easy chickpea curry

Easy Chickpea Curry (in only 30 minutes!)

Feeling like a fancy yet simple plant-based dinner? You can make this Easy Chickpea Curry in less than 30 minutes, plus it is dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and egg-free. This healthy meal is also very high in protein and you can adapt it to your preferences!

chickpea curry with rice and coriander

Whether it is just for yourself, for a gathering event, or for a family dinner, a curry always is the perfect go-to meal that both vegans and meat-eaters can enjoy together!

I often make curries when I have guests over or when I fancy making something original and tasty. Because let’s be honest; veggies are amazing but sometimes you want something more tempting, more pleasant, with much more flavours and a super creamy texture.

I learned to make Chickpea Curry from the influence of my partner’s Punjab family, who accustomed me to the delectable taste of this delicate meal. 

I have to admit, I got addicted to it. Which is why I have been working on my own Chickpea Curry recipe. 

chickpea curry with rice and coriander

So here it is, the best version of a Chickpea Curry you can find online. 

Click the button below to jump to the recipe or keep reading for more info on this meal and its substitutes.

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This recipe is:


-Super creamy


-High in protein

-Easy to make

-Free from any refined ingredient

-And you can make it in less than 30 minutes!


Also known as Punjabi Chole, Chickpea Curry is a traditional Indian and Pakistani dish. If you usually eat a lot of meat, Chickpea Curry definitely is a good way to include more diversity in your diet without missing out on taste and pleasure.


This meal is one of the healthiest you can have. It contains lentils, chickpeas, tomato paste, coriander and more, and is therefore PACKED with vitamins and nutrients. 

This recipe also includes turmeric, lemon, garlic cloves, and ginger, which all have awesome anti-inflammatory properties. 

chickpea curry with rice and coriander


Some recipes include ghee in their Chickpea Curry. Ghee is made with butter and is therefore not vegan. But the good news is, this recipe is naturally 100% vegan!


This recipe contains 17g of protein per small serving. But if your serving looks like mine (aka 2 servings), you will easily reach over 30g of protein with only the Chickpea Curry in your plate!


I love to have my Chickpea Curry with white rice as it is an easy side dish to make.

If you want to try the traditional way, I would definitely recommend you having your Chickpea Curry with chapatis (also called roti, chapatis are Indian flatbreads). Here is a chapati recipe I like.

Otherwise, your options on what to serve with Chickpea Curry are endless. You can serve Chickpea Curry by itself, with basmati or cauliflower rice, with quinoa, with couscous, with bread… or really with anything you fancy!


This recipe is already relatively thick and creamy as it contains red lentils. However, for an even thicker curry, you can add one to two tablespoons of cornstarch to the mixture.

If you choose this option, add the cornstarch with the red lentils in the first step of the Chickpea Curry recipe instructions. It will affect the final texture but will not affect the final taste. 

Using coconut milk is also a good way of thickening Chickpea Curry. Click here for a coconut chickpea curry recipe.

chickpea curry with rice and coriander


Good question. Making Chickpea Curry is actually as simple as throwing some lentils and spices together in a saucepan while cooking onions, garlic, and ginger in another pan. 

It will only require 30 minutes of your time, that will definitely be worth it once you try this Chickpea Curry. 

Click here for a One-Pan Chickpea Curry recipe.


Yes, it can, as much as you want and for up to 3 months! I would recommend freezing your curry in meal-sized amounts in separate containers to make it easier when you want to use it. 

Then all you will have to do is to pop one container out of the freezer, heat it up in the microwave and your meal is served! 

Check out this Coconut Red Lentil Dhal for another awesome Indian recipe that can be frozen!


Even if it is just for yourself, I would recommend making this recipe as given since you can freeze it (see note above). You can eat your portion size and freeze up to 7 other portions to enjoy anytime you desire!

However, if for any reason you do not want to freeze your curry, you can divide the number of each ingredient of this recipe by two and store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days in closed containers.


There are about 345 calories in one serving of Chickpea Curry, and about 130 calories in one serving of white rice (100 g). A serving of Chickpea Curry and rice will, therefore, contain about 475 calories which is a good number to feel perfectly full, satisfied and energised.


