Finally – a chickpea recipe worth making!!! With a simple coconut curry sauce made with astonishingly few ingredients, this Brazilian Chickpea Curry transforms lifeless cans of chickpeas into something that sounds exotic, smells enticing, and tastes so, so good….
Brazilian Chickpea Curry
The sauce for this curry is swiped from Brazilian Fish Stew, a traditional Brazilian dish that’s been a reader favourite for many years now. It tastes like a coconut curry, yet it’s made with just 2 spices – paprika and cumin. Far simpler than most of the from-scratch curry pastes I’ve shared over the years!
That fish stew really is all about that sauce, so it was inevitable that I’d start playing around with other ways to use it. Chicken – done. Shrimp/prawns – a winner.
And it turns out it can also totally transform a dull looking can of chickpeas into something totally fabulous!!
What you need for Brazilian Chickpea Curry
Here’s what you need.
Just a few notes on some of the ingredients:
- Chickpeas – canned for convenience, dried if you prefer (directions in notes)
- Cayenne pepper is optional – it’s for a kick of spice. Because, well, you know. Curry. Spicy.
- Coriander haters – sub with chives.
- Baby Spinach – it’s just to cram some extra greens in. Sub with kale or anything leafy that’s wiltable.
How to make this Chickpea Curry
All in one pot – and it comes together quickly. Once you sauté the onion, garlic and capsicum, you literally just dump everything else in then leave to simmer for 10 minutes to let the sauce thicken.
That is one mighty delicious bowl for something that requires relatively little effort with a “normal” ingredients list.
It’s got a nice workflow flow to it as well. There’s no need to measure out all the spices etc before you start cooking. You pop open the cans and dump them into the pot. Then just measure the spices straight from the jar into the pot.
Oh – speaking of “pot” – I keep saying “pot” even though you see a skillet in the photos and video. The skillet I used was too small – I had to stir the sauce so carefully to avoid spillage.
Don’t make my mistake. Use a pot so you can stir enthusiastically and with abundance. – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Typo in video – says to simmer for 20 min, it should be 12 to 15 min. Follow written recipe!
Brazilian Coconut Chickpea Curry
Recipe video above. A chickpea recipe that even carnivores think is worth making!! The sauce is from this traditional Brazilian Fish Stew. I call it a curry because it tastes distinctly curryish – except with a fraction of the ingredients!
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion (, finely chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (, minced)
- 1 red capsicum/bell peppers (, cut into 3 x 0.75cm / 1.25 x 1/3″” strips)
- 2 cans chickpeas (, drained (Note 1))
- 400ml/14oz coconut milk (, full fat for best flavour (Note 2))
- 400ml/14oz can crushed tomato
- 1 cup (250ml) chicken or vegetable stock/broth (, low sodium)
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper ((adjust spiciness to taste))
- 1.5 tsp sugar ((any type))
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 50g / 2oz baby spinach leaves ((or kale))
Finishing & Serving:
- 3 tbsp coriander/cilantro (, roughly chopped, plus more for serving (Note 3))
- 1 tbsp lime juice (, plus extra wedges for serving)
- Yogurt ((optional))
- Rice – or something to soak up the sauce ((Note 4))
- Heat oil in a pot or large deep skillet over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 1 minute.
- Add capsicum, cook for 2 minutes until onion is translucent and slightly golden on edges.
- Add remaining Curry ingredients except baby spinach. Stir, bring to simmer then lower to medium low so it’s simmering gently.
Simmer 12 – 15 minutes until it changes from pale pink to an orangey red colour.
Stir in spinach until just wilted, then stir in coriander and lime juice. Add more salt it needed.
- Serve over rice with a dollop of yogurt, extra sprinkle of coriander and squeeze of lime (don’t go overboard, I often do and it’s too sour!)
1. Chickpeas – can use any canned beans, I’ve made this often with black beans, cannelloni beans and even lentils!
Dried chickpeas – Note 5 below.
2. Coconut milk – full fat best for flavour because the fat is where the flavour is. But light is ok too.
3. Coriander haters – sub with chives! Still tasty but will be missing the coriander flavour which is in traditional Brazilian Fish Stew.
4. Serve over something to soak up the sauce. Plain white rice, lime rice, cauliflower rice, mashed potato, couscous, polenta or even pasta.
If I don’t have something to soak up sauce, I usually bulk it out with another can of beans, corn, or diced fresh veg and serve it as a chunky stew ie not over rice or anything.
5. DRIED CHICKPEAS – 1 cup dried chickpeas (200g / 6.5 oz) – once cooked it will be around the amount of chickpeas in 2 x 400g/14 oz can. Cook using either or pressure cooker:
- STOVE: soak overnight in lots of water. Pick out anything that doesn’t look like chickpeas that floats to the surface. Place in a saucepan with 3 cups of water and simmer on medium for 40 – 50 minutes (depends on chickpea size) until they are very soft. Skim off any skin that floats to the surface. Drain, proceed with recipe.
- PRESSURE COOKER: No soaking required, cover with 3 cups of water and cook 45 minutes on high.
6. Nutrition per serving, curry only (ie no rice included). About 1.5 cups (375ml) per serve.
Life of Dozer
You’d think I had a stash of treats in my slippers or something, the way he was snuffling around inside it! (Just to confirm, I did not)