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.
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!
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!
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.
Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Ricereviews) (6
- 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.
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)4. Add all dried spices and saute for 1 minute.
5. Now add drained, cooked chickpeas, followed by vegetable stock (or water if using). Stir to combine and bring to boil on high heat.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.
- 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.
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.
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Bunny RyanThis looks wonderful! I am wondering what the sodium level is. Thanks!
SavitaI would use low sodium stock and chickpeas without added salt. Add salt to the curry per taste. I hope it helps.
Margaret KellerThis was really lovely.
JennThis is an excellent recipe that’s very versatile and gives lots of leeway to customize it to your specific taste, diet, etc. I’ve made it several times, and every time my whole family thoroughly enjoys it.
SavitaThanks for sweet feedback, Jenn. I appreciate you taking time to share your experience with us. 🙌
SergiHello! Love this recipe but tried to double it and it took a really long time to reduce the vegetable stock!! Should I have kept that at 2 cups and double everything else? Thank you!’
SavitaHi Sergi, double amount of stock will at least take double time to cook. It also depends on size of the pot used. e.g. a smaller pot with less surface area touching heat will take way longer to reduce liquid. That said, I think you don't need 4 cups of stock to double the recipe either. Stock is added to 1) make chickpeas tender than these usually are out-of-can. 2) create a sauce to serve with rice. So, I recommend to start with 2 cups, if chickpeas are not tender to your liking or sauce is very think, add 1/2 cup more liquid. (eyeball it as per need). I hope it helps.
YazWhen am I supposed to add curry powder?
SavitaIn step 4, with all other spices.
Hannah KLoved this recipe! Didn’t have ginger so I skipped it and it still tasted great. I also used lite coconut milk instead of yogurt because I love a little coconut flavor. I doubled the coconut milk instead of adding water and also doubled the curry powder because I felt it needed more and this turned out amazing.
AliciaMy 23 year old daughter is just now starting to branch out in flavours and has added Indian food to her list of new loves, which I am thrilled about as I love Indian dishes! She recently tried a version of this meal at a local restaurant, Whitespot, and loved it so much she asked if we could make it. I am very excited to come across what appears to be a well liked authentic recipe to cook with her at home. I will add my star rating after we’ve finished gobbling it all up ;-)
LisaJust the aroma of this cooking took me straight back to my childhood. My childhood, many decades ago, was spent in India because my father was with the State Department. This curry tastes exactly like the vegetarian curry my aya would make. Thank you for this delicious recipe and the incredibly happy memories too.
ColetteThank you for this amazing recipe! This is my second time making it and I always make sure to keep at hand all the ingredients (just in case I have a craving). The recipe is easy to follow, and the result is delicious! The first time I used Greek Yogurt (added water to loosen it). The second time I used Plain Yogurt as is (no added water). Turned out great!
SylviaDo you have a favorite brand of curry?
SavitaHi Sylvia, curry is very generic term. There are so many kinds of curry. If you talking about, most popular, curry powder. I recommend Simply Organic or McCormick brands. I hope this answers your question. If not, you can also see more brands I have added to my Amazon Shop List. Thanks for stopping by.
JenCan the yogurt be replace with sour cream?
SavitaYes, yogurt can be replaced with sour cream.
Jennifer ClarkThis tasted so good and I had all of the ingredients on hand so it was easy! The directions were easy to follow too! However, I thought it could have used a bit more heat as it was very mild which was easily fixed with some hot pepper flakes, and it took maybe 20 to nearly 30 minutes to cook; which wasnt a big deal. This will definitely be my go to curried chickpea recipe from now on! Thanks!
Alyssa RoseMade this with my Dad, thought it was fantastic!!!
AvidraeReally 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.
SavitaAvidrae, sounds like you and your family enjoyed chickpea curry. thanks for sweet feedback. Have a great day! -Savita
NonnaDid I miss it or was cilantro omitted? And I don't mean the garnish.
SavitaNonna, cilantro will be added while processing onion in food processor, step 2. I have updated it. Thanks for pointing out.
Carrie HI 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!
SavitaCarrie, 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.
Katherine T.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?
Savitathanks, 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.
JuliaThis recipe looks AMAZING! Thanks for sharing it with us, although instead of using cumin seeds, would cumin powder work too?
SavitaThanks, 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.