Tuna & Chickpea Curry
Tuna & Chickpea Curry
5 from 18 votes
This protein-packed tuna chickpea curry is delicious, flavourful, and full of spice. Soft chickpeas and tuna chunks lathered in a spicy tomato masala served with homemade chapatti make the perfect midweek meal.
Tuna Chickpea Curry

The ever-versatile Tuna Chickpeas Curry! While its roots aren’t entrenched in the annals of time, it’s become a household favourite in recent years, showcasing a fusion of flavours that speak to both fish lovers and vegetarians alike.

The history of this dish is akin to a culinary tapestry, interwoven with influences from the East where spices rule supreme.

The beauty of Tuna Chickpeas Curry lies not just in its rich flavours but also in its simplicity. I’d rank its difficulty as a comfortable middle ground, neither too challenging for beginners nor too basic for seasoned cooks. The dish straddles that sweet spot where ease meets elegance.

Have you ever thought of tuna and chickpeas making an ensemble appearance in a curry?

While traditional tuna curries and chickpea curries exist aplenty, it’s the melding of these two that has sparked culinary intrigue. The marriage of these ingredients creates a dish that’s both hearty and refreshing, a delicate balance that few recipes achieve.

Variations of this curry are many and varied. Some like it spicier, throwing in an extra dash of chili powder, while others might favour a creamier texture, introducing coconut milk to the mix.

But the version I’m presenting today strikes an optimal balance, ensuring each ingredient gets its moment in the spotlight.

For those unfamiliar, the process begins with the aromatic base of onions and garlic, setting the stage for the spices to make their grand entrance.

The tomatoes offer a tangy touch, acting as a counterpoint to the earthy chickpeas. And the tuna? It seamlessly integrates into the curry, elevating it with its distinct oceanic flair.

So, if you’re on the lookout for a recipe that promises a melange of flavours, a bit of history, and the joy of creation, the Tuna Chickpeas Curry is your ticket. Whether you’re serving it up for a weekday dinner or a special occasion, this dish is sure to leave an impression.

What Ingredients to Use & Why

Before diving into the breakdown of our star ingredients, I must say, every element in this dish, from the spices to the main components, plays a pivotal role in weaving the magic that is Tuna Chickpeas Curry. So, let’s embark on this ingredient journey!

Oil: The starting point of our curry! Oil is essential to cook our onions and ensure our spices are well-roasted. While we’ve gone with a neutral oil here, one could also use coconut oil for an added layer of flavour.

Tuna: Now, the ocean’s contribution to our curry. Tuna lends a rich, meaty texture, making the dish heartier. If tuna isn’t your fish of choice, mackerel or even salmon could play the part.

Chickpeas: The earthy counterpart to our tuna. Chickpeas bring in a lovely texture and heartiness. Beans, such as kidney beans or black-eyed peas, can be potential substitutes.

Tomatoes: The tangy twist! Tomatoes help balance out the spices and provide a luscious base. If canned isn’t available, fresh tomatoes or even tomato puree could step in.

Onions: These are the backbone, offering sweetness and depth. Shallots or spring onions can be a great alternative.

Garlic Paste: The aromatic enhancer! Garlic’s pungency uplifts the overall flavour profile. Ginger-garlic paste could be another spin.

Chilli Powder: The fiery touch! It’s what gives the curry its kick. For those with milder palates, paprika could be an alternative.

Turmeric Powder: Beyond its lovely golden hue, turmeric offers earthiness. It’s irreplaceable but can be adjusted as per taste.

Salt: The quintessential flavour enhancer. You could experiment with sea salt or pink Himalayan salt.

Black Pepper: The finishing touch! It adds a depth and slight heat to the dish. White pepper could be an alternative for a milder heat.

Every ingredient in the Tuna Chickpeas Curry is like a note in a symphony, and when played together, they create a harmonious melody. So, the next time you’re cooking up this dish, take a moment to appreciate each component’s contribution.

Unlocking the Secrets of the Perfect Tuna Chickpeas Curry

The age-old quest for the perfect curry. It may seem daunting, especially with a dish as nuanced as Tuna Chickpeas Curry. But fret not! Let’s delve into the elements that make or break this dish. The key is the blend of spices—turmeric, black pepper, and chili powder.

