulgence that almost feels saintly, given the nutritional punch packed by the chickpeas. 

And lastly, we garnish. Fresh cilantro leaves make a striking visual contrast against the warm hues of the curry, but they’re not just there to be eye candy. Their refreshing flavour adds yet another layer to this intricate dish, just like the final brushstroke on a canvas. 

So there you have it. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen newcomer, this Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry is a foolproof route to gastronomic glory. Buckle your seatbelt; you’re in for a savoury ride. 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Alright, let’s take a pit stop on our culinary journey to discuss the MVPs of this Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry recipe—the ingredients. Understanding your ingredients is like getting to know the characters in a gripping novel; it deepens your appreciation of the whole story.  

So, without further ado, let’s delve into the what and why of each key player in this delectable dish. 

Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is our neutral base, the canvas upon which we’re about to paint an array of flavours. It’s great for sautéing onions, garlic, and ginger without overwhelming their natural fragrances.  

If you’re looking for alternatives, you could opt for coconut oil to echo the tropical notes of the coconut milk or even olive oil for a more Mediterranean touch. However, using vegetable oil keeps the spotlight firmly on the spices and main ingredients. 

Onion: Ah, the humble onion, the unsung hero of countless recipes. Its role in our curry is to provide a foundational sweetness and depth.  

As it cooks and becomes translucent, it mingles with the spices, absorbing and amplifying their nuances. No worthy alternatives come to mind; the onion is just too crucial to the backstory of our curry. 

Garlic and Ginger: Think of garlic and ginger as the dynamic duo in our plot. They add a kick of spice and a dash of zest, respectively. Without them, our curry would lack that invigorating oomph.  

While garlic paste can substitute for minced garlic, and ginger powder for grated ginger, I highly recommend using them fresh to capture their vibrant essences. 

Spices: These spices are the narrative arc of our curry, giving it character, depth, and flair. Curry powder offers a complex melange of flavours, while cumin brings in an earthy robustness.  

Coriander contributes a lemony undertone that harmonizes the ensemble. They’re hard to replace, but if you’re in a pinch, garam masala could step in for the curry powder. 

Turmeric and Cayenne Pepper: Turmeric offers both colour and mild earthiness, adding visual and sensory appeal.  

Cayenne pepper is the climax of our story, that thrilling spike in the plot. It’s adjustable based on how adventurous your palate is. For less heat, consider using paprika; for more, a dash of habanero powder will do. 

Chickpeas: Our protagonist! Chickpeas bring texture and protein to the table. They absorb the flavours like a sponge, becoming little morsels of deliciousness. While chickpeas are the star, you could swap them out for another legume like lentils or even tofu chunks for a different texture. 

Coconut Milk: The epitome of luxury in our curry, coconut milk elevates this dish to a creamy utopia. It’s a harmonizing force, balancing out the spices and enriching the texture. If you’re out of coconut milk, almond milk can work, but the dish will lose some of its tropical flair. 

Diced Tomatoes: Tomatoes add a tangy sweetness that contrasts beautifully with the creaminess of the coconut milk. They also bring a saucy consistency to our curry. Freshly diced tomatoes could be a good alternative, although canned tomatoes are a time-saver. 

Salt, Pepper, and Fresh Cilantro: Seasoning and garnish, the finishing touches. Salt and pepper are essential for flavour adjustment. Fresh cilantro, besides looking good, adds a burst of freshness that ties all the flavours together.

And there we have it, our illustrious cast of ingredients! Each one plays a crucial role, contributing to the mouth-watering finale that is Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry. Like any good story, the sum is greater than its parts. So, shall we proceed to cook up this tale? 

How to Make Your Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry Vegan-Friendly 

I understand the necessity of tweaking recipes to cater to everyone’s dietary choices. When it comes to making Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry, it’s actually pretty straightforward to ensure its vegan-friendly. 

Firstly, vegetable oil is already on our list, so that’s a win. In many recipes, ghee or butter is used, but vegetable oil is a perfect plant-based alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste or texture. You can also switch it out for coconut oil to elevate that tropical, coconut vibe we’re going for. 

The primary protein in this recipe is chickpeas, a vegan superstar. Chickpeas are versatile and packed with protein, making them a fantastic option for those avoiding animal products. If you’ve got a bit more time and want to go ultra-authentic, you can soak and boil dried chickpeas for a deeper flavour profile. 

Now let’s talk about coconut milk. This delicious ingredient adds a layer of richness to the curry. Sure, some recipes might use dairy-based creams, but here, coconut milk is already a plant-based luxury. It’s like this recipe was almost vegan by default. 

Finally, garnishing with fresh cilantro leaves not only adds a dash of colour but also a burst of flavour. Plus, it’s completely plant-based, making it the perfect garnish for our vegan-friendly Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry. 

This Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry is effortlessly adaptable to a vegan diet. All the key ingredients are already plant-based, so you won’t have to perform culinary gymnastics to keep it vegan-friendly. 

Cooking Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry in an Instant Pot 

If you’ve jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon (and really, who hasn’t by now?), you’ll be thrilled to know that our Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry is perfectly suited for this modern marvel. Let me guide you through the quick and easy adaptations you can make to our stovetop recipe. 

Start by selecting the sauté mode on your Instant Pot. Add your vegetable oil, followed by the chopped onions. You’ll sauté these just like you would on a stovetop. The Instant Pot comes up to temperature quickly, so keep an eye out to avoid burning them. 

Next, you’ll throw in the garlic and ginger, followed by the spices. Stir constantly for a minute or so to allow the spices to ‘wake up.’ Again, the Instant Pot is pretty efficient at heating, so you’ll notice the aromas wafting through your kitchen in no time. 

Once you’ve got your base going, add the diced tomatoes, red bell pepper, and carrots. Stir these up nicely before pouring in the coconut milk. Remember, an Instant Pot needs liquid to come up to pressure, so make sure you give it a good mix. 

After adding the chickpeas, you’ll seal the Instant Pot and switch it to the pressure cook setting. Cook on high pressure for about 10 minutes. Once it’s done, quickly release the pressure, open the lid carefully, and behold the magic of technology! 

Yes, it’s possible to achieve the same rich, flavoursome Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry in your Instant Pot that you’d get from slow-cooking it on the stovetop. The Instant Pot just speeds up the process without sacrificing flavour. Perfect for those weeknights when time is of the essence. 

Exploring the Health Benefits of Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry 

If you’re a foodie like me, you might be wondering if this delectable dish offers more than just a burst of flavour. Guess what? It does! Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry isn’t just another scrumptious meal; it’s a nutritional powerhouse that could work wonders for your well-being. 

First off, let’s talk chickpeas. These little nuggets are a treasure trove of protein and fibre, making them great for digestive health and muscle building. They’re also a source of essential vitamins and minerals like folate and iron, helping you check off multiple boxes on your daily nutritional needs. 

Then, there’s the coconut milk, a rich source of healthy fats. Contrary to popular belief, the saturated fats found in coconut milk are actually good for you! They are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easier to digest and have been linked to weight loss. 

Ginger and garlic, our aromatic besties, are packed with medicinal properties. Garlic is known for its cardiovascular benefits, while ginger is a great anti-inflammatory agent. When these two come together, they create a health-promoting duo that can’t be ignored. 

Let’s not forget the spices. Curry powder, cumin, and coriander have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Even the often-overlooked turmeric has its day in the sun here. Thanks to its active component, curcumin, it’s another win for anti-inflammatory benefits. 

Every spoonful of Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry offers a heap of health benefits. It’s not just a meal; it’s a superfood extravaganza! Your taste buds get a party, and your body gets a boost. 

Elevate Your Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry with Side Dish Suggestions 

Alright, you’ve mastered the art of crafting the perfect Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry. Now, what to serve it with? A dish this fantastic deserves equally impressive accompaniments, and I’ve got some suggestions that will elevate your culinary experience to the next level. 

Basmati rice is a classic partner for curry, but let’s go beyond that. Consider trying out lemon-infused rice for an extra zing. The citrusy notes work surprisingly well with the creamy and spicy notes of the curry. 

If rice isn’t your thing, how about naan bread? I know, it’s hard to resist tearing off a piece and dunking it into that creamy goodness. But let’s raise the bar even higher by opting for garlic naan or even a cheese-stuffed naan. Your palate will thank you. 

For those leaning towards the healthier side, a crisp and refreshing cucumber salad can balance out the creaminess and spiciness of the curry. A touch of mint in the salad adds an extra layer of complexity that works wonders with the curry. 

Quinoa is another healthy option to accompany your curry. It’s a high-protein grain that soaks up the curry’s flavours quite nicely. And for the rebels among us who like to defy norms, why not try serving your curry with zoodles (zucchini noodles)? It’s a match made in culinary heaven. 

In short, while Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry is a star in its own right, the right side dish can turn your meal into an unforgettable culinary adventure. Choose wisely and dine like a king or queen. 

Unveiling the Secret Behind the Perfect Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry Texture 

Texture, my friends, is the unsung hero of any dish, especially when it comes to something as luxuriously creamy as Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry.  

But how do you strike that perfect balance between luscious and gloopy, or smooth and gritty? Allow me to guide you through the maze. 

First, let’s talk chickpeas. For a heavenly texture, you don’t just dump them in from the can; you give them a good rinse first.  

