5 from 7 votes

Lentil & Chickpea Curry

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Need a healthy dish that will keep the family happy and their taste buds satisfied? Try this lentil and chickpea curry dish!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
£1.13
Makes: 5
mains, meal prep
Indian
Freezable

Aromatic, herby, and packed with flavour, this lentil and chickpea dish is an easy way to recreate a classic Indian recipe at home without curry powder. Many of the ingredients are likely already in your pantry, so this recipe is easy to create in the kitchen.

A bowl with lentil curry with white rice in a bowl topped with chickpeas and sour cream and coriander.

Why you should try this vegan curry

Lentil and chickpea curry is a traditional dish which includes fresh aromatics, protein-packed lentils and chickpeas, and nutrient-rich spinach.

Instead of crafting a dish like butter chicken covered in a delicious but decadent sauce, this recipe provides an equally tasty option that’s just as creamy yet healthier. It’s also vegan and vegetarian-friendly, making it a top choice for families interested in limiting their meat intake.

This recipe with lentils and chickpeas primarily has ingredients found in most pantries. Any elements of this recipe not found in your pantry can typically be found at the nearest market or ethnic store.

Also a bonus – the dry ingredients can last in your pantry for quite a while. So, any extra rice, lentils, and unopened canned chickpeas will be ready for future chickpea lentil curry or a similar recipe like Red Lentil Daal or Chickpea Vegetarian Gyros

The secret to the creamy curry sauce in this dish is the coconut milk, which also adds a slight sweetness. You can cut out dairy by including coconut milk yet still enjoy a creamy, rich consistency without guilt!

Ingredients

Ingredients to make lentil curry laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Green Lentils
Red, green, or brown lentils will work with this dish. I love using green lentils for lentils and chickpea curry, as they provide an aesthetically pleasing colour. However, each lentil variety has a similar flavour and consistency.

Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a critical ingredient for creating a creamy vegetarian curry! You can also use cashew cream for an equally decadent dish.

Basmati Rice
I love using basmati rice for Indian-inspired dishes, as it adds a nutty flavour and aromatic smell. You can also use any rice you have on hand, like brown rice to make this lentil and chickpea curry dish.

Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a key ingredient in this lentil chickpea curry. While you can swap them out for another bean, the consistency and flavour will change when doing so.

Frozen Spinach or Fresh Spinach
Don’t worry if you forgot to purchase fresh spinach at the market; you can easily swap in frozen spinach for this lentil and chickpea curry!

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make this lentil and chickpea curry

  1. Start by adding the onion & oil into a large non-stick frying pan over a low/medium heat. Season with salt and pepper/chilli flakes (Image 1).
  2. Gently fry for around 3 minutes until the onions start too gain colour and become translucent. Then add the garlic, cumin and ginger to fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant (Image 2).
2 Step by step photos, the first with onions frying in a pan and the second with fried onions and spices.

3. Pour the rinsed lentils and stock into the pan, stir to combine (Image 3).

4. Add half of the coriander stir together and leave uncovered to simmer for 15 minutes (Image 4).

2 Step by step photos, the first with stock added with lentils to pan and the second with coriander stalks added.

5. Add the coconut milk and spinach into the pan and season with salt and pepper (Image 5).

6. Stir to combine and cook for 10 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked (Image 6).

2 Step by step photos, the first with spinach added to pan and the second with the spinach cooked and mixed in curry in pan.

7. Optionally roughly blend for a vibrant green colour, then add the chickpeas (Image 7).

8. Heat through for 2 more minutes. Divide cooked rice into 5 containers, then the curry. Seal and freeze 3 servings and pop 2 in the fridge. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes (Image 8).

2 Step by step photos, the first with chickpeas added to curry in pan and the second with the chick peas mixed together.
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Storage/ Reheat

Can I reheat/freeze chickpea and lentil curry?

Yes, chickpea lentil curry freezes well. This lentil and chickpea recipe can stay in the fridge for up to five days. When you’re ready to eat a serving, you can reheat it on the stovetop with a pot.

If you’d like to freeze your easy chickpea lentil curry, start by storing it in an airtight container or plastic baggies. Then, you can keep it in the freezer for up to three months. It’s easier to reheat this curry if you separate it into 1-2 servings. Otherwise, you’ll have to defrost and reheat large batches, which will take longer to prepare. 

Other easy vegan curry recipes you should try; Vegan Cashew Curry and Grilled Aubergine Curry

Other lentil recipes you should try; Lentil Bolognese and Easy Bacon and Lentil Soup

Lentil curry served on a plate with white rice and topped with yogurt and coriander, with chilli flake and extra rice in bowl.

Tips and Tricks for Best Results

Sauté onions then the garlic,  ginger and allow the spices to bloom for a few minutes. This will add depth of flavour to your lentil curry.

Add some passata or a can of chopped/or plum tomatoes to your curry for added richness and tanginess.

Using coconut milk to give your curry a creamy texture or to reduce the calories use low fat coconut milk.

Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice to add contrast and brighten up the dish.  The acid of the lime is the perfect combo and allows the flavours to come together at the end.

Other sweet recipes to try after this curry recipe; Chocolate Tiffin Recipes, The BEST Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe and Simple & Easy Brownies

Lentil and spinach in 4 square glass meal prep containers with white rice, chickpeas and coriander.

FAQs

Can I make this recipe with lentils and chickpeas ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this easy curry recipe beforehand! It’s better to make it the day before, as the flavours combine and intensify as it sits in the fridge. If you don’t get a chance to make it ahead of time, you can still expect a delicious dish.

Can I make lentil and chickpea curry in the Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can make lentil and chickpea curry in both.  You’ll need to sauté the aromatics first; then, you can begin layering the other ingredients and cook for the appropriate time.

If you tried this Lentil & Chickpea Curry recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

Lentil & Chickpea Curry

Print
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
£1.13
mains, meal prep
Indian
Freezable
Servings: 5
Need a healthy dish that will keep the family happy and their taste buds satisfied? Try this lentil and chickpea curry dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely diced (£0.10)
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated (£0.50)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced (£0.39)
  • Fresh coriander (roughly chopped) (£0.55)
  • 300 g green lentils, dry, rinsed (£1.35)
  • 400 ml coconut milk (£0.85)
  • 300 g fresh spinach £1.00
  • 200-300 g white rice (£0.48)
  • 400 g (1 can) 240g drained weight chickpeas, rinsed (£0.41)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Optional chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 litre vegetable stock

Method

  • Start by adding the onion & oil into a large non-stick frying pan over a low/medium heat. Season with salt and pepper/chilli flakes. Gently fry for around 3 minutes.
  • Then add the garlic, cumin and ginger to fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  • Pour the rinsed lentils, half of the coriander and stock into the pan, stir to combine and leave uncovered to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk and spinach into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 10 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked.
  • Optionally roughly blend for a vibrant green colour, then add the chickpeas and heat through for 2 more minutes.
  • Divide cooked rice into 5 containers, then the curry. Seal and freeze 3 servings and pop 2 in the fridge. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes.

Notes

  • Sauté the onions, garlic and ginger and allow the spices to bloom for added flavour.
  • Add canned tomatoes or passata for richness and tanginess.
  • Use coconut milk for creaminess or low-fat coconut milk for reduced calories and add lime juice for contrast and flavour. Serve with rice/or and naan bread.

Nutrition

Servings: 5 servings
Fat: 22g
Calories: 613kcal
Carbohydrates: 75g
Protein: 25g

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