Each of these spices offers a unique dimension. Too much of one, and you risk overshadowing the other flavours. Too little, and you’re left with a dish that’s, well, bland.

So, the first secret? Balance. A sprinkle of this, a dash of that, and voila, you have a dish that sings with flavour but doesn’t overwhelm the senses.

The second secret is the layering of flavours. Start by sautéing the onions till they’re translucent, add in the garlic paste, and let these base layers cook to perfection. These initial steps set the stage for your spices and the main ingredients—tuna and chickpeas.

Lastly, never underestimate the power of quality ingredients. Canned tuna can range from the ‘meh’ to the ‘magnificent.’ Go for a brand that you trust, preferably one that packs the tuna in water for a cleaner, fresher taste.

Unlock the secrets to making your Tuna Chickpeas Curry go from good to wow-worthy. Discover the perfect balance of spices and high-quality ingredients.

Cooking Tuna Chickpeas Curry for Special Diets: Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Low-Carb Options

We live in a world that’s beautifully diverse, especially when it comes to diets. So, how can we adapt the Tuna Chickpeas Curry to suit a range of nutritional needs? Let’s explore.

For the gluten-free gang, the good news is that this recipe is naturally gluten-free! The only sneaky culprit could be the garlic paste. Sometimes, these commercial pastes contain additives that are not gluten-free. The solution? Make your own at home. It’s as simple as that!

Now, let’s tackle the vegan option. “Tuna and vegan? Are you kidding me?” you might ask. No, I’m not. While the traditional recipe relies on the richness of tuna, a plant-based alternative like jackfruit can offer a similar texture. It’s an easy swap and works surprisingly well.

The low-carb aficionados! Chickpeas, while delightful, are higher in carbs. A simple alternative could be cauliflower florets. They absorb the spices well and offer a similar bite to chickpeas, minus the carbs.

Elevating Your Tuna Chickpeas Curry with Fresh Ingredients

Let’s be real, canned goods are a godsend. They make our life easier, especially when whipping up a quick Tuna Chickpeas Curry. But what if I told you that opting for fresh ingredients could take this dish to an entirely new level? Yep, you heard it here first!

Let’s start with tuna. Fresh tuna steaks, when simmered in the curry, lend a flavour that’s incomparable to its canned counterpart. The texture is meatier, and the taste is fresher. Plus, the natural oils in fresh tuna enrich the dish. All you need to do is sear the tuna steaks lightly before adding them to the curry.

Moving on to chickpeas. Forget the canned stuff! Soak some chickpeas overnight, boil them until tender, and then introduce them to the pot. You’ll notice a creamier texture and a less ‘canned’ flavour. It’s a small step but a significant upgrade.

Then there are the tomatoes. Fresh, ripe tomatoes can make your curry tangier and less acidic compared to canned versions. Just chop them finely or blend them into a puree and add them to the mix.

The Secret to Freezing and Reheating Your Tuna Chickpeas Curry

The convenience of frozen meals, there’s nothing quite like it. But can Tuna Chickpeas Curry survive the freeze-thaw-reheat cycle? Spoiler alert: it can, but there are rules to this game.

Firstly, let’s talk containers. Freezing in an airtight container is crucial for maintaining flavour and preventing freezer burn. Make sure you’re using a container that seals well.

Now, when you’re all set to reheat, always defrost in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Trust me, thawing it at room temperature is tempting but can lead to bacterial growth.

Once it’s adequately defrosted, pour it into a pot and reheat on the stove. Avoid using the microwave as it can cook the tuna unevenly and spoil the texture. Add a dash of water to help regain its original consistency if it’s too thick.

But what if you’ve used fresh ingredients like I suggested in the previous article? The rules still apply, but expect a slight texture change in the tuna. It might not be as flaky but will still be delicious.

Exploring Regional Twists on Tuna Chickpeas Curry

Let me take you on a culinary trip around the world, right from the comfort of your kitchen. Tuna Chickpeas Curry is a dish that’s ripe for regional interpretation.

