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Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice

In summers, I'm always inventing dinner ideas that are healthy yet are quick and easy.... So, I can serve homemade dinner in no time and keep my family's health in-check.

Served with side of lite-cooked (do check notes on this one) Basmati Rice, easy Chickpea Curry makes flavorful and protein-rich vegetarian main course. Plus just 25 minutes quick cooking promise, always encourages me to serve this on weekdays!

Now before I get carried away with the detail of just how fabulous this recipe tastes, let me clarify a few things…

Curries are staple "dinner" in my home. Ranging from Indian Daal (lentils) to Chicken Curries, we Indians,  LOVE our "Curry Dinners"!

Generally speaking, looking at restaurant food outside India, you might think.... "Curry Dinner! So Heavy!! Everyday!!!" That's not true, AT ALL! Indian, everyday curry dinners are very lite and easy on stomach. And, they are not called curries! Curry is, European originated name, given to spiced-Indian-food. In Indian Cuisine, we actually have a name for each of these curries but no one will address it as "curry".......

Like for this one, if you ask: "What's for dinner?" It is, Channa Chawal or Chickpea Rice. 

 Easy Indian Chickpea Curry for Weekday Dinner | chefdehome.com

As you can plainly see in the images, this is not a heavy-on-masala kind of Chickpea Curry. And it has cooling touch of yogurt, mixed-in at the end of cooking, for a very balanced and mild curry flavor, and subtle tang of yogurt.

Oh… I should probably mention as well, that Yogurt and Rice is one staple meal, in Indian cuisine, for a very lite and easy-on-stomach meal. Often, when we eat out or when it's very hot and humid... You know, kinda days when it does not feel great to eat heavy food..... On such days, yogurt-and-rice is most popular "lite meal", in many parts of India.

Mixing yogurt into Chickpea Curry provides a light balance to this traditional curry. Also, I used fresh tomatoes and onions to keep the traditional Indian flavor, then added a mild curry powder to spare you from using/buying a long list of Indian Spices. If you fan of Indian cuisine, I'm sure you'll have some curry powder in your pantry.

However, don't worry, if you don't want to use/have curry powder. I have simple fix for you. Just mix equal amount of ground turmeric, paprika, coriander powder, cumin powder and half amount of garam masala, then use 1 tsp out of this mixture. Keep rest in an air-tight container to use in next curry dish. :) It is that simple!

Gluten Free Indian Easy Chickpea Curry Dinner with Lite Cooked Basmati Rice | chefdehome.com

What's all about Lite Cooked Rice?

Before we get into details of lite-cooked Basmati rice, I must tell you that Basamati Rice are long grain and thin rice which cook in 10-12 minutes vs regular thick and short-grain rice need about 20 minutes to cook. So, if you not using Basmati, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Now, about lite cooking method. Traditionally, a cup of rice use 2 cups of water to cook fully. At end of the cooking, water will be fully absorbed by rice. I do that when I'm making any kind of one-pot pilaf.

However, for my everyday dinner-rice, I use 3 cups of water instead of 2 cups, and at end of cooking, I drain the excess water just like you would drain extra pasta water. Draining rice water reduces starch-content of cooked rice and makes'em lite and fit for everyday consumption.

So, if you really like to keep your starch-intake in-check, always cook rice with extra water and drain the excess starch water. Trust me, rice don't really need fancy rice-cookers or much attention to cook. Just water and rice... vigorously boiling until rice are cooked and then draining excess make fluffy and much-lite rice for every day consumption!

25 minutes for a Healthy and Lite Indian Curry Dinner | chefdehome.com

Diet Info: Chickpea Curry Dinner is Gluten Free and can be vegan with just one simple change. To keep this Chickpea Curry dairy-free... just replace yogurt with a mild and low-fat Coconut Milk. 

Vegan, Gluten Free, or just on tight schedule… Whatever you’re weekday eating need, you can enjoy a little bit of Indian comfort without a side dish of guilt... that too in just 25 minutes!

A few more Easy Weekday Dinner ideas, with Basamti Rice, from my recipe repertoire.

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Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice

Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Difficulty Easy Yields 3 Servings Serves 3 Notes No. of servings depends on serving size!
Smart Swap Replace yogurt with low-fat coconut milk to serve Vegan Chickpea Curry.

Ingredients

Directions

Hide Step Photos
  • Step for Recipe - Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
    1. Rinse basmati rice under running water. Add to a pot with 3 cups of water and salt. Bring water to boil on high heat, then continue boiling rice for 10-12 minutes or until rice are done to your liking. Once rice are cooked, drain excess water as you would from pasta. Cover and set aside.
    Additional Notes
    I cook rice just like we cook pasta. Using 1 cup extra water and once rice have boiled for 10-12 minutes, check for done-ness, then drain excess water. No need to preserve the liquid.
  • 2. In a food processor, coarse chop/process onion, tomato, garlic, 2 tbsp cilantro, and ginger (if not using paste) Also, remove yogurt from fridge, add 2 tbsp water, mix well, and set aside.
  • Step for Recipe - Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
    3. In a wide saute pan, heat canola oil. Add cumin seeds and let'em sputter for 20 seconds. Now, add onion and tomato mixture with ginger and garlic. Cook until water evaporates and mixture is soft with little oil showing on sides. (about 5-6 minutes on medium heat)
    Step for Recipe - Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
    4. Add all dried spices and saute for 1 minute.
  • Step for Recipe - Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
    5. Now add drained, cooked chickpeas, followed by vegetable stock (or water if using). Stir to combine and bring to boil on high heat.
    Step for Recipe - Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
    6. Reduce heat to medium and cook until water has been absorbed by sauce and consistency has thickened (about 5-7 minutes on medium-high heat). (no water running on sides as it is absorbed by chickpeas making curry thick, as seen in picture.)
    Additional Notes
    TIP: Using back of stirrer or spatula, mash a few chickpeas while stirring the gravy. This will make curry consistency more thick and well balanced.
  • Step for Recipe - Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
    7. Switch off the heat, add yogurt into chickpeas while continuously stirring the curry. Very important to keep stirring the gravy while you add yogurt or yogurt might curdle. Taste and adjust salt. Serve over rice with garnish of cilantro and enjoy!
    Additional Notes
    You can also let curry cool a little and then add yogurt.
Savita's Notes:

By the time rice cook and cool a bit, chickpea curry will be ready. So Total Cook Time is 15 minutes, assuming rice are boiling while curry is cooking.

