Indian food is a wonder to me. I am always amazed by the amount of spices used in a single dish.
And if you’ve never experienced Indian food—take my word for it. It’s always full of spice.
About a year ago, Mark and I visited a mom-and-pop Indian restaurant in South Carolina. And while we didn’t know what much on the menu was, and had a hard time communicating with the waiter it was some of the best Indian food we’ve ever had. We call that an “authentic experience” right?
The dish that I got was loaded with the the spice garam masala. Chickpeas sat in a creamy, spicy, coconut based sauce and it was all served over fluffy rice. I’ve been on a quest to re-create this dish ever since and today I present to you a delicious, gluten free + vegan, Indian dinner!
Let’s make some Masala Chickpea Curry + Rice!
My version of the delicious masala curry is easier, and made with many less ingredients than you might expect out of an Indian dish. The blend garam masala is made up of spices like cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cumin, and nutmeg. Basically everything good.
Lucky for us, most supermarkets carry garam masala ready to use and we don’t need to get out all the spice jars for one dish! Toss some hearty carrots, sweet potato, onion, and lots of garlic with the spices and you’ve got yourself a very flavorful dinner!
I love sharing this dish when we have guests over—seriously everyone loves Indian food! It is easy to make and tastes just a little bit fancy.
I hope you love my take on this classic Indian recipe as much as I do! My Masala Chickpea Curry + Rice is:
Ethnic + Unique
Thick + Creamy
Sweet + Savory
& full of Spice
If you try this recipe, be sure to comment, leave a rating, and don’t forget to tag a photo #thelocalsprout on Instagram! I can’t wait to hear what you think!
- 1 cup dry rice
- 3 Tbsp. coconut oil, separated
- ½ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup carrot, diced
- ½ cup sweet potato, diced
- 1 tsp salt + extra for sprinkling
- pinch black pepper
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 4 Tbsp garam masala spice blend, separated
- 1 cup light coconut milk, canned
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Chopped herbs—cilantro or parsley
- Fresh lime or lemon juice
- Sliced green onion
- Roasted + salted cashews
- Cook rice according to package instructions, once cooked, cover and set aside until ready to serve.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil, onion, garlic, carrot, sweet potato, salt and pepper.
- Sauté for 5-10 minutes or until onions are translucent and vegetables are beginning to soften. Add water—1 Tbsp. at a time if mixture becomes dry.
- Add ginger and 3 Tbsp of the garam masala spice blend. Stir to coat vegetables.
- Pour in the coconut milk, vegetable broth, and coconut sugar. Bring mixture to a low boil. Cook for more 5 minutes.
- Dump mixture into a large high-speed blender or food processor. Blend on high until smooth and creamy—about 1 minutes, scraping sides as needed. Leave sauce in blender and set aside.
- Heat original saucepan over medium heat. Add chickpeas and 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add 1 Tbsp. of garam masala and a big pinch of salt. Toss to coat and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Scoop half of the chickpeas out of the pan and set aside.
- Pour the sauce into the pan with remaining chickpeas. Bring back to a low simmer. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- To serve, top rice with sauce, reserved chickpeas, and optional toppings. Leftovers will keep refrigerated in airtight container for up to 3 days, though best enjoyed fresh.