This easy plant based chickpea curry is a freezer meal must have! Oh, and it's vegan friendly too, if you get the right curry paste!
Unfortunately, this recipe is not much of a time saver dish (I am still in the process of making an instant pot version that tastes just as good). However, this recipe freezes well and I personally plan on including it in my "before labour" freezer meal prep. So, if you have a little extra time and need something to add to your freezer meal stock pile, you definitely have to try this one out.
Before you start...
This is one of those recipes that took me an embarrassingly long time to develop and perfect to my own standards. Im talking almost two years! Yep, I know that's crazy, but some recipes just seem to take forever to perfect. With that being said, I would advise you follow the recipe without changing the ingredients. I have tried this recipe with many different types of ingredients and it just doesn't taste the same. So, as long as you follow the recipe as closely as possible, you should end up with a very easy plant based chickpea curry to add to your weekly meal staples.
- Olive oil
- Red onion
- Thai red curry paste
- Brown sugar
- Vegetable bouillon cube
- Rice vinegar
- Tomato sauce
- Red/yellow/orange bell pepper
- Coconut milk
- Bok choi (optional)
Where can I find Thai red curry paste?
You can usually find it at any grocery store in the ethnic food isle. I find mine with the other jarred Indian/ asian curry sauces. My favourite brand is Thai kitchen.
Is the curry paste vegan/vegetarian?
The Thai kitchen brand is the only curry paste I have been able to find so far that is Vegan. Most other brands that I have come across; such as Blue Dragon, have anchovy or fish oil in the ingredients. Make sure you are checking the ingredients closely when purchasing curry paste if you are vegan/vegetarian/allergic to fish.
Can I use a curry powder instead of curry paste?
When I first started trying to make this curry, I used curry powder with a mix of other Indian spices like Garam masala, etc. However, I have found that curry paste simply tastes better in my opinion. I also found that it was easier to use and keep on hand since its just one ingredient. I was always frustrated with having what seemed like 100 different Indian spices hanging around my pantry for just one or two recipies.
The cooking process
Okay, I'll let you in on a (not so secret) secret. Its really important to add the curry paste in after you sauté your onion and garlic. I used to add the curry paste in at the very end and it really does make a difference in taste. If you have ever seen someone cook traditional Indian food, you will notice that they add all of their spices and curry at the beginning to release the flavours.
Second (not so secret) secret. Deglaze your pan. There is only one tablespoon of oil in this recipe so you may find that your ingredients are sticking to the bottom of the pan. This is where it is great to deglaze your pan! Typical deglazing ingredients are: Wine, vinegar, alcohol and even water. In this recipe we are using rice vinegar. You can go ahead and try a different type of vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar if you do not have rice vinegar. If you can though, please invest in the rice vinegar it definitely tastes the best in the recipe!
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- ½ Red onion diced
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1-3 tablespoon Thai red curry paste* see note
- 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
- 1 Cube Vegetable bouillon
- ½ teaspoon Rice vinegar
- ½ Cup Canned tomato sauce
- 1 Cup Chopped bell pepper red/yellow/orange
- 1 Can (540 mL) Chickpeas
- 1 Can (398 mL) Coconut milk* see note
- 1 Cup Bok choi Chopped (Optional)
- In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add in diced onuon and minced garlic, saute until onion and garlic become fragrant.
- Add in your red curry paste to taste and briefly saute for approx 1 minute to release the flavours. Mix in the brown sugar and bouillon cube. Break apart the bouillon cube and mix until all of the ingredients come together to form a really thick paste. Deglaze your pan with the rice vinegar.
- Add in the tomato sauce, bell pepper, chickpeas, and coconut milk. Mix to combine. Keep skillet at medium heat and allow to come to a boil. Once the curry has come to a boil reduce heat to a simmer and allow to simmer until the curry has thickened.
- Mix in the chopped bok choi if you would like, cook for 2-3 minutes.
- To control the spice level in your curry follow these guidelines. 1 tablespoon curry paste = Mild, 2 tablespoon curry paste = Medium, 3+ tablespoon curry paste = Hot.
- I prefer using full fat coconut milk, however you are free to use the lower fat version if you want to yield a lower fat dish.
- The book choi is optional. Make sure you add it in at the very end and only cook for approx 2-3 minutes.