This delicious creamy vegan chickpea curry recipe is packed with veggies rich in prebiotic fiber and antioxidants, plant-based protein, and vitality-boosting phytochemicals.
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a look at the health benefits of some of the top ingredients.
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a type of legume originating from Egypt.
Their delicious nutty flavor and versatility have made them a superstar ingredient in many traditional dishes such as hummus, curries, and falafel.
Chickpeas are a wonderfully healthy addition to any diet, offering an abundant source of vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamin B6
Chickpeas are also rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which may help to support gut microbiome diversity and bowel movement regularity. Soluble fiber, in particular, has also been shown to support cardiovascular health, and research has shown that eating a diet rich in pulses may decrease LDL cholesterol, i.e., the “bad” cholesterol. 
This recipe uses canned chickpeas out of convenience, but if you prefer to use dried chickpeas instead, that’s no problem; you'll just need a little bit of extra patience!
To cook dried chickpeas, add them to a pot with enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. Cover the pot with a lid, bring the chickpeas to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Simmer the chickpeas for about 1.5 - 2 hours until they're soft. For this recipe, you'll need to cook around 1 cup of dried garbanzo beans.
Are chickpeas carbs or protein?
Both! One cup of chickpeas provides around 14.5 grams of protein and 45 grams of carbohydrates.
Their rich protein content makes them an excellent replacement for meat in any vegan curry or other main dish.
Chickpeas contain all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) except methionine. To ensure your meal is a complete protein source, you can pair chickpeas with a grain containing methionine, such as quinoa.
Their high protein and fiber content may also help to keep you feeling fuller and more satiated after eating. For example, one study found that participants who ate 1.25 cups of chickpeas before a meal had a significant reduction in their appetite and calorie intake compared to participants who just ate white bread before the same meal. 
Do chickpeas give you gas?
Chickpeas, alongside other beans and lentils, are commonly known for their ability to cause gas and bloating.
This is due to the fact that chickpeas contain certain types of carbohydrates called oligosaccharides, as well as soluble fiber. Oligosaccharides and soluble fiber can ferment in the large intestine, causing gas and bloating.
Taking a digestive enzyme supplement with your meals may help if you struggle with this. 
Spinach is an incredibly nutrient-rich vegetable. It’s high in micronutrients like Vitamins A, C, K1, folic acid, iron, and calcium. It’s also packed with insoluble fiber, which may help to support regularity and overall digestive health.
Spinach is also an abundant source of antioxidant-rich phytonutrients that can help fight free radicals. Some of these important antioxidants include:
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These antioxidants may be linked to enhanced eye health.
- Quercetin: Spinach is one of the most abundant sources of quercetin. Quercetin is a powerful phytochemical that may support cardiovascular health, cognitive function, joint health, immunity, and more, thanks to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Kaempferol: Epidemiological research suggests that kaempferol intake may be associated with a reduced risk of cancer.
Another type of compound found in spinach known as thylakoids may help to curb appetite by promoting the release of hormones involved in satiety.
For example, a systematic review of clinical trials evaluated the effect of thylakoid intake on satiety and weight loss. All of the studies in this review supported evidence that thylakoid intake was associated with a reduction in hunger. It’s thought that thylakoids increase the hormones cholecystokinin and leptin and decrease serum ghrelin after eating, all of which are involved in feelings of satiety.
Cilantro is a staple herb in any Thai curry. Not only does it add a fresh flavor, but it’s also packed with health benefits.
Thanks to the presence of powerful phenolic compounds, cilantro has potent antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties.
Cilantro may also support detoxification, with preliminary research suggesting it may help remove heavy metals like lead and mercury from the body.
Garlic is a mighty plant with potent antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties and has been used medicinally since ancient times.
The compounds found in garlic may even have preventive effects on diseases like cancer while offering powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and lipid-lowering properties. 
A systematic review and meta-analysis of 12 randomized controlled trials examined the effect of garlic on antioxidant status. Overall, researchers found that garlic significantly increased total antioxidant capacity and levels of superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant enzyme. Malondialdehyde levels were significantly decreased after garlic supplementation, which indicates reduced oxidative stress. 
Another meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials examined the effects of garlic supplementation on markers of cardiovascular health and immune function. Researchers found that garlic may significantly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and also significantly lower levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). Lastly, it was concluded that garlic could significantly reduce the number, duration, and severity of upper respiratory tract infections. 
Sweet potato is one of the most delicious and easiest root vegetables to add to any dish. They come in a variety of different colors, such as white, orange, and even purple, and are a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
For example, one cup of baked sweet potato provides around 213% of the daily value (DV) of Vitamin A, 44% of the DV of Vitamin C, 43% of the DV of Manganese, and 34% of the DV of Vitamin B6.
The orange and purple varieties of sweet potatoes are particularly rich in antioxidants that can help to fight free radicals.
Rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, sweet potatoes may help support a healthy gut microbiome and overall digestive health since these fibers are fermented by bacteria in the gut, producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) that provide fuel for the intestinal epithelial cells.
Can I freeze this curry?
Absolutely! This recipe freezes exceptionally well and can be a lifesaver when you’ve had a busy day or simply need a break from cooking.
Simply store it in portion-sized containers in your freezer and consume it within 8-10 weeks.
(Makes 6-8 servings)
- 4 brown onions
- 4 tablespoons of natural Thai green or red curry paste
- 2 cans of natural coconut cream or coconut milk (preferably organic and additive free)
- 400ml/13 oz water
- 3 large handfuls chopped cilantro
- 3 green bell peppers, finely chopped
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 cups of canned chickpeas
- 1 thumb size piece of ginger, finely chopped/grated
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 limes
- Chop the sweet potatoes into cubes and place them on a baking tray with a few drizzles of coconut oil in the oven for 45 minutes on 375 F.
- While the sweet potato is cooking, finely chop the onions and add them to a pot with some coconut oil or olive oil. Fry the onion pieces until they begin to brown and caramelize.
- Add the chopped bell pepper, ginger, and garlic and incorporate them into the onions.
- Once the bell peppers have become sweeter and softer, add and stir in the curry paste.
- Allow everything to cook for 2 minutes while occasionally stirring, allowing the spices to become fragrant.
- Pour in the 2 cans of coconut cream, water, chickpeas, and roasted sweet potato and let it simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Squeeze in the lime juice, 2/3rds of the chopped cilantro.
- Serve alongside fluffy basmati rice made on the stovetop or instant pot with a wedge of lime and some fresh cilantro!
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and not intended for use as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplement.