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Easy Vegan Chickpea Curry (canned chickpeas recipe)

An easy chickpea curry made with canned chickpeas. This vegan curry is packed with flavour for your Friday night curry.

easy vegan chickpea curry on a white plate.

Easy Vegan Chickpea Curry (canned chickpeas recipe)

This easy vegan chickpea curry has so much flavour.

My friend Craig gave me the basic recipe and I tweaked it a bit.

Full of spices and flavour, this tomato-based curry is made with canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), onion, tomato and spices.

I like to serve it alongside my spinach and coconut dahl, with rice, mango chutney and some homemade vegan raita.

Sometimes I made a batch of chapatis to go with it too.

Canned chickpeas

If you prefer to soak dried chickpeas overnight, you can do that. 

Of course, that can be cheaper, but personally, I'm never organised enough to do that.

Canned chickpeas are such good quality, they are so convenient.

I always have a few cans in my store cupboard.

And of course, you can use the chickpea water (aquafaba) to make vegan meringues or vegan chocolate mousse.

an open can of chickpeas.

Are chickpeas a healthy option?

Chickpeas are always a healthy option.

They are perfect to add to curries, stews and soups or mash them up to add to sandwiches and wraps or to thicken sauces.

I could personally eat them from the can like sweets.

They are high in protein and are full of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Which chickpeas are the best?

Chefs will tell us the best chickpeas are the ones you buy from health food shops and high-end shops in glass jars.

I'm sure they are good quality, but if you're like me and shop in your local supermarket, you probably won't see these glass jars of chickpeas, no matter how much you search the shelves.

After testing lots of brands of tinned chickpeas, I've found the best type are the ones you find on the world aisle beside all the Indian ingredients.

They are big and creamy. So good.

Sometimes supermarket own brand chickpeas can be a bit like hard bullets.

close-up of chickpea curry.

What you need to make this easy vegan chickpea curry

Here are the simple ingredients you need to make this simple garbanzo bean curry also known as a chana curry.

  1. Olive oil - or rapeseed oil
  2. Onions - white or brown
  3. Garlic
  4. Fresh ginger
  5. Fresh chilli pepper - mild to hot, depending on your taste
  6. Coriander seeds
  7. Cumin seeds 
  8. Turmeric
  9. Chilli powder
  10. Chickpeas - canned or soaked and cooked
  11. Canned plum tomatoes
  12. Brown sugar
  13. Salt & pepper
  14. Lemon
  15. Fresh coriander

fresh ginger.

Peeling fresh ginger

Do you know the easiest way to peel a stick of ginger?

Ginger is quite knobbly and odd-shaped so peeling it with a potato peeler can be difficult and result in too much ginger wasted or if you're not careful, cut fingers.

The best way to peel ginger is with a teaspoon.

Just scrape the ginger with the teaspoon and the skin with come off very easily with no ginger lost.

Try it!

Why buy canned plum tomatoes instead of chopped tomatoes?

Of course, you could use canned chopped tomatoes for this dish.

However, canned plum tomatoes are a higher grade of tomato, so they are of better quality.

So they are always a good option.

Do stick to your own budget though. 

If the cheapest own-brand chopped tomatoes are better for your budget, then buy those.

a selection of curries in bowls.

What to serve with a chickpea curry

Here are a few ideas of a few things you can serve with an Indian chickpea curry.

  • Basmati rice
  • Chapaties
  • Coconut rice - rice flavoured with coconut
  • Mango chutney - try my recipe for homemade mango chutney
  • Naan bread
  • Onion Bhajis
  • Poppadoms
  • Vegetable Samosas

How long will chickpea curry leftovers keep?

Once cool, keep leftover curry in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Cool quicker by spooning into another container, once it is cooked.

Reheat in a pot or in the microwave.

Can you freeze chickpea curry?

Once cool, you can also freeze this curry for 3-4 months.

Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating in a pot or in a bowl in the microwave.

spinach and coconut dal.

More easy vegan Indian recipes for you to try

Here are some easy and delicious vegan Indian or Indian-inspired recipes for you to try.