Curries are perfect for toddlers as they have a creamy texture that is easy to chew, and a delicious taste that can be accompanied by anything.

If you are making this recipe for toddlers or babies, make sure the chickpeas you are using are well cooked, very soft and do not use any chilli powder to avoid the curry being too spicy.


I personally steam the chickpeas twice in a rice cooker. Here is the link to the rice cooker I use and absolutely love. It has made my life easier for over 3 years and I have never had any problem with it.

To cook your chickpeas, you can also use a pressure cooker, boil them in a saucepan, or buy your chickpeas in cans if it is more convenient for you. Canned chickpeas are a good and easy alternative as they are usually really soft.


For a creamiest curry, you can use coconut milk instead of water.

If you want to add vegetables or legumes into your curry, spinach, potatoes, and aubergine go very well with this recipe, but you can really add any vegetables you like!

To make this recipe onion-free, I would recommend using 4 garlic cloves instead of 3. Keep in mind it will affect the final flavour.

You can also make this recipe oil-free by using a splash of water instead of olive oil. This will reduce the number of calories of the recipe without significantly affecting the final flavour. If you use water instead of oil, add more water as you cook if onions start sticking to the pan. Keep in mind it will also slightly affect the final flavour. 

Check out this Spicy Potato Chips recipe or this delicious Coconut Red Lentil Dhal recipe for similar oil-free dinner recipes!


pinterest easy chickpea curry

Make sure you bookmark (or pin) this recipe, so whenever you need inspiration for dinner or for a gathering event, you can find this recipe and make everyone happy!

You can also tag me on Instagram @thedorkyfrench for a chance to be featured!

For other delicious dinner ideas, check out this Spicy Potato Chips recipe, or again this delicious Coconut Red Lentil Dhal recipe. Both of these recipes are oil-free, gluten-free, and surprisingly really easy to make!

Enough reading, now let’s get to cooking!


Follow me on youtube for more 1 minute recipe videos.

chickpea curry with rice and coriander

Easy Chickpea Curry

This Easy Chickpea Curry can be made in less than 30 minutes, and is dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and egg-free. This healthy meal is also very high in protein and can be adapted to your preferences!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chickpea curry, Easy, healthy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 388kcal
Author: Marlène Mamia


  • large saucepan
  • large pan
  • wooden spoon


  • 300 g red lentils* - raw weight, soaked and rinsed
  • 800 ml water
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder - optional
  • 1 tsp chana masala**
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 800 g soft cooked chickpeas***
  • 2 onions - peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves - peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger - finely chopped
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 350 g crushed tomatoes - or tomato paste
  • 1 handful fresh coriander - chopped
  • 1/2 lime - or lemon


  • Watch the one minute recipe video to see all instruction steps.
  • In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the red lentils, salt, turmeric, chilli, chana masala, and ground coriander. Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Stir occasionally.
  • While lentils are cooking, heat up a large pan with olive oil. Add the onions, garlic cloves, ginger, bay leave, and cumin seeds. Cook on medium heat until onions are golden brown. Stir occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, add the chickpeas to the saucepan, and simmer with open lid for an additional 5 minutes, until lentils are soft and creamy. Stir occasionally.
  • While lentils finish cooking and once onions are golden brown, add tomato paste to the pan. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leave and pour the onion stir-fry into the large saucepan. Add fresh coriander and the juice of 1/2 lime, and cook on low-heat for 5 more minutes with open lid.
  • Serve with rice/ chapatis/ bread, and enjoy!
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.



*Rinse and soak the red lentils in water overnight or for at least 2 hours for optimal results. Drain before cooking.
**Chana masala is optional but highly recommended for this recipe. Here is the link to the one I use.
***You want your chickpeas to be extra soft for this recipe. I personally steam them twice in a rice cooker. You can also use a pressure cooker, boil them, or buy your chickpeas in cans if it is more convenient for you. Canned chickpeas are a good and easy alternative as they are usually really soft.
Tried this recipe?Mention @thedorkyfrench or tag #thedorkyfrench on instagram!


Calories: 388kcal


Please note that all nutrition facts found on this website are for informational purposes only. Refer to a professional for medical advice.

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