Coconut Chickpea Curry with Baked Sweet Potatoes

This recipe has been in my head for almost a year now and I think it's the time to let the cat out of the bag! 

I was inspired to share this recipe after staying with our dearest friends Ellen and Andrew Fisher in Maui. This no-fail recipe was the first thing that sprang to mind when it was my turn to cook for them.

You have to ask Dan first hand to know how I'm not the best at making curry - especially Indian curries - oh, and baking. I stumbled upon this effortless recipe after going to a vegan evening at my local organic store. At the event, one of the demonstrators made a recipe very similar, only they used tofu instead of chickpeas. I went home completely shocked at how simple it was and made it! Was too good to be true? Well, it was a little boring to be honest, so every time I made it thereafter I tweaked it a little. And bam! I finally had a curry recipe I could trust and use on a regular basis. 

As long as you've got the basics to this recipe you can't go wrong. Here is the simple formula I shared with Andrew: 

1 tin tomatoes : 1 tin coconut milk : 800g of cooked chickpeas/ 2 tins chickpeas : 1 teaspoon turmeric  

The rest: an onion, a few cloves of garlic, chilli, pepper, salt. I like adding mustard seeds too.

Here are a few extras you can add to make it extra special: 

1/2 butternut


swap out the chickpeas for organic tofu or tempeh 


add a mix of your favourite vegetables like capsicum, zucchini and broccoli.
You can even add in frozen vegetables towards the end of the cooking process to make it go further.


I typically double this recipe when I make it for my family. Two tins of chickpeas doesn't go very far! This means the recipe is relatively tin heavy - so you can substitute tins of tomatoes for fresh tomatoes. I did that a lot when they were in season. I was able to score some over ripe organic tomatoes for $2 a bag - making it cheaper than tins. You can also use chickpeas cooked from scratch to save on the aluminium! I can't remember the last time I bought a tin of chickpeas as I've got into a really good routine of always soaking them from dried. Lastly, you can go further to save waste and money by watering down coconut cream to make coconut milk. 


Coconut Chickpea Curry

1 x 400g tin tomatoes or fresh
1 x 400g tin coconut milk
800g cooked chickpeas (I cooked mine from scratch) or you can use 2 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 large onion, chopped finely
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
Freshly ground black pepper (helps enhance the bioavailability of the turmeric) and salt
Pinch chilli powder (optional) 
1/2 butternut or 2 handfuls of chopped fresh vegetables (optional)
*like I said above I always double this recipe to serve our family of three

1. In a large pot, cook the chopped onion until translucent. Add a tablespoon or so of water to stop the onion sticking to the pan. 
2. Add garlic and turmeric. Cook for two minutes until fragrant. 
3. Add chickpeas and stir through the onion mixture. Then add the tomatoes, chilli powder, pepper and salt (plus butternut if using), and simmer on a low heat. This recipe is an original slow-cooker/ crock pot meal - so feel free to cook your onions and garlic then put all of your ingredients in a crockpot for 5-6 hours to cook. 
4. Overtime the flavours will develop. After your curry has been simmering for a while, you can add vegetables if using - such as courgette, broccoli or cauliflower, frozen peas etc. Add these vegetables less than ten minutes before serving. You don't want overcooked vegetables. I always add finely chopped kale right before serving.
5. Serve on baked sweet potatoes (highly recommend!), a side of chutney, fresh coriander, a bed of fresh greens, coconut yoghurt and sliced ripe banana. It also goes well with jasmine rice. 


If you make this recipe and want to share your creation on Instagram - tag me @sarahlemkus #eatwellwithsarah