For lunch

  1. Bombay Cheese Sandwich with Chutney - the Indian equivalent of a crisp sandwich but a bit more luxurious
  2. Coronation Coleslaw - a vegan version of this curried slaw created for the Queen's Jubilee 
  3. Easy Red Chilli & Garlic Chutney - super easy and no cooking!
  4. Grilled Tandoori Tofu Skewers - marinated in homemade tandoori paste
  5. Indian Spiced Potato Scones - a twist on Scottish tatties scones
  6. Madras Curried Tomato Soup - from Madhur Jaffrey
  7. Onion Bhaji Lunch Wrap - a rainbow coloured wrap
  8. Onion Bhaji Sandwich with Curried Slaw - so, so good!

For curry night

  1. Easy Aubergine Balti - a gutsy tomato-based curry
  2. Easy Mushroom,. Aubergine & Potato Curry - a simple curry made with shop-bought curry paste
  3. Homemade chapatis - easy and fun to make
  4. Home-Style Cauliflower & Potato Curry - a dry spiced curry, rather than one with lots of sauce
  5. Slow Cooker Aubergine & Onion Masala - an easy slow-cooked curry
  6. Spicy Spinach & Potato Curry - from 660 Curries
  7. Spinach & Coconut Dal - my favourite quick curry
  8. Sweetcorn Curry with Cashews - from Biting Biting

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easy chickpea curry recipe pin.

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Remember and say hi. I'm always happy to chat and answer questions.

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curry, vegan curry, low calorie curry, vegetarian curry, chickpea curry, chana curry, garbanzo curry
Yield: 2-3
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Easy Vegan Chickpea Curry

Easy Vegan Chickpea Curry

An easy chickpea curry made with canned chickpeas. This vegan curry is packed with flavour for your Friday night curry.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 45 Min


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (rapeseed oil or sunflower oil)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 1/2 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated or chopped
  • 1/2 large red chili, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 400g (14 oz) can of chickpeas
  • 400g (14 oz) can of plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves (chopped)


  1. Peel the onions, cut in half and then slice and set aside.
  2. Heat a small pan and dry roast the coriander seeds, then roughly crush in a mortar and pestle or whizz in a blender or food processor.
  3. Do the same with the cumin seeds taking care not to let them burn.
  4. Heat a large heavy pan on a medium heat and add the oil.
  5. When the oil is hot add all the spices and allow to sizzle for 1 min.
  6. Add the sliced onions and fry for 1 -2 mins while stirring occasionally so they don't stick.
  7. Turn down the heat to low and continue to cook for 10 -15 mins. Sprinkle in the brown sugar, if you are adding it.
  8. Add the ginger to the onions with the chili and garlic. Cook for a further 2 mins then turn the heat up to medium again.
  9. Add the chickpeas and cook for 5 mins before adding the plum tomatoes, squishing them with clean hands to break them up.
  10. Add a splash of water to loosen off the mix, It shouldn't be too dry.
  11. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 mins. You can mash some of the chickpeas up with a fork or potato masher. Mashed chickpeas will give a creamy texture to the curry.
  12. Add the lemon juice and chopped coriander, then season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 1 min.
  13. Serve and enjoy!


  • You can use soaked and cooked dried chickpeas
  • Chopped tomatoes may be used instead of plum tomatoes.
  • Choose your chilli according to how hot you like a curry. I use a mild chilli.
  • Once cool, keep leftover curry in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Once cool, you can also freeze this curry for 3-4 months, then defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.


2 servings = 443 calories per serving

3 servings = 295 calories per serving

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)


Sat. Fat (grams)


Carbs (grams)


Fiber (grams)


Net carbs


Sugar (grams)


Protein (grams)


Sodium (milligrams)


Cholesterol (grams)


This information is approximated using a nutrition and calorie calculator.


  1. Looks wholesome! I love chickpeas! You can do so much with them. OK, what is naan bread and which spices make up the curry? (Sorry to be so...dah!) It's just me!

  2. The Chickpea Curry has great flavour combinations. Kudos to this recipe!!!How do you have time to cook with all the wedding preparations???

  3. I love chickpea curry and this recipe looks perfect - thanks!

  4. That looks delicious Holler! I just ate dinner, but this post made me hungry all over again.

  5. How utterly bizarre! I had something very similar for lunch and am going to blog about it later this week. Always feel very virtuous after it! :D

  6. This recipe seems delicious.I am a great fan of chickpeas and this is the first recipe I see with ginger. Must try it!!

  7. looks delish! And I am with you on throwing in those last tomatoes from the tin. I also like the idea of using tortillas instead of naan bread - love naan bread but it is a calorie black hole and we don't seem to find such nice naan in the supermarket in Australia as I did in UK!

  8. This looks great - will be trying it at home

  9. That curry recipe looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing! :) I hope to try it soon.

  10. Hi Deb, The naan bread we are used to, is like a quite puffy, flatbread, if that makes any sense! The Curry is a combination of herbs and spices. The spices are ginger, chilli, chili powder and cumin seeds.

    Hi Val, The wedding preps are devastating my free time. As you can see, the frequency I am blogging is dropping fast. We are having lots of salad, baked potatoes and pasta just now, not much to blog about!

    Hi Lisa, I hoped you would like this one!

    Hello, Atxvegan, It was very tasty, a definite keeper!

    I look forward to seeing your version Wendy! i bet it will be yummy!

    Hi Valentina, Thanks for dropping by!

    Hi Johanna, Naan bread is a lobvely treat, but sometimes, I find it too stodgy! I bet if I couldn't find any good naan, I would start cravinig it!

    Hello Charlotte, Let me know how you enjoy it!

    Hi Helios, Thanks for stopping by! By the way I like your nectarine salad! I have never thought of adding them to one before, bet they would be good with feta!

  11. This looks so good and so easy.

  12. That looks really good - I've just made a huge lentil curry, so it'll have to wait a day or two ... thanks for sharing


  13. Looks good. I like the nice red colour. The last chickpea curry that I made was a bright yellow colour. The next time that I make chickpea curry I will have to try it with more tomatoes.

  14. Thanks for sharing my recipe Holler. Glad you are enjoying it so much. An additional tip is to make double the amount but liquidise about a third of the chickpeas - gives it a really creamy tasy. yum yum. I'll need to make up a new one and post it up on htt:// soon. oh i've been saying that for months now..... lol

  15. Hi Nirmala, Thanks for visiting! I had a visit to your blog. Those frosted cupcakes look heavenly! I feel like having one right now, with a glass of raspberry milkshake!

  16. Hi Joanna, Hope you post that lentil curry!

    Hey Kevin, Was the bright yellow, loads of tumeric?

    Hi Slinkycat, Thanks for the tip! I will try that next time and there certainly will be a next time, soon!

    Get going with the blog, I need more of your recipes to try out!

    Feel free to make extra and bring some in to yoga class for me!

  17. I´'ve got a slightly different chickpea curry recipe that I've been using ever since I moved to Scotland (that's in 1998) - and have continued making after returning home last autumn. Such a heartwarming and satisfying dish - either on its own or as a filling for a pita bread..

  18. I think if you get a good recipe, Pille, you do want to reuse it a lot.

  19. love chickpeas and curry too, I have to try your recipe! :)

  20. This is simple enough. I think I'll make something similar tomorrow when my vegetarian friend joins me for dinner. Thanks!

  21. Rooting through your older recipes has been marvellous and I have all the ingredients for this curry, so looking forward to it.

  22. Cooked this up last night and it was absolutely delicious! (Although I did go a little over-board on the chilli powder.. whoops)! Got frozen leftovers to enjoy another day. Having recently begun on a mostly-vegetarian diet it was fantastic to stumble over this blog that has simple, non-ingredient heavy recipes (as a student I am limited with both storage space and money). Cooking up some veggie burgers from this site tonight, can't wait! Thank you!

    1. This is one of our favourites Ida-May. Thanks so much for stopping by and I am pleased you are enjoying my recipes. It's always lovely to hear when people try them.


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x