Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

This sunny yellow curry laced with ginger and turmeric comes together in a snap. Adapted from The Clever Cookbook: Get-Ahead Strategies and Timesaving Tips for Stress-Free Home Cooking, by Emilie Raffa.

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

There are few days out of the year when Jay and I DON’T have a hankering for a pot of spiced vegetables and legumes served up over a bowl of rice. Curries, and all things curry-esque, always feel both light and nourishing, satisfying and energizing, comforting and guiltless.

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

But curries usually take forever. You have to roast vegetables, toast and grind spices, prep a bunch of stuff. The results are always stunning, but what do you do when you need curry in a hurry?

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

You flip open your copy of The Clever Cookbook, that’s what. Author Emilie Raffa’s gem of a debut brims with nourishing, quick dishes for every dietary need and level of cooking know-how. Chapters are divided by time-saving tip (Easy Beans, Batch-Cooked Grains, Compound Butters, etc.) and each one brims with tasty recipes, stunning photos, and Emilie’s calm, positive voice that rings through each thoughtful word.

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

Emilie and I connected several months ago around our cookbooks and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a copy of hers for what seems like ages. Emilie is an authority on quick, healthy comfort food on her blog The Clever Carrot. Like her site, the book brims with mouthwatering images and each recipe is easy enough for anyone to make. Emilie harnesses her knowledge as both a trained chef and busy mom, concocting refined meals to please every palate. Unlike many time-saving cookbooks and recipes, what I dearly appreciate about this one is that it stresses from-scratch cooking with natural, whole ingredients.

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

Such as this curry. Canned beans will do in a pinch, but soak and cook a batch of beans and you’ll have meals all week long. “Soaking beans is not hard; it’s remembering to soak that’s the issue,” Emilie writes. She suggests putting your dry beans near another evening project, such as your morning coffee prep, so you’ll think to cover them in water overnight. Clever. Soaking beans softens them up ahead of time, enabling quicker, more even cooking. Some say it reduces the “beany” effects on the body, though I recently read that the best way to do this is to EAT MORE BEANS – this helps your body figure out how to better process them.

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

When you cook your own beans, you get to infuse them with flavor, and cook them just the way you like ’em – perfectly plump and tender. Adding a bay leaf at the beginning gives them depth of flavor as does a good dose of salt near the end. Chickpeas cooked this way are tasty enough to eat out of hand, or to put in any of Emilie’s recipes (Chickpea Caprese Salad, anyone?). They are heads and tails above bland canned beans. In Emilie’s words, “If you’re curious to taste what’s on the other side of a tin can, you’ve got to try cooking dried beans from scratch. It’s like biting into a juicy, summer tomato after a long and miserable winter.”

All that said, if you haven’t planned ahead and you need curry in your face like five minutes ago, no shame in opening up a can or two to make this dish, says Emilie. Curry powder hides many evils, and cooking the beans further will soften them up and infuse them with any flavor they may lack.

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

I added carrots and cashews to Emilie’s simple curry made with curry powder, pre-cooked beans, pre-chopped onion if you’ve got it, and a pour of coconut milk. Carrots are always in season in California, but they hit their peak in late winter and early spring when the Nantes variety can be found in farmer’s markets (and at our lovely co-op). These carrots have a rotund shape – less pointed at the tips and more cylindrical – and they taste like crunchy candy, they’re so sweet and crisp. As I put together this dish, I had to keep cutting up more carrots for snacking so I’d have enough left for dinner.

I’ve included a quick recipe for steamed rice which you can have steaming as you toast the cashews and cook the curry. Once the beans are cooked, the whole thing takes about 30-45 minutes from start to finish. Leftovers keep brilliantly; in fact, they just get better as the spices meld into the coconut milk broth.

Other recipes I can’t wait to try are:

  • 5-Minute Skillet Granola (made with cinnamon sugar compound butter)
  • Market Vegetable Baked Ziti
  • Sheet Pan Fish and Chips {gluten-free}
  • Cauliflower Bolognese {vegetarian}
  • 3-Ingredient Frozen Yogurt
  • Zucchini and Brown Rice Gratin

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

But for now, we’ll be enjoying these soft chickpeas and roots coated in a nap of golden broth, all topped with crunchy cashews and tender spinach, and served up over rice for a one-dish meal.

Now that’s a clever carrot.

