Tomato & Chickpea Curry

This is another staple dish in my home and I make it several times a month. It’s packed with protein, nutrients and tons of flavor. It’s also incredibly easy to prepare: it takes no more than 10 minutes of prep, and 30-40 minutes for the spices to mingle with the stewing chickpeas and tomatoes for the perfect blend of flavors.


Makes about 6 servings


  • 2 cans (15 oz) chickpeas
  • 2 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1+ teaspoon each: cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, cloves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro – chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice

Step One

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet and cook the onions until translucent (about 4 minutes). Meanwhile, mince the garlic and ginger and set aside.

Step Two

When making something like a curry with lots of spices, one of the best ways to infuse the dish with flavor is to spice the onions by themselves, and then add the other ingredients. We’re going to do that now. Take 1 teaspoon of each spice (cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, cloves) and add directly into the cooking onions. Stir until well incorporated.

Let the spices infuse into the onions for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, and two cans of drained chickpeas and let simmer for 3 more minutes.

Step Three

Now is a good time to start the rice. Add about 2 cups brown rice and 4 cups water to a pot and bring to a boil. Then, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. It should magically be ready around the same time as the curry.

Step Four

After the chickpeas and onions have absorbed the flavors of the spices, add in the two cans of tomatoes and stir everything together. This should all cook together for about 30 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down and it resembles something like a stew. About half way through, use your tastebuds to determine if you need more spices. I usually add about another half-teaspoon of each (except the salt) at this point.

TIP: If the consistency is too runny for your liking, you can mash a few chickpeas. Chickpeas are very starchy and if you break open a few, they’ll absorb some of the liquid and thicken your curry.


Notice the transition over 30 minutes of cooking. The tomatoes break down and everything blends together. The longer it simmers, the better!

Step Five: Cilantro!

The cilantro gets its own step because I don’t want you to forget it. One time I forgot the cilantro and it dramatically changed the flavor of this dish (for the worse!). You don’t need much to make an impact, so stir in a handful of chopped cilantro and simmer for one minute. Remove from the heat and spoon over the top of your perfectly fluffy brown rice.

NOTE: Unless you plan on inviting the whole neighborhood, this is too much food for one meal. I typically make about 6 servings by design: this dish makes excellent leftovers. Like with many foods, I find the leftovers on the second or third day to be even better. Alternatively, you can easily halve the recipe.


Of course, this must be paired with The Perfect Chai Latte I posted a few days ago 🙂


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  1. Oh my, how good does that look?! Love that you gave the cilantro it’s own step! I’ve just spent a good amount of time reading your blog, and I thought I should tell you I think it’s brilliant! Love your concept, photos, writing style. Very nice. And to have cured your mother’s diabetes in just a month is really amazing. Found you on Finding Vegan. Hope to see more of you soon!

    • Thank you for the nice comments, Jenny. I work hard on it, and it’s great to hear that you find it valuable. I can’t say my mother is cured, but she’s definitely moving in the right direction. There is a lot of evidence (Dr. Barnard, etc.) that eating this way can totally cure diabetes.

      Yes! Cilantro ALWAYS gets its own step! 🙂

      • Only type 2 diabetes can be reversed, not cured with diet. With type 1 although a healthy diet is important, but one still will always need insulin shots because their bodies don’t make insulin. I am type 1 and there are so many people who don’t understand the two different types.

  2. I was craving curried chickpeas with tomato and your recipe was one of the first to show up on Google. This is a fantastic, well presented and simple recipe with some really great tips (eg spicing the onion). I have made it several times as an alternative to my usual curry. I like to use coconut oil to cook the onions. I am fiddling around with “spice appreciation” so my preparations have fewer spices. I have not used the cinnamon or cloves yet.

    • Thanks, Mira! I’m glad it worked so well for you. I like the coconut oil idea, that sounds like a perfect combo and I think I’ll try it next time!

  3. Hi, Andrew – I just came across your website and wanted to tell you that your recipes sound absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to try them. I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to eat “better”; I’m not much of a meat fan to begin with and have always eaten lots of veggies, but I often times relied upon the frozen meals at the grocery store because I just didn’t have time to cook. I finally got to the point where the frozen and pre-made meals grossed me out, but I have NO imagination in the kitchen and pretty much lived off of kale salads and shelled edamame for over a month because I didn’t know what else to make. Of course THAT got old. I firmly believe that a healthy diet is beneficial in many ways. I just turned 38 and have already had 2 major back surgeries (2009, 2011) and am looking at a 3rd, so I am determined more than ever to pay closer attention to what I put into my body to give me strength and health. Thank you so much for the wonderful inspirations. I look forward to seeing your new creations!

    • Hey Kristen, thank you for the comment! I really hope my recipes can help you eat better than kale and edamame 🙂 Give a few of them a shot, they’re super easy and I think you’ll love them.

  4. I have just finished having this for my lunch and it was fantastic!! So so easy to do and the flavors are great. So far this is the third of your dishes I have tried and they have all been wonderful. Your manifesto is also very refreshing. I look forward to trying more!

    • That’s great, Nigel! Thanks for the comments. I’m so happy you liked everything you’ve tried so far.

  5. I found your site on Finding Vegan, and I must say this recipe looks amazing. Since discovering I have a sensitivity to mustard, I have not had curry because I could not find a recipe without mustard seeds. I’ll have to get my chickpeas soaking now so I can whip this up tomorrow.

    • Hey Jennifer! I’m glad you found my site. Ah, that’s great, I’m sure you’ll love this combo of spices — no mustard seeds needed! 🙂

  6. Absolutely delicious! I’m relatively new to experimenting with spices so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The only thing I will do differently next time is use about half of the cayenne pepper. It was pretty spicy. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers!