Rinsing removes the preservatives and gives the chickpeas a cleaner, fresher taste, which in turn enhances the texture of the curry. If you’re using dried chickpeas, make sure you soak them overnight for optimum softness. The key is to get them tender but not mushy. 

Coconut milk is your next stop on this textural journey. Opt for full-fat coconut milk to get that dreamy, creamy consistency. While light coconut milk might save you some calories, it just won’t give you the rich texture that makes this curry so decadent. 

Your choice of vegetables also plays a part. Carrots should be thinly sliced so they can cook until just tender, offering a slight bite against the soft chickpeas. Red bell pepper, on the other hand, provides a crisp contrast. Remember, it’s all about balance! 

Lastly, the grand finale – the simmering process. This is where the magic happens. Slow and steady wins the race here. A gentle simmer allows the flavours to mingle and the texture to reach its full potential, turning your dish into a culinary masterpiece. Trust me, your patience will be rewarded. 

The Spice is Right: Customizing Heat Levels in Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry 

Now, we’re diving deep into the fiery world of Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry. How do you get the heat level just right for everyone at the table? Well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all, but I’ve got some pro tips to share. 

First things first, let’s discuss cayenne pepper. This fiery red spice is what gives the curry its initial kick. If you’re a lover of all things spicy, go ahead and add a tad more than the recipe suggests. On the other hand, if you’re cooking for a spice-averse crowd, you might want to cut it back or even omit it entirely. 

Ginger is another spice to consider. While it’s more warming than spicy, it can still influence the overall heat of the dish. If you want to dial up the heat, be a little more generous with the ginger. It complements the cayenne and adds depth to the curry. 

Moving on to curry powder. This aromatic blend of spices usually includes turmeric, cumin, coriander, and sometimes, red or black pepper. If you’re looking to increase the heat, opt for a ‘hot’ curry powder blend that includes more pepper. Conversely, choose a ‘mild’ blend to keep things cool. 

Don’t underestimate the role of acidity in balancing heat. A little splash of lime or lemon juice not only brightens the flavours but also cuts through the heat, making it more manageable for those who prefer milder dishes. 

Customisation is king when it comes to spicing up your Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry. Whether you prefer molten lava hot or just mildly zesty, a few minor adjustments can make a world of difference. Listen to your taste buds; they know best! 

Mastering the Art of Leftover Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry 

Oh, the joy of leftovers! Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry tastes even better the next day, but how to make the most of this gift? Read on for the insider scoop. 

Firstly, let’s talk storage. This is a curry, folks, so storing it properly is key to maintaining those sumptuous flavours. Place your curry in an airtight container before refrigerating it, and please, use it within two to three days for that peak taste and safety. Frozen? It’s good for up to three months. 

Reheating is the next big decision. Whatever you do, skip the microwave. Microwaving can affect the texture and evenness of the heat. Instead, opt for a gentle reheat on the stove.  

Place the curry in a pot and warm it over low heat until it’s hot but not boiling. This will not only make it taste fresh but also prevent the coconut milk from curdling. 

Alright, let’s say you’ve had it as is for two meals in a row and want to switch things up. You can actually use this curry as a base for various other dishes. Picture creamy chickpea stuffed peppers or even a curried chickpea sandwich. It’s like a magical food transformer. 

Lastly, the garnish game. Fresh garnishes can liven up any leftover dish. A sprinkle of fresh cilantro or a wedge of lime can brighten up your meal and make it feel brand-new. 

Simplifying Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry for Weeknights 

If the thought of cooking dinner after a long workday is as appealing as a root canal, then this one’s for you. You love Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry, but let’s be real: you don’t always have the time or energy to make it from scratch. Cue the simplification! 

For starters, pre-chopped veggies are your saviours. Onions, carrots, and bell peppers can all be found pre-cut in most grocery stores. They’re a little more expensive, but the time saved might just make it worthwhile. 

Next, the spice blend. Instead of gathering and measuring individual spices, look for a pre-mixed curry powder that combines most of the spices you need for this dish. While purists might scoff, a high-quality blend can work wonders and shave minutes off your cooking time. 

Canned chickpeas are another lifesaver. The ready-to-use, pre-cooked chickpeas are perfect for when you don’t have the time for soaking and boiling. Just give them a good rinse and into the pot they go. 

As for coconut milk, opt for the easy-to-open cans or even cartons, eliminating the need for a can opener or potential spillage. Trust me, the less you have to do, the better. 

So when it’s 7 pm on a Tuesday and you’re just getting home, remember, you can still have that delicious Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry without a mountain of prep work or dishes. It’s all about smart shortcuts that make your life easier without compromising on flavour. 

