This chickpea and lentil curry with sweet potato and spinach has a rich coconut milk sauce and hits the spot! It’s a super hearty and satisfying meal that’s delicious on its own or with rice and naan.
This chickpea and lentil curry came to fruition because of a massive snowstorm we had earlier this winter.
We had over 100 centimeters (or over 3 feet) of snow from a Friday to Sunday. That combined with high winds, we lost our power for a little bit.
Luckily our stovetop is propane so I was able to cook and get a nice cuppa hot tea for us.
Not wanting to open the fridge (in order to keep things cold while the power was out), I used a bunch of pantry staples to make this easy curry recipe.
When hubby and I enjoyed, we devoured this curry. Not sure if it was because we burned, like, 1000 calories from snow shoveling or because it was legit tasty.
Of course, I’ve made since then and added a couple of fresh elements, like spinach and yogurt.
Verdict? Oh yeah, it’s yummy!!
Why this Chickpea & Lentil Curry is Great!
- It’s made with mostly pantry ingredients
- It comes together in one pan for minimal fuss and easy cleanup
- Totally loaded with hearty pulses and veggies
- This curry is gluten free
- It’s pretty budget-friendly
- Of course, it tastes delicious!
How to Make Curry
Full details on how to make this chickpea lentil curry is in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- Start off by heating up some coconut oil in a pan. Add onion and cook.
- Then, add minced garlic and ginger and cook for just a minute to get those flavours going.
- Add chickpeas and your spices and stir to coat.
- Next, pour in the broth, coconut milk, lentils, sweet potato, cashews, raisins, and shredded coconut. Simmer and cover (slightly ajar) to cook. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking.
- When time is up, carefully uncover. The potato should be fork tender.
- Stir in baby spinach.
- Yogurt gets mixed in next, along with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Garnish & dig in!
How to Enjoy: Delicious as is or over rice or quinoa. This chickpea lentil curry is also yummy with naan for dunking.
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Do I Have to Soak Lentils?
Nope, not at all!
Use dried red lentils here (not canned).
Pick over and discard any rocks, foreign objects and imperfect lentils. Then, rinse and drain before use.
Can I Use Frozen Spinach Instead of Fresh?
Because curry is saucy in nature, you can add some frozen spinach directly to the pan and cook until broken down and warmed through. The little bit of extra moisture will just add to the sauciness.
However, if you want to thaw and drain the spinach first, go for it!
Note: If you do opt for frozen spinach, your curry will have more flecks of green throughout (versus larger leaves). Not a big deal, just something to keep in mind.
Yummy Garnish Options
- Sliced chili pepper
- Green onion
- Extra swirl of yogurt or sour cream
More Tips & Variations
This curry recipe comes together relatively quickly. Have everything prepped before starting.
Full-fat coconut milk is recommended here.
For a vegan curry, opt for fresh cilantro and coconut yogurt.
Cut your sweet potato into equal size (kinda small) chunks so they cook evenly. Go for the size of a dice.
Instead of cayenne, opt for fresh chili pepper to taste or red chili flakes.
Don’t have lime on hand? Squeeze in some lemon juice instead.
More Easy Curry Recipes
Hope you love this easy curry recipe as much as we do!
If you make this chickpea and lentil curry, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to hear how you enjoyed it!
Chickpea and Lentil Curry (vegan and gluten free)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 red or yellow onion , peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger , grated
- 19 ounce can of unsalted chickpeas , rinsed and drained (about 2 cups or a 540 millilitre can)
- 1.5 tablespoons curry powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne (or red chili flakes)
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- pinch ground cloves
- 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth (or more if you want a looser consistency)
- 13.5 ounces full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk (about a 400 millilitre can or a little over 1.5 cups)
- 1 cup dried red lentils , picked over (remove and discard any rocks, foreign objects and imperfect lentils), rinsed and drained
- 1 medium sweet potato , peeled and cut into small dice (about 1.5 to 2 cups)
- ¾ cup raw unsalted cashews
- ½ cup seedless raisins
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 handfuls baby spinach (about 2 loosely packed cups)
- ⅓ cup yogurt (regular, Greek or coconut yogurt or sour cream)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro paste (or 3 to 4 tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Chopped cilantro (garnish, optional)
- Sliced chili pepper (garnish, optional)
- In a large pan over medium heat (I like to use a 12-inch pan, about 2.5 to 3 inches deep), add coconut oil.
- Once oil is melted, add onion and cook 3 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute.
- Add chickpeas, curry powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, turmeric and cloves. Stir to coat chickpeas. Cook 2 minutes.
- Stir in broth, coconut milk, red lentils, sweet potato, cashews, raisins and coconut. Stir to combine. Bring to simmer, reduce to a low-medium simmer, cover (with just slightly ajar) and cook 20 minutes, checking on and stirring partway through to ensure nothing is sticking. Turn off heat.
- Add baby spinach and stir in to cook. It will wilt with residual heat.
- Stir in yogurt (or sour cream), cilantro paste (or fresh cilantro) and lime juice. Garnish (if desired) and enjoy! Delicious as is or over rice. Note: Add more broth if you want a looser or thinner consistency.
- This curry recipe comes together relatively quickly. Have everything prepped before starting.
- For a vegan curry, opt for fresh cilantro and coconut yogurt.
- Cut your sweet potato into equal size (kinda small) chunks so they cook evenly. Go for the size of a dice.
- Instead of cayenne, opt for fresh chili pepper to taste or red chili flakes.
- Don’t have lime on hand? Squeeze in some lemon juice instead.
Nutrition (ESTIMATE ONLY)
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.