    • Ah, I typically use TWICE the cayenne, haha. 🙂 Thanks so much for the comment, Kay. I’m glad you liked it (P.S. the leftovers are even better)

  7. Hi Andrew – I made this yesterday and it’s awesome. The first few steps we did on the stove, then put it all in the slow cooker and let it cook on low for about 4-5 hours. I tasted it halfway through, and thought, it’s okay, but a few hours later and with the cilantro added it was great. Definitely a keeper. Thanks!

    • Oh, I had never considered making this in the slow cooker, but I bet that would be fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing, Taina!

    • The first time I made this, I accidentally left out the cilantro… it didn’t taste bad at all. However, now that remember to add the cilantro, I don’t think I could go back.

  8. This was delicious – thank you for sharing such a great recipe, I think I’ll be making this on a regular basis! I stirred in some spinach at the end with the cilantro which gave it some added colour.

  9. This is definitely an amazing dish – thank you so much for sharing. I’ve made this twice within two weeks and everyone loves it (even my husband who still eats meat but at least he buys it from the local farmers instead of large businesses).

    I switched over to a vegan diet because I wanted to be healthier and I’m a believer that it works! But, like you, I found out that just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. That’s when I found your blog. Many of my vegan friends are vegan because they don’t appreciate how animals are being treated so they still eat frozen vegan meals. I looked at the “ingredients” on the back and was appalled at what they were eating! I asked if they knew what they were eating and most of them didn’t know and what’s worse? Didn’t care.

    That being said, thank you SO much for coming up with this blog and posting all these amazing recipes. So far I’ve tried at least 10 of your posted recipes and have loved each and every one of them.

    • Very cool, Erika! Thanks so much for reporting back. I’m glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying my recipes! 🙂

  10. Made this last night & had for lunch today. It was really good! I halved the recipe but added about 3/4 of the spices since I like spice. I also used quinoa as I rarely use rice anymore. Lastly I didn’t have cilantro but can imagine how good it would be to add it…I love cilantro, can never have enough.

  11. Oh. My.

    This was beyond amazing.

    I have made at least four recipes similar to this and decided to try a different one tonight because the others have just been “eh.” The spice was perfect. I paired it with some kale for greens.

    I halved the recipe and that’s kind of a disappointment because now I don’t have any leftovers. I’m really looking forward to trying your other recipes! Thank you for sharing them!

    • That’s awesome, Nicole! I’m so glad to hear that you liked it. Ah, that is a disappointment because the leftovers are even better 😉

  12. Thanks for this recipe! Have been looking for an easy curry that doesn’t use a ton of ingredients.

    A question about amounts – do you use two 15mL cans of chickpeas/tomatoes (i.e., a total of 30mL each) or a total of 15mL of chickpeas/tomatoes (i.e., two 7.5mL cans each)? Thanks!

    • It’s two 15 *ounce* cans – you’ll have to look up the conversion to mL, but it should be a standard-sized can. And yes, like it says, use two cans of each.

  13. Made this for dinner a few nights ago – was so quick and easy. I added some cooked quinoa right at the end instead of serving on top of rice 🙂

  14. Honestly, i might accidentally become vegan after stumbling into this blog. wow, so inspiring! Thank you thank you thank you!

    • Haha, I hope so! 🙂 Thanks so much, Kris, I really appreciate the nice comments & I hope you like the recipes.

  15. Delicious recipe, thank you! I used three garden tomatoes and a can of fire-roasted chopped tomatoes and the dish came out great.

    Do you know if leftovers freeze well? I haven’t tried freezing chick peas but know the tomatoes would be OK. Thanks again!

  16. Ohhhhhhhhhh YUM! Hadn’t made this in ages but last night cooked up a big pot…this is so delicious I can’t get over it slapping myself that I overlooked making it all this time and I can’t believe I forgot how FAB it tastes! If it sounds like I’m enthusiastic about this recipe it’s because I am lol I had to come back and say thank you Andrew… every recipe I’ve tried has been amazing and some are becoming an obsession hahaha

  17. Well, I was hunting for a recipe to use up my acorn squash tonight and accidently came across this; it looks so tasty that I may have to just cook the squash another day…though now I am wondering if I could I add the squash in? Is that a bad idea (I am pretty useless at cooking so it might be 😐 )?

    • Hmm, I’ve never made a curry with squash… I think this recipe is pretty good the way it is, you might want to try something else with the squash. There’s lots of good squash recipes out there! 🙂

  18. Wow. It’s good. I was looking for a good chick pea recipe to go with rice. This is the one! The flavors are delicious, the cilantro at the end is essential, and I love the trick of cooking the onions with the spices first. It makes all the difference. Thank to the itdoesn’ blog for helping me find the recipe. I will be making this again.

  19. This was an excellent recipe. I made some modifications: I used dried chick peas, left out the cumin (I’m allergic) and cilantro (I’ll get some next time), and made a garlic coconut milk rice. The seasoning was on the money and the recipe was straight forward. This was my first time ever cooking chickpeas and thanks to this recipe it came out great.

    • But cilantro has its own step! haha 🙂 I’m so glad your first chickpea experience went well (and extra credit for cooking them from scratch)… they’re one of my favorite foods and I probably eat them 3-4 times a week. The garlic coconut rice sounds amazing! If you like the coconut vibes with this, you might also like this one as well:

  20. Made this without the oil and it was still delicious! I was a little skeptical about the spice mix, as I am not a fan of cinnamon and cloves on their own, but this totally worked. Cannot wait for the leftovers!

    • That’s great, Sarah! Thanks for letting me know. Yeah I’ve cut pretty much all oil since making this recipe 6+ years ago and it does just fine without it. I’m glad you were willing to try the spices – they definitely work well together in this recipe 🙂

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