Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are wonderfully versatile little legumes. These cute beans can be blended into hummus, stirred into soup, tossed into salads, sauteed with veggies, baked into no-chicken nuggets, or cooked into creamy curry sauces, like the quick chickpea curry recipe we have here today.
But first, some info about our chickpea: not only are chickpeas delicious and easy to use, they (like most legumes) offer a HUGE amount of nutrition. Here are some high points of chickpea nutrition, from The World’s Healthiest Foods (one of my favorite resources for nutrition information):
- In fiber studies, participants that increased their chickpea intake had better fiber overall, but also had better blood fat regulation, including lower levels of LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.
- Between 65-75% of the fiber found in garbanzo beans is insoluble fiber– the type of fiber that remains undigested until the final segment of your large intestine (colon). Recent studies have shown that garbanzo bean fiber can be metabolized by bacteria in the colon to produce relatively large amounts of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including acetic, propionic, and butyric acid. These SCFAs provide fuel to the cells that line your intestinal wall
- Chickpeas are a great source of trace minerals molybdenum, manganese, folate and tryptophan.
- One cup of cooked chickpeas contains approximetly 12 grams of fiber, 14.5 grams of protein, and lots of iron (in case anyone wonders about plant-based sources of nutrition!)
But back to the deliciousness of the chickpea, because that’s really the most important. This curry recipe is a slimmed down version of a classic Indian dish. I taught it as part of a workshop on ‘Healthy Eating for the Whole Week,’ and wanted to make it as simple as possible for those unaccustomed to this type of cooking. So even though it calls for fresh ginger, fresh turmeric and lots of spices, it will taste just as good with none of these ingredients. Making the curry with the onions, garlic, tomatoes and coconut will be an awesome, much simpler flavor combination– and either way it’s an easy one-pot meal, especially if you use canned beans. I hope you love it!
Quick Chickpea Curry
¼ cup coconut oil, ghee or olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 Tablespoons fresh, minced ginger
2 Tablespoon fresh, minced turmeric
4 cups cooked chickpeas
1 Tablespoon each ground cumin, ground coriander, and curry powder (more to taste)
2 teaspoons each sea salt, cinnamon (more to taste)
1 teaspoon each mustard seeds, black pepper, and ground cardamom (more to taste)
1 (15-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1 cup green peas
- In a very large skillet or stockpot, heat oil of choice over medium heat. Add onion and garlic sauté until onions are browned, about 10 minutes.
- Toss in tomatoes, ginger and turmeric and stir to coat. Simmer for 10 more minutes, until tomatoes are very soft.
- Add chickpeas, spices and coconut milk. Stir to coat evenly. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Add ¼ cup water if mixture seems dry.
- After 10 minutes, stir in green peas and cook just a few minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.
Yields: 6-8 servings
Dry chickpeas image from Shutterstock