Exploring the Various Flatbreads to Accompany Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry 

No curry experience is truly complete without an accompanying flatbread, and Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry is no exception. Let’s dive into the different types of flatbreads that can enhance this already delectable dish. 

First up is the classic naan bread. Its soft texture and slightly chewy crust make it the perfect utensil for scooping up that curry. Plus, it’s available in various flavours like garlic or cheese, which can add an extra layer of delight to your meal. 

Roti or chapati is another splendid option. Lighter than naan, this unleavened bread is easy to make at home and can be a healthier alternative if you’re keeping an eye on calories. Its neutral flavour profile allows the curry to shine while giving you that satisfying, carb-filled bite we all crave. 

Pita bread is a bit unconventional but can be surprisingly effective. Opt for the whole-grain variety for added texture and nutrition. Cut it into triangles and use them like little scoops, or stuff a pocket with your curry for an on-the-go treat. 

If you’re looking for gluten-free options, you could go with a rice-based flatbread like akki roti. Made primarily from rice flour, it’s a South Indian classic that offers a different texture but works marvellously with curries. 

For those who love a crispy contrast, lavash, a thin Armenian flatbread, can add that desired crunch. Just be cautious: its crispiness means it’s not ideal for scooping but is fantastic for those moments when you want to break off a piece and add some crunch to your bite. 

When you’re serving up a pot of Cream Coconut Chickpea Curry, don’t overlook the flatbread. Whether you opt for the classic naan or venture into the gluten-free realm, the right flatbread can turn your meal into a feast for the senses.

Check Out These Other Recipes 

If you’ve fallen head over heels for my Creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry—hey, no judgment here; it’s scrumptious—you’re in for a flavour-packed journey with these other curry wonders! Close your eyes and imagine a symphony of spices, a carnival of textures, all dancing to the tune of your taste buds. 

First stop, Chickpea and Spinach Curry. Trust me, this one is a sibling to your beloved Coconut Chickpea Curry, with spinach adding a leafy green twist. So yes, it’s not just scrumptious but healthy too! 

Now let’s talk about Chana Curry. Think of it as the cousin who studied abroad; it’s essentially chickpeas without the coconut but with an exotic blend of spices that’ll make you feel like you’ve travelled miles away while standing in your kitchen. 

And oh, you simply can’t miss Vegetable Curry. It’s a kaleidoscope of colours and flavours, featuring veggies you love, all bathing in a divine sauce you’ll want to sop up with a naan or a spoon, your pick! 

But wait, what about something for the seafood lovers? I’ve got you covered with a luscious Coconut Prawn Curry. It’s like the ocean and the tropics decided to have a little party in your mouth. 

Last but not least, we have Tuna Chickpea Curry. Yeah, you read that right—tuna and chickpeas coexist in a pot of deliciousness. Imagine the hearty, oceanic flavours of tuna meeting the earthy wholesomeness of chickpeas in a curry sauce. Intriguing, isn’t it? 

So what are you waiting for? Let your culinary senses go wild! And hey, after you try them, do me a favour—drop a comment to let me know which one stole your heart! 

Creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry

Creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry

by Nabeela Kauser
Take your tastebuds on a thrilling journey without leaving your kitchen. Creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry is the weeknight warrior you didn’t know you needed.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 620 kcal


  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Onion Finely chopped
  • 3 Tomatoes Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Grated
  • 1 tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper Adjust to taste
  • 800 g Chickpeas Drained and rinsed
  • 400 ml Coconut Milk
  • Salt To taste
  • Black Pepper To taste
  • Coriander For garnish


  • In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Stir in the curry powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, and cayenne pepper. Cook for an additional 1 minute to toast the spices.
  • Add the diced tomatoes to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld together.
  • Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas to the pot. Stir to combine and let it simmer for another 5-7 minutes to heat the chickpeas through.
  • Season the curry with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the cayenne pepper if you prefer more or less heat.
  • Once the curry is heated through and the vegetables are tender, remove the pot from the heat.
  • Serve the creamy coconut chickpea curry over cooked rice or with your choice of flatbread.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.


This creamy coconut chickpea curry is a flavourful and hearty dish that’s perfect for vegetarians and anyone who loves delicious Indian-inspired flavours.
The combination of chickpeas, coconut milk, and aromatic spices creates a satisfying and wholesome meal.
Feel free to adjust the spice levels according to your preferences. If you like it milder, reduce the amount of cayenne pepper. If you enjoy more heat, you can increase it.
Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 620kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 21gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0.03gSodium: 35mgPotassium: 1114mgFibre: 18gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 896IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 151mgIron: 10mg
Keyword Chickpeas, Coconut, Coconut Chickpea Curry, Creamy Coconut Chickpea Curry, Curry, Food, Lentils, Recipe, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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