This vegan chickpea stew is an easy pantry-led dinner that makes a great weeknight meal. Ready in under an hour and with most of that just simmering time, you can put it together quickly and keep leftovers in the refrigerator for another day.
Big hits of turmeric and ginger add plenty of flavour to this otherwise simple dish, alongside cayenne pepper, cumin, and a touch of cinnamon. The main ingredients are just carrots, canned tomatoes, and chickpeas (canned or cooked) so we’re keeping things really simple. It’s good though, especially with brown rice or naan.
If you have carrots in your garden, you might still have some overwintered like I do or fresh spring ones (like Nantes) coming soon. If not, all of the ingredients in this recipe are readily available year round.
Love chickpeas? Try this super simple chickpea soup, easy chickpea pumpkin curry, or summery Greek chickpea salad with seasonal vegetables.
You’ll need just 13 ingredients, including all the dry spices and water. You don’t need a really well stocked spice cupboard for this recipe – just staple spices that are really common in South Asian cooking.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Carrots: you could try sweet potato in place of the carrots. Play around with adding more vegetables if you like, too. Peas right at the end would be good.
- Turmeric: the recipe card gives an option for fresh or dry turmeric. I like the taste of fresh and it’s pretty easy to find these days, but dry will give you a stronger colour and slightly different flavour. Dried is a bit bitter so you might want to add a touch of coconut sugar or honey.
- Spices: I use whole cumin, as you can see in the ingredient photo above, but it doesn’t matter. The measurement is for ground but if you use whole it’ll be just as strong because whole spices are stronger than pre-ground. If you have trouble with spicy food, reduce the cayenne pepper to 1/4 teaspoon or to taste.
- Greens: serve with any hardy greens you like, either topping the stew as seen in the photos (those are radish shoots) or fresh greens stirred into the stew once it’s finished cooking. If you want to use frozen greens, also add them to the pot at the end of cooking but keep the pot on the stovetop and cover for about five minutes to thaw.
Because this is cooked until the carrots are soft, you can speed it up by cutting your carrots smaller than I did here. Any tomato-based stew does taste better with a longer cooking time, as described in the recipe – about half an hour – but you can speed it up if you like.
I usually offer the option of either vegetable broth or water and let me tell you, I get a lot of flack about it. In Europe it’s common to just use water and then season appropriately, so I don’t know what the big deal is. Use broth if you like! I usually don’t have any in the house and store bought veg broth is pretty much just salt, so use extra salt.
And as with any homemade vegetable stew/soup, there is no more important aspect than proper seasoning. There are different layers to this beyond salt – you might need a touch of sweetness, or acidity, but usually it’s salt. The recipe calls for a teaspoon of salt. I use about double that but everyone has different preferences, so you might like more or less, and you should season to taste with any recipe.
How to Store
Storage: keep leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezing: transfer the stew to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat as usual.
- Cook the spices: this will make the dish so much more flavourful than chucking them in at the end of cooking. A quick fry releases the oils of the spices, making them much more fragrant.
- Rinse the chickpeas: cooked or canned, chickpeas should always be drained and rinsed before adding to a dish. This is especially true for canned, though.
- Season to taste: this is not only regarding salt, but also the spices. If you consider black pepper spicy, you will probably want to omit the cayenne pepper altogether.
More Spicy Stew and Curry Recipes
Chickpea, Sweet Potato, and Kale Curry
Spring Green Coconut Rice Noodles
Cauliflower, Sweet Potato, and Chickpea Curry
Moroccan Chickpea, Sweet Potato, and Kale Stew
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Vegan Chickpea Tomato Stew
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 medium carrots cut into 1 cm (3/8 inch) pieces
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 thumb ginger ~2 tablespoons, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric finely grated, or dried
- 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 400 grams canned tomatoes*
- 250 ml vegetable broth or water
- 300 grams cooked or canned chickpeas rinsed well
- 2 big handfuls of greens
- Brown rice or naan
- Parsley or cilantro
- Heat a medium pot over low-medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the coconut oil.1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant and translucent. Stir in the carrots and cook another 5 minutes or so.1 medium onion, 2 medium carrots
- Stir in the garlic, ginger, turmeric, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, and cinnamon. Cook another minute, stirring frequently.3 cloves garlic, 1 thumb ginger, 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Add the tomatoes and stock, stirring to combine. Stir in the chickpeas, then cover and bring to a bowl boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.400 grams canned tomatoes*, 250 ml vegetable broth, 300 grams cooked or canned chickpeas
- Taste and season as needed, and serve with rice, greens, and herbs. Leftovers can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and frozen up to 3 months.2 big handfuls of greens, Brown rice or naan, Parsley or cilantro
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
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