Storecupboard Chickpea Curry {And Cauliflower, Kale or Sweet Potato}

Here's an easy, healthy and delicious chickpea curry made with store cupboard ingredients. This is a vegan recipe which is also flexible enough to take any vegetables you have which need using up.  Potato, sweet potato, kale, cauliflower or other chopped vegetables make a great addition - as do a handful or two of frozen peas.

Versatile Store cupboard Chickpea Curry 1.jpg

Chickpea curry makes a great emergency dinner - especially in the winter months to blow away the chills. Onions and garlic are the only 'fresh' ingredients required, but if you have some fresh chillies or root ginger kicking about then use instead of their powdered versions to improve the flavour. Finely chop a thumb-sized piece of root ginger and 2-4 de-seeded chillies (depending on type of chilli and tolerance to heat of course). Add them to the chickpea curry at the same time as the garlic. 

This chickpea curry tastes better a few hours (or better still the following day) after it's made. I make a big batch in the morning and re-heat portions of it for dinner. It's great for packed lunches and will keep in the fridge for 4 days. It also freezes well for another time. Enjoy!

Storecupboard Chickpea Curry

  • Serves: 4-6 adults

  • Prep time: 10 minutes

  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • 57p per serving (based on 4 servings)


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 ½ teaspoons hot chilli powder (or to taste, see notes)

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (see notes)

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed

  • 3 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed

  • 1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes

  • 200ml hot water from the kettle

  • 1 vegetable stock cube

  • 2 heaped tablespoons tomato puree

  • 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar (optional)

  • Good pinch of garam masala

  • Rice or naan to serve and fresh coriander to garnish (optional)

  • Salt & pepper to taste

You could also add: cubed potato, sweet potato, cauliflower florets, curly kale, diced courgettes, frozen peas etc


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

  2. Fry the onions for 4-5 minutes until soft and slightly golden, stirring often.

  3. Add all the ground spices and fry for a minute until fragrant.

  4. Add the garlic and cook for another minute stirring frequently so it doesn't catch.

  5. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, water, stock cube, tomato puree and sugar if using. Give everything a really good stir and season to taste.

  6. Simmer for around 40 minutes over a low heat stirring occasionally. You may need to add a splash more water if the curry becomes too dry.

  7. If you wish to add any extra bits to your chickpea curry, add them now - see notes below.

  8. Stir in a good pinch of garam masala at the end. Serve the chickpea curry with rice or naan. A good sprinkling of fresh coriander is always good, if you have it.

Adding extra ingredients to your chickpea curry (some ideas and rough directions):

  • Potatoes or sweet potatoes: peel and dice into 1-2cm cubes. Stir through the chickpea curry and add enough water so they are almost submerged. Partially cover the pan with a lid and cook until the potatoes are just tender and can be pierced easily with a fork - this will take around 10 minutes for sweet potatoes and roughly 15 minutes for white potatoes.

  • Cauliflower: chop the cauliflower into small florets and stir into the chickpea curry along with a couple of tablespoons of water. Put a lid on the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.

  • Curly kale: Stir handfuls of chopped curly kale into the chickpea curry and cook for 1-2 minutes until wilted.

  • Courgettes: Stir diced courgettes into the chickpea curry and cook for a further 5 minutes until soft.

  • Frozen peas: Add peas straight from the freezer into the chickpea curry. Cook for 2-3 minutes until peas are heated through.