For instance, I love adding coconut milk for a tropical twist. The sweetness of the coconut milk plays well with the spices and gives the dish a Thai-inspired flair.

Another fabulous idea is adding some curry leaves for a South Indian kick. These aromatic leaves infuse the oil and add an extra layer of flavour that’s just incredible.

Sometimes, I like going the Mediterranean route. In goes a splash of olive oil, some Kalamata olives, and perhaps a sprinkle of oregano or thyme.

These Mediterranean elements bring a fresh yet savoury quality to the dish. They work particularly well with tuna, a fish that’s no stranger to these regional flavours.

Mastering the Side Dishes for Tuna Chickpeas Curry

Your Tuna Chickpeas Curry is the star of the show, but even stars need a strong supporting cast.

I’m talking side dishes, people! Sure, homemade chapatti is classic, but have you ever tried serving your curry with jasmine rice? The fragrant grains soak up the flavours beautifully, creating a perfect bite every time.

Quinoa is another grain I can’t get enough of. It’s healthy, filling, and its nutty flavour complements the richness of the tuna and chickpeas. Just make sure to rinse your quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove any bitterness.

If you’re looking for something more refreshing, a cucumber and mint salad does wonders. It’s not only visually appealing but also adds a cooling contrast to the spiciness of the curry.

Another fun twist is pickled vegetables. A small dish of pickled carrots or jalapeños can add a zing that cuts through the curry’s richness.

Spice It Up or Tone It Down: Customizing the Heat in Your Tuna Chickpeas Curry

If you’re like me, you know that spices aren’t just an afterthought; they’re the soul of a dish.

Now, the standard Tuna Chickpeas Curry recipe calls for a teaspoon of chili powder, but who says you can’t improvise? If you’re all about that spice, consider using fresh green or red chilies. Chop ’em up and toss them in; your taste buds will thank you later.

On the flip side, if you’re not a fan of spicy food, I’ve got you covered. How about opting for paprika instead of chili powder? It brings in a smoky flavour without the burn. You can also lean on herbs like cilantro or parsley to add depth without the heat.

The trick here is to know your spices. Get familiar with the Scoville scale, a measurement of spiciness in food. Knowing where each spice lands on this scale can help you tailor the heat level while keeping the essence of the dish intact.

The Vegan Take on Tuna Chickpeas Curry

Tuna Chickpeas Curry is a delightful dish that offers protein and flavour in a one-pot wonder.

But what about those who abstain from animal products? I’ve got you covered with a vegan twist on this classic dish. Swap out the tuna for jackfruit, a fibrous fruit that mimics the texture of meat when cooked. This unique ingredient offers a chunky, satisfying texture that pairs well with the chickpeas.

Another vegan alternative is tofu. It’s a versatile protein that takes on the flavours of the spices and the rest of the ingredients beautifully. Marinate the tofu cubes in the spices before adding them to the pot. It’ll help them absorb the flavours and provide a more cohesive dish.

The vegan route also offers a chance to change up your oil. Instead of using standard cooking oil, opt for coconut oil to add a tropical flair, or go for olive oil for a more Mediterranean vibe. Both options bring a distinct flavour profile to the dish.

Meal Prepping Your Tuna Chickpeas Curry Like a Pro

Meal prepping is more than a trendy hashtag; it’s a lifestyle. Let me tell you, Tuna Chickpeas Curry is a meal prepper’s dream come true. First off, it’s a one-pot dish, which means fewer dishes to clean. Talk about a win-win, right?

If you’re meal prepping for the week, you might be concerned about how the tuna will hold up. Don’t fret! The spices and the tomato base act as natural preservatives, allowing the dish to last for up to 5 days in the fridge.

What I love most about this recipe is its versatility. You can divide the curry into individual servings and freeze them. They’ll be ready to go for those days when cooking is the last thing on your mind. Reheat directly from the freezer or let it thaw overnight in the fridge—your choice!

When it comes to reheating, my go-to method is the stovetop. It allows the spices to reinfuse the dish, waking up those delightful flavours.

