For a while now, I’ve been posting occasional recipes as step-by-step photos on Flickr, rather than here on the blog. But since people keep asking me for easy recipes for starter vegans, I’m going to bring over a few favorites. Today: Chickpea-Coconut Curry. It calls for some unusual spices, but once you have your kitchen stocked you’ll find yourself using them over and over, because this is a one-pot meal that takes very little prep time.
Curry is one of many things I’d never made before becoming vegan. A year or two ago, I had the good fortune to have a roommate who was an incredible cook, and on several occasions, I was roused out of bed in the middle of the night by the enticing smell of curry coming from the kitchen. Now that I know how simple and delicious curry is, I count it as a staple recipe.
Like most tasty dishes, this one starts with simmering garlic and onion. Chop up at least half an onion and simmer in oil on low heat. Peel and mince about 6 cloves of garlic and add them to the pot. When the onions have softened, add the following spices:
- curry powder (plenty of this, at least a tablespoon)
- turmeric (gives it that nice yellow hue)
- cumin (every kind of bean or lentil benefits from cumin)
- ginger (just a bit of this adds dimension)
- cayenne pepper (a little goes a long way–this adds kick!)
- sea salt (again, go easy on it)
- cinnamon (you don’t want enough to notice it, just a dash or two to round it all out)
I tend not to measure when I cook. (Though baking is a different story.) I encourage you to trust your taste buds when seasoning your food. Add a little at a time until you get it right. You can always add more, but too much is hard to correct.
Once the onions have cooked in the spices for a couple of minutes, add some coconut milk, at least half a can. Stir.
At this point you’ll throw in about 2 chopped carrots, and a bunch of frozen peas, roughly equal to the amount of chopped carrot. (If you like to cut corners, you can use a frozen peas & carrots blend. I’ve also been known to substitute garlic powder for fresh garlic in an emergency.)
Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), and add them to the pot. Stir everything and let it cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the carrots have softened and the mixture has thickened somewhat; approximately 20 minutes.
Serve Chickpea-Coconut Curry plain or over rice.