Tuesday, March 31, 2015

One-Pot Chickpea Coconut Curry

by Leslie Budewitz

Vegan, Thai, and yummy!

One-pot meals are super on weeknights. This one takes less than half an hour from chopping to eating, with enough time while the pot is simmering to saute some vegetables, grill some naan, and start on a glass of a nice white wine—any Chardonnay would be good with this dish, especially an unoaked or lightly oaked variety, or a fruity Pinot Grigio.

We love the Southeast Asian spices, and this recipe blends them beautifully. There are times when frozen vegetables are useful, and this is one of them. Curries vary a great deal in flavor and heat; adjust the amount based on your curry and your taste.

(Adapted from a recipe in Costco magazine)

One-Pot Chickpea Coconut Curry

1-15 ounce can coconut milk
3 cans of water (just fill that coconut can 3 times; the water will rinse out any cream stuck in the can)
2 cups basmati rice, uncooked
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup carrots, diced (about 2 medium carrots)
1 3-4 ounce potato, cubed (a Yukon Gold is lovely)
1-15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
1-3 tablespoons curry blend
1 tablespoon soy sauce
juice of 1 lime (3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

In a 6-8 quart stockpot, combine the coconut milk, water, rice, garlic, carrots, and potato. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, loosely covered, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes, until the rice is tender and the sauce is quite thick.

Add the frozen corn and peas and stir until cooked and fully combined. Depending on the thickness, you may want to add up to ½ a can of water.

Just before serving, add the curry, soy sauce, lime juice, and cilantro. Stir to combine, then serve in pasta bowls.

Serves 8-10. Reheats nicely; spritz with water before reheating to plump the rice.

Good accompaniments: Steamed broccoli and cauliflower and grilled naan.

ASSAULT AND PEPPER, first in the Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries (March 2015, Berkley Prime Crime)

Leslie Budewitz is the only author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction—the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, for Death al Dente (Berkley Prime Crime), and the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction, for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books).

Connect with her on her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


  1. The dish looks so good! Thank you for the recipe.

  2. That sound delicious...and I just happen to have all the ingredients on hand (well, maybe not the fresh cilantro). And using one pot makes cooking and clean-up so easy!

    1. Cilantro takes over part of my garden in the summer so that's easy then, but in winter, that's often the ingredient that sends me to the grocery store!

  3. Yum! I love all things curry and the coconut milk takes it over the top in taste!
    Well done

    1. Between my first and second go-rounds with this recipe, my grocery store added plain and light coconut milk -- I used the unsweetened both times. You could play with the flavor a little that way. There didn't seem to be much difference between any of them, comparing the nutrition labels. Your brands may vary!

    2. I've tried "lite" coconut milk and was very disappointed in the flavor.
      Never again. Good, plain coconut milk for me!

  4. I loved "Assault and Pepper"! I can't wait for the next book in the series. I liked being at the Pike Place Market for a few days.

    I don't care for curry. I understand there are different curries? Maybe Pepper can help me out with that, see if there is one I would like.

    1. Elaine, so glad you enjoyed A&P! GUILTY AS CINNAMON is scheduled for December 2015, and does include both a curry blend and a garam masala. In this country, we tend to think of curry as a single spice, but in fact it's a blend with as many variations as cooks. Some people dislike the heat, so choose one with less pepper and cumin, and more of other spices. If there's a spice shop in your town, ask to try a few -- by sniff test, or sample spoon -- and see if one tickles your tongue in a good way!

    2. Thank you! Maybe Pepper can visit Killer Characters sometime and have a curry discussion. I live in the boonies, no spice shop around here. But sometime when I get to the big city I might have to look for a spice shop and see what I find out. It isn't the heat that bothers me it's the flavor and I haven't figured out which part it is. But a spice shop would be a good place to investigate it more.

    3. Good idea -- and it would prompt me to learn more, too!

  5. Like Sheila, I have everything at home except cilantro, which does not take over my garden because it's one of the few things that spoils a dish for me. I know it's popular! I just haven't developed a taste for it. But I love curry, and I bet this is delicious without the cilantro!

  6. Krista, you're not alone -- turns out there's a genetic (not necessarily inherited) trait that means some people just can't stand cilantro. Some say it tastes soapy to them. But yes, this would be great without it -- and if you want a bit of fresh green, toss in parsley.