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

***AND! We’re giving away a copy of The Clever Cookbook to a lucky winner! To enter, leave a comment below with your favorite clever kitchen tip or trick by Sunday, February 21st, midnight PST. ***

Chickpea Curry with Carrots, Cashews and Spinach
Yields: Serves 3-4
 
An easy, anytime curry that comes together in a snap. Adapted from The Clever Cookbook: Get-Ahead Strategies and Timesaving Tips for Stress-Free Home Cooking
Ingredients
Rice
  • 1 cup (185 g) raw white basmati rice
  • 1¾ cups (415 ml) water
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Curry
  • 2 cups (350 g) drained, cooked chickpeas (from about 1½ [14-ounce] cans, or homemade – see note below)
  • ½ cup (70 g) raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) coconut oil (or other mild cooking oil)
  • 1 smallish onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 medium-large carrots (8 ounces / 230 g), scrubbed and sliced into scant ½" coins
  • 1 fat, inch-long chunk ginger root, peeled and slivered
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and sliced
  • 1 (4-ounce / 414 ml) can full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2-3 cups (100 g) lightly packed baby spinach leaves, rinsed and spun dry
  • juice from ½ large lemon
  • Sriracha or other hot sauce, for serving, optional
Instructions
Make the rice:
  1. Place the rice in a strainer and rinse under cool water until the water runs mostly clear, 10 seconds. Drain well and place in a medium saucepan with the water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and steam the rice until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand 10 minutes. Use the tines of a fork to gently fluff the rice.
Meanwhile, make the curry:
  1. Have the chickpeas cooked and ready to go.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Place the cashews on a small, rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden, 8-12 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a wide skillet set over a medium flame and when it shimmers, add the onion, carrot and ginger. Cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, then the curry powder, cooking until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add a splash of the chickpea broth or water to deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the coconut milk, chickpeas, and salt to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the curry has thickened a bit and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach just until the spinach is wilted, then remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste, adding more salt if you feel the curry needs it.
  5. Divide the rice between 3-4 bowls, top with the curry and a handful of cashews, and serve with hot sauce, if you like. Extras keep well, refrigerated airtight, for up to 2 or 3 days.
Notes
To cook your own chickpeas, soak 1 cup (200 g) of dried chickpeas (a.k.a garbanzo beans) in 4 cups (1 liter) cool water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the chickpeas and put them in a large saucepan covered by 4 inches of water and 1 large bay leaf. Simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. When nearly cooked, add 1 teaspoon sea salt to the pot. Let cool in the broth and refrigerate for up to 1 week. You'll have more chickpeas than you'll need for the recipe, perfect for adding to green salads, pastas, or for making Emilie's Smashed Chickpea Salad in her book.

I made this with super-flavorful curry powder from Spice Society.

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

 

26 thoughts on “Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Carrots & Cashews {gluten-free, vegan}”

  1. Yum, need this with all the cold rain that’s coming down today. I love everything Emilie does, and how she makes every dish look effortlessly elegant. My favorite kitchen hack is to add a splash of water to the pan when I’m frying an egg, and then cover it. The steam helps the top of the egg cook so you’re left with an extra runny yolk and no uncooked egg white.

  2. This looks delicious! I love a quick curry as much as I love the painstakingly prepared ones. My partner makes a cabbage and vegetarian sausage curry meal as a quick weeknight meal…maybe we can try switching it up for once :)

    As for a clever kitchen tip, I recently learned to coat my measuring cups and spoons with oil before measuring out sticky things like honey and nut butters. That was a game changer for me.

  3. The curry looks fantastic. I have been soaking and cooking beans for
    years and CANNOT go back to canned. I’m in for the cookbook which
    sounds fantastic.

  4. Gorgeous curry!

    One favorite thing I can sometimes get my better self to do ahead of time to save time for my regular, everyday self is to soak (with a pinch of baking soda in the soaking water, a tip from my Greek friend) and cook a giant batch of beans, and freeze them in meal-size amounts. Sometimes pintos, sometimes garbanzos or white beans. It’s a huge jump-start for dinner, and the main challenge is cooking enough beans because I find a fresh pot of well-cooked beans is as snackable as a pile of carrots!

  5. I almost always forget to soak anything then madly search “ways to cook said ingredient without soaking”.

    I love the look of this recipe, looks so comforting, healthy and tasty! I might make it using seasonal veggies from my local farmers market.

    Thanks for sharing! Xx

  6. Ah! Be still my heart! Alanna, you outdid yourself. What an incredible post! I just love your spin on the recipe with the addition of carrots and cashews. That’s what it’s all about, right? I want to dive right in and swim around in that bowl… Thank you for everything- your time, thoughts, words, creativity, visual expression- it’s much appreciated, from the bottom of my heart. I’m just beaming. xoxo

  7. I’m a garlic fiend. I like to roast 1/2 dozen garlic bulbs at a time and then I store that yummy garlic paste in the refrigerator in a jar so that I always have some sweet, mellow garlic to deepen the flavor of soups, stews, sauces or just to smear on bread/ crackers.

  8. Curries are hugs in a bowl, I love their warmth and spiciness! My favourite clever kitchen tip is to keep your space clean. It’s hard when you’re cooking for a group or recipe testing, but I work so much better and so much more efficiently when I’m cleaning as I go!

  9. Love curries like this one! Looks delicious :-).

    My favorite shortcut is to NOT soak those beans, but cook them in a slow cooker instead. My chick peas always turn out amazingly plump and soft and leagues beyond canned in flavor. Simply rinse one pound of dried chick peas, add 7 cups of water and a tablespoon of salt to a slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. I’ve never looked back … or soaked another bean!

