Creamy melt in your mouth chickpeas curry is the only way to describe this dish. It’s a simple dish but it’s full of flavor and it’s really eat to make compared to other types of curry that I love. That is one good thing about meatless dish, they’re easy and quick to prepare because you don’t need to long time of simmering it to get the ingredients tender. Then there’s also a fact that quite a lot of meatless dish are budget friendly, you can feed an entire family with good meal even with small budget. If we are not going to count the spices, this recipes only have 3 main ingredients chickpea, coconut milk and tomatoes. We can probably add onion and garlic but that is still only 5 ingredients which is not bad, right? Even the spices I added here can be changed to what you like. I’ve added quite a lot of peppers because I like mine spicy, but it is also good even with mil heat. I don’t have Garam Masala on hand, but I you have it add some about 1/2 tsp that would enhance the flavor even more.
One Pan Curry, It’s Simple and Easy
You will first cool the chipped onion just until it’s translucent and fragrant then you’ll add garlic. We’re not doing the garlic first and browning it because we don’t want a toasted garlic, we want it soft so that it blends well with the thick sauce. Adding tomato is important, it adds nice taste to the curry and it helps thickens the sauce without using and thickener like flour or cornstarch. Saute the tomatoes about 5 minutes until it’s almost mushy and soft, again to make a nice thick sauce. Adding all the spices while the tomato is cooking a one helps to extract the flavor of the spices more. I normally add only half of the required salt and I add the remaining half at the end so that I can adjust the taste. I recommend you do this as well because we all have different level of preference when it comes to salt level of food. Once you’re done with all these, it’s time for the coconut cream to go in.
Coconut Cream vs. Coconut Milk
I used coconut cream instead of milk because it’s thicker and creamier and has less water as compared to coconut milk. It thickens the sauce beautifully without me having to add flour or cornstarch to thicken it. But if you cannot find coconut cream, coconut milk will work too although you might need to simmer it longer to reduce and thicken the sauce, nonetheless it will still be delicious. So don’t let it stop you if you cannot find coconut cream, ok? I simmered mine about 45 minutes in medium heat because I want the chickpeas really soft, soft to the point that it feels like every spoonful melts in your mouth. Don’t worry, it will not get mushy, chickpea tends to hold its shape pretty well even with long cooking time. You can however stop at any stage if you’ve reach the consistency that you like. At bare minimum, simmer it for 15 minutes to at least cook the coconut milk. Cooking at medium heat is important so that you get a nice creamy smooth sauce. Keep stirring from time to time to avoid it sticking at the bottom of the pan. But I’m telling you, it’s really worth reducing the sauce to a thick consistency, super good! Season and taste at last few minutes, add the remaining half of the salt. Remember that you need to give the salt time to blend in before adding more salt. A squeeze of lime or lemon enhances the flavor more, a little goes a long way.
You will need at most 1 hour to cook it, but its worth it. I cannot believe that I’m actually saying this but so far this is the BEST Chickpeas Curry I’ve ever had, and made. I always like dish with coconut milk and coconut milk is something that we never run out in the Philippines. In fact we had so many Filipino delicacy that uses coconut milk that it’s almost a staple when in comes to cooking. Coconut milk is also a healthieer option to replace dairy in cooking and baking too.
Not a Fan of Coconut Milk?
I know not everyone is crazy about using coconut cream or milk, but the good news is that is not a reason for you not to be able to make this dish. You can still make a Chickpeas Curry the dry spiced style like my Spicy Chickpeas Curry which can be made in 15 minutes! Only 15 minutes because you don’t have to reduce or thicken any sauce, but it’s equally good in different way. You can feel the texture and the nutty taste of the chickpeas even more because there’s no other distraction. The chickpeas are the main attraction. Check it out and hopefully that could be an option for you too.
- 2 tbsp flavorless oil
- 1/4 cup onion (about 60 grams, doesn’t have to be exact) – chopped
- 2 cloves garlic – minced
- 2 large fresh tomato – chopped
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 tsp salt – add gradually
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup coconut cream or milk
- 1 tbsp fresh jalapeno peppers – optional
- 1 small lemon/lime – cut into wedges
- 1 small red bell pepper – thinly sliced
- In a heated pan, Add oil and onion. Saute until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic, thinly sliced ginger, cumin, curry powder, turmeric powder, paprika, chili powder, chili flakes, sugar, half of the salt, and black pepper.
- Add coconut cream/milk and simmer in medium heat. Check from time to time and stir.
- In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add red bell pepper and jalapeno pepper (if using). Season to taste, add reaming half of the salt as needed. Remove from heat and serve hot with a squeeze of lime or lemon on top. Enjoy!
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