The Nutritional Goldmine in Tuna Chickpeas Curry

Let’s talk about the powerhouse of nutrients that make up this scrumptious dish. Tuna, for starters, is a lean source of protein that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are your brain’s best friend, aiding in cognitive function and heart health.

Chickpeas are no slouch either. These little legumes are packed with fibre, which aids in digestion and keeps you feeling full longer. So if you’re watching your weight, this dish can be your ally.

The spices are more than just flavour agents; they’re tiny nutritional heroes. Turmeric is loaded with curcumin, a compound known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Garlic provides a generous dose of antioxidants, while black pepper aids in digestion and has its own anti-inflammatory properties.

And don’t forget about tomatoes! They’re rich in lycopene, a natural antioxidant that’s been linked to numerous health benefits, from reducing the risk of chronic diseases to protecting against free radicals.

Check Out These Other Recipes

If you’re as smitten by my Tuna Chickpeas Curry as I am, then you’re in for an Indian culinary journey that you won’t want to miss. Oh, the places we’ll go, my food-loving friend! Take for instance, the Egg and Potato Curry, which promises a comforting embrace of spices, similar to our Tuna Chickpeas Curry, but with a different protein vibe that keeps the essence of Indian cooking alive.

Ever wondered what the sea would taste like if it mingled with Indian spices? Look no further than the Fish Curry.

It’s a spectacular dive into Indian coastal flavours, delivering a scrumptious blend of spices, just like our Tuna Chickpeas Curry. It’s a treasure trove of tantalizing taste, and it’s calling out your name. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

If you’re a fan of legumes just like chickpeas, you’ve got to try the Chickpea Curry. Think of it as the Tuna Chickpeas Curry’s vegetarian cousin that’s equally hearty and full of that classic Indian zing. It’s a whirlwind of flavours that will lift your spirits and fill your home with the irresistible aroma of spices and love.

Perhaps, you’re more into the realm of meaty delights? Then let’s talk about Lamb Karahi. Imagine tender chunks of lamb simmering in a robust curry sauce, filling your kitchen with a fragrance so heavenly, you’d think you’re in an Indian bazaar.

It’s got that perfect harmony of spices, which makes it a worthy companion to our Tuna Chickpeas Curry.

And oh, don’t even get me started on the Tuna Quesadilla. Picture this—a warm, crispy quesadilla bursting with tuna and a dash of Indian spices. It’s a culinary crossover that’s impossible to resist, providing a unique spin while keeping the flavour profile related to our original dish.

So go ahead, add a pinch of spice and a whole lot of love to your kitchen adventures. Don’t forget to leave me a comment down below and tell me which recipe swept you off your feet. I’m all ears and eager to hear your thoughts!

Tuna Chickpea Curry

Tuna & Chickpea Curry

by Nabeela Kauser
This protein-packed tuna chickpea curry is delicious, flavourful, and full of spice. Soft chickpeas and tuna chunks lathered in a spicy tomato masala served with homemade chapatti make the perfect midweek meal.
5 from 18 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 334 kcal


  • 50 ml Oil
  • 400 g Tuna Canned
  • 200 g Chickpeas Canned
  • 400 g Tomatoes Canned
  • 3 Onions
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper


  • In a pot heat up the oil on medium heat until hot then add the finely diced onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened (see note 1)
  • Add the garlic paste then cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, and black pepper then cook the spices for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the canned tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes (see note 2)
  • Add the canned chickpeas then cook for 4-5 minutes (see note 3)
  • Add the canned tuna and cook for a further 6-8 minutes
  • Serve with homemade chapatti and enjoy!



Note 1 – I like to use olive oil, but you can use any oil such as vegetable oil or sunflower oil.
Note 2 – Alternatively fresh tomatoes can be used, I would use about 4-5 tomatoes
Note 3 – If you want to use fresh chickpeas then cook them beforehand then add into the pan
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 334kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 25gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 821mgPotassium: 713mgFibre: 7gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1056IUVitamin C: 21mgVitamin D: 1µgCalcium: 79mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Chana, Chickpeas, Curry, Food, Meat, Recipe, Seafood, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Hi, I’m Nabeela and 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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