  10. Next time you make brown rice, make extra, spread the left over rice on a sheet pan and freeze.
    Once it is frozen place in a container to keep in the freezer.
    Now you can pull out as much as you like and make a quick rice bowl with whatever vegetables, proteins and sauces you might have on hand.

  11. Limited time for making dinner on weekdays have taught me couple of things: when I make a tomato sauce for pizza (blend canned tomatoes with garlic, salt, pepper, Worcester sauce etc.), it makes a pretty big batch – so i use what i need and divide the rest in a couple of small zip-lock bags and put them in the freezer. Bags are small, flat and defrost very fast for my next use. My family likes socca pizza, so I make a batter in the evening, put it in the fridge and in the next evening it’s ready to bake (no need to wait 2 hours for it to rest on the counter).

  12. What a delicious recipe, and I love the sound of this book. Quick, delicious dinners based on whole foods is just what we need on busy nights!
    My favourite kitchen tip is to keep the dishwasher open while I’m cooking. Every implement that gets used gets quickly rinsed and immediately put in the dishwasher – less clean up once dinner is done!

  13. I am definitely making this for dinner tonight, as it’s cold and rainy here in Portlandia! My favorite kitchen trick works especially well if you don’t have a microwave or use one – both would be true for me. So the best way to reheat your food is to add water to a pot with a steamer insert and turn the heat to high. Place the food you are reheating in a bowl and set it down inside the steamer. Cover and steam approximately 10 to 15 minutes. The beauty of this method is that your food will not get dried out or depleted of nutrients, which happens in a microwave. ;)

    Cheers,
    +K

  14. Alanna,
    I made the recipe as is and Peter (Celia and Oona’s dad) loved it:)
    He is the coconut curry fanatic here. I used plain old short grain brown
    rice and it held up fine. I imagine Basmati would be more aromatic and therefore even better. We are trying for not eating much white rice lately.
    Also on another note…I made that incredible (with tons of chopping) kale herb salad for Thanksgiving and boy it was so good. I get so sick of the “normal” food for the holiday but many family members insist on the same old stuff. The salad was my rebellion and it went over like fudge sauce on vanilla bean ice cream. I for one can’t wait for your cookbook.

  15. Boneless skinless chicken breasts served with some roasted veggies are my go-to quick weeknight meal. To cook the chicken quickly but still have a juicy final product I always pound the chicken breasts until they’re an even thickness. This way I’m able to toss them in a hot skillet and cook them just a few minutes on each side. This way they’re never dried out and I can have dinner on the table in a flash.

  16. Can’t wait to make this! My 6 year old will definitely approve :)
    My favorite tip for preparing dried beans from scratch is to add a piece of seaweed (like Kombu) to the cooking water. Along with soaking and rinsing the beans I add spices like cumin and hing or epazote, to help aid in the digestion process. I learned this from Amadea Morningstar in her book “Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners”. It really makes a difference!

  17. This curry sounds so good! I totally agree re the flavor of home-cooked beans. My favorite kitchen trick is a classic: using the tip of a spoon to peel ginger. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  18. I have been using my pureed jalapenos frozen in ice cube trays, to flavor my pasta and rice while it is cooking. If you use a small amount of pureed habanero it will probably be too hot! You can even put a whole fresh jalapeno in the boiling water if you don’t have frozen or pureed peppers. It really makes the dish special.

  19. My boyfriend recently (unintentionally) started zesting a lemon with the micro plane turned grater side down….so that the tool collected the zest on top and didn’t drop it onto a surface/into a bowl like I usually do. Accidental discovery, mind blown. :)

  20. I am so glad I found your blog! You got me with almond pulp brownies and now I’m hooked. My kitchen tip is also around the dried pulses. When you soak them and cook them up, use a portion right away but make sure you cook up enough to freeze one or two portions as well. That way, even when you’re short of time, you still don’t have to resort to canned beans, you can just whip them out of the freezer and pop them straight in the pot (you could defrost them first, but when you’re short of time…).

  21. Umm toasted cashews on top of curry WHY didn’t I think of that? So yummy! Off to make that right now! But first I gotta say — woman, you have been blogging SO. MUCH! And it looks AMAZING! How are you such a bad ass? I was not prepared for such a bounty of beautiful photographs and delicious recipes after I heard about your schedule lately — which I hope is lightening up so we can eat together soon =)
    xo

  22. Hi, Really lovely, simple meal.
    I usually cook my soaked chickepeas or black eyed beans in a pressure cooker – takes barely 15 minutes (four whistles and then simmer for five). Also it’s a good idea to add 1 tsp of grated ginger and one chopped green chili or a serrano pepper to the pot of chickpeas before cooking. It makes them more digestible and less “gassy”! A pinch of turmeric to one cup of dry chickpeas add just before cooking also gives the beans a gorgeous golden colour.

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