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This creamy pumpkin chickpea curry is packed with flavor from curry powder, garam masala, cardamom, fresh ginger, some heat from sliced serrano peppers, filled with nutrient packed chickpeas, and surrounded by a creamy silky sauce with pumpkin purée and coconut milk. This pumpkin chickpea curry recipe is a plant based favorite that we make weekly at home.
About the ingredients:
- Pumpkin purée: Pumpkin purée is so great in savory sauces. It makes deliciously creamy sauces with a subtle sweetness and also helps thicken sauces.
- Coconut milk: For this recipe use full-fat coconut milk for consistency purposes, if you use lite coconut milk, the sauce may turn out too watery.
- Serrano peppers: To offset the sweetness from the pumpkin and coconut milk, fresh serrano peppers add delicious heat to the dish. You can remove the seeds or use just one serrano if you want less heat.
- Curry powder, garam masala, and cardamom: These warm Indian spices give the curry it’s complex flavor and a trio everyone should keep in their pantry. Although garam masala contains cardamom, I always love adding a bit extra.
- Lime: This is one ingredients you cannot skip! The acid in the lime juice cuts through the richness of the pumpkin and rounds out the flavor of the curry.
- Ghee: Ghee is clarified butter that has had the milk solids removed and liquid. Another pantry must have, ghee gives a rich delicious flavor to dishes.
Making the pumpkin chickpea curry
Ghee/onion/serrano peppers: In a high walled skillet or dutch oven, melt 2 tbsp ghee over medium heat. Add in onions and sliced serrano peppers, sauté for 4 minutes until onions begin to soften.
- Add curry powder, garam masala, ground cardamom, kosher salt, and black pepper to the onions and serrano peppers.
- Next add in minced ginger root and garlic to the spices.
- Mix and sauté for 1 minute till fragrant
- Add the pumpkin purée and coconut milk to the skillet.
- Using a whisk, smooth out the coconut milk and pumpkin till smooth. Bring to a gentle boil.
Add in three cans of chickpeas that have been drained and rinsed. Stir until the chickpeas are fully coated in the creamy pumpkin sauce. Lower the heat to simmer and cover the skillet. This will allow the flavