This recipe came about one evening when I had a jar of chickpeas, a can of coconut milk and a pillow of herbs starting to look a little pathetic in my fridge. The resulting dish totally bowled my family over and is now in the top 5 of our go to vegan dishes.
The spices used for this curry are turmeric and coriander seeds with the addition of red chilli, garlic, ginger and coconut milk to give those familiar aromatic curry notes. The use of herbs such as dill, parsley, coriander and fenugreek bring a about a flavour profile more common to Middle-Eastern cuisine. This dish is deeply savoury but with a kick of citrus from the use of fresh lime juice to make it an all-round delightful meal.
The recipe below yields enough to feed 4. If you have fewer people to feed, honestly, don’t revise the measurements down! As with most curry-style or Persian khoresh (stew) dishes, leaving it a day for the flavours to intensify by the ingredients getting to know each other better makes the experience of eating leftovers even more spectacular than your first bite of this dish straight after cooking!
Other than the amazing herbs and spices, the real key to this dish is the type of chickpeas you can get your hands on. I always find that the chickpeas that are available in jars are larger and more buttery than tinned chickpeas. So I recommend finding a good deli or posh shop somewhere to buy these. I actually buy mine from Amazon – a little pricey but hands down worth it!
Coconut and Herb Chickpea Curry
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion (finely diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed or minced)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp coriander seeds (crushed in a pestle and mortar)
- Thumb size ginger (grated)
- 2 tsp dried fenugreek
- 1 bay leaf
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 720 g jar of chickpeas (drained weight aprox. 420g)
- 1 vegetable stock cube (dissolved in 250ml water)
- 30 g fresh dill (finely chopped either by hand or in a food processor)
- 30 g fresh parsley (finely chopped either by hand or in a food processor)
- 30 g fresh coriander (finely chopped either by hand or in a food processor)
- Juice of 1 largish lime
- 1 red chilli (sliced finely and diagonally along the chilli - remove seeds for a milder version)
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- Some extra fresh herbs and / or sliced red chilli to garnish (coriander or parlsey or dill or mint - or a sprinkling of all of them)
- Place a medium-sized pan on medium / high heat and add 2 tbsp of oil. Add finely diced onion and cook until it starts to caramelise.
- Add garlic and turmeric and stir into mixture until the aromas are released. Then add crushed coriander seeds, followed by grated ginger and stir in.
- Stir in the dried fenugreek and place bay leaf into the pan. Then pour in coconut milk and stir (lower the heat if required to get it to a gentle simmer).
- Leave to simmer for 5 minutes and then add drained chickpeas and stock. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Add chopped fresh herbs, lime juice and sliced red chilli and stir the curry until evenly distributed. Place a lid on the curry and let simmer for a minimum of 20 mins.
- Taste the curry and adjust seasoning and / or lime juice. Garnish with some more sliced chilli and / or fresh herbs. Serve with rice and / or naan.