This easy Chickpea Lentil Curry takes around 45 minutes to make and is full of Indian flavors. It's a healthy vegan recipe that's made with both chickpeas and lentils, making it extra hearty and delicious.
I figure it’s about time to share a few more cozy recipes before the weather officially starts warming up. Insert: chickpea lentil curry, aka the BEST vegan lentil curry ever.
I adore my sweet potato curry farro recipe -- and I know many of you do too -- but I realized I didn’t have any traditional curry recipes on my site. Well, until now!
This lentil curry is seasoned with everything you want in a curry recipe: shallot, garlic, curry powder, garam masala, and cumin, and the lentils are cooked in tomato sauce and coconut milk for a rich, warm, comforting meatless meal.
If you’re looking for more Indian-inspired recipes, be sure to check out my vegan tikka masala and my butternut squash curry -- both plant-based and so delicious.
Why you’ll love this chickpea lentil curry
- It’s made with classic Indian spices
- The recipe is filled with lentils and chickpeas, and is ready in under 45 minutes
- Delicious served with a side of basmati rice and/or naan
- Lentils: Green or brown, NOT red; green and brown lentils cook similarly, whereas red are smaller in size and therefore result in a different texture and generally take less time to cook.
- Chickpeas: Canned; drained and rinsed. Since they’re canned, they’re already cooked, so you’ll essentially just be simmering them in the sauce so they soak up the flavor.
- Coconut milk: Canned; full fat or light -- whatever you have in your pantry!
- Tomato sauce: Make sure to use PLAIN + CANNED tomato sauce; most jarred tomato sauces are meant for Italian recipes, so we want to make sure to use plain-seasoned tomato sauce from a can (check the ingredients!)
- Carrot/Bell pepper: Could sub 1 medium sweet potato instead (see “tips and tricks” below)
Step 1: Sauté. Start by heating oil in a large, deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the carrots and bell pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes until soft.
Step 2: Add the spices. Next, add the shallot and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add all of the spices and stir for 1 minute until fragrant.
Step 3: Cook the lentils. Pour in the tomato sauce, coconut milk, lentils, and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the skillet and cook for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Add the chickpeas. Last, add the chickpeas and ½ cup more water and continue simmering uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the lentils are soft.
Tips and tricks
-Be sure to rinse both the lentils and chickpeas before adding them to the skillet
-Check your can of tomato sauce to make sure there aren’t any Italian spices in it, like basil or oregano. I used Muir Glen canned tomato sauce, with the only ingredients being tomato puree, onion powder and garlic powder and it worked out perfectly in this recipe.
-Curry is great because it’s fairly easy to customize based on what’s in your refrigerator; if you want to add sweet potato to this, you can! If you want to add spinach, you can! It’s a great way to squeeze vegetables into your diet.
-Add-ins: Besides adding more veggies, you can also add lime juice to taste (I’d start with 1 tablespoon and go from there) and an extra drizzle of dairy-free milk (any kind, or more coconut milk), or if you’re not vegan, a drizzle of heavy cream, which will make the dish even creamier.
- Refrigerator: Store curry in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freezer: Wait for curry to cool, then spoon it into freezer-safe bags, removing as much air as possible. Store curry in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: Reheat curry in a saucepan over the stove, stirring occasionally until it’s warmed through.
More tasty lentil recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Chickpea Lentil Curry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced, seeds removed
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- 14 oz. tomato sauce canned
- 14 oz. coconut milk canned
- 1 cup dry brown or green lentils rinsed
- ½ cup water plus more
- 14 oz. chickpeas canned, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon lime juice optional
- cilantro for garnish
- Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, then add the carrot and pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the shallot and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Next, add the spices (curry powder, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, salt, coriander) and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant, then pour in the tomato sauce, coconut milk, lentils and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Next, remove the lid and add the chickpeas, along with ½ cup additional water and stir. Continue simmering for 10-15 minutes uncovered until the lentils are soft. Remove from the heat, and add lime juice (optional) and more salt as needed. Enjoy!
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