Vegan? This Chickpea Curry and Rice can be easily adapted to vegan diet. Just replace yogurt with low-fat coconut milk. Note: Always stir coconut mixture well before adding to curry. Don't add additional water which we added for yogurt.

© Chef De Home. All contents and images are copyright protected. Please do not use content/images without prior permission. If you want to use recipe instructions, re-write the recipe in your own words, and link back to this post with credit to ChefDeHome for the Recipe Origin.

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38 reviews(s)

  1. Really tasty and light. A bit like kitcharee but tastier. I made chicken version for my husband and son but a vegan version for me...chickpeas, cauliflower and spinach. Thank you for the recipe.
    Avidrae, sounds like you and your family enjoyed chickpea curry. thanks for sweet feedback. Have a great day! -Savita
  2. Did I miss it or was cilantro omitted? And I don't mean the garnish.
    Nonna, cilantro will be added while processing onion in food processor, step 2. I have updated it. Thanks for pointing out.
  3. I have made this twice and it;s absolutely delicious! Although each time it took way longer than 15 min from start to finish. Probably more like 45 min for everything to cook down as instructed. But definitely worth it! Would suggest to make a double batch. It goes fast!
    Carrie, I'm glad you enjoying chickpea curry. It does not take 45 minutes to cook but since you tried it twice. I think, I will stop watch my time next time. :) happy cooking and thanks for sharing your experience.
  4. Hello! Thinking of trying your recipe out -- looks delicous!! Could I replace the plain yogurt with some greek yogurt? Maybe add a bit of water to thin it out?
    thanks, Katherine! :) Greek yogurt will be perfectly fine. And you are right, a little water to thin it out is a good idea. You can even use it without water as it will not harm chickpea curry rather make it more creamier. I would only suggest to use a bit of lemon juice to adjust acidity as, per my experience, Greek yogurts are mostly not that tangy. I hope it helps.
  5. This recipe looks AMAZING! Thanks for sharing it with us, although instead of using cumin seeds, would cumin powder work too?
    Thanks, Julia! I'm really happy to share this recipe. Yes, you can use cumin powder instead of cumin seeds. My only recommendation would be, use little less say 1/4 tsp as cumin powder tends to be little strong in flavor than seeds. I hope it helps.
  6. Great recipe! One question though: For step 2, do we add 2 tbsp of water to the yogurt or the tomato mixture?
    Thanks, Natasha! Water is needed for yogurt so as thin it down a bit. This will mix well in curry. I hope it helps.
  7. The recipe looks very similar to this recipe on the Pioneer Woman site. I'm not trying to start drama, I just thought I'd let you know, since yours was posted first. There were some changes made, but it is pretty similar. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/chickpea-curry/
    Jessica, first of all thanks for noticing and taking time to write to me. I agree, both pictures look very same though as you said recipes are different. I often look up to Ree a.k.a Pioneer Woman for many recipe inspirations and will be honored if she use my recipe. However, looks like we both were craving chickpea curry almost at the some time of the year. :)
  8. All time favourite combination :) Superlike
    Thanks, Gauri! Super smile :-))
  9. Love chickpeas and curry and this looks like the perfect meal! Easy and healthy! Need to try it!
    Thanks, Mira! I'm sure you will like this curry! Do let me know if you get chance to try it!
  10. This looks so delish! I love chickpea curry and only today I was thinking of making it for dinner! Now you have given me another excuse to make it!! Drooling :)
    Thanks, Ami!
  11. First: I love chickpeas, Second: I just bought lots of cumin for the first time so I could start making dishes like this! I can't wait to bring this recipe to life in my own kitchen :D
    Thanks, Julie! Our love for chickpeas is certainly mutual. I hope you get chance to try this curry, soon! enjoy!
  12. lol so true! In India no one even know what a curry is and here Indian food = curry! what an irony! love chole chawal, comfort food at it's best! I made rajma chawal over the weekend, another favorite! :) this looks yum Savita!
    Manali, thanks, my friend! :) Oh yes, indeed an Irony! Both Chole and Rajma are indeed evergreen crave-worthy foods!! Can never have enough!
  13. This is our go-to quick and healthy meal. I love chick peas because they are really cheap, and packed full of protein too.
    Thanks, Dannii! Undeniably, chickpeas make a cost effective meal plus great for some veggie protein!
  14. this is my favorite combo- anytime anywhere ;) I can literally feel the amazing flavours. Yum yum yum :)
    Shweta, thanks! I know what you talking about! We Indians can't live without our chole chawal!! Isn't it?! Comfort food at it's best! And I made this one "lite enough" for a summer kinda dinner!
  15. I have to tell you, this sounds so so good! I's definitely light enough that I wouldn't mind eating it on these hot summer days. Thanks for sharing!
    Lauren, thanks! I'm sure you this curry will not disappoint you. Even though I can eat curries all year long, but addition of yogurt in this one, makes it perfect for even Summer Dinners! I hope you get chance to try it soon!
  16. Homey and hearty! The best kind of dinners!
    Bach, thanks! I totally agree, home-y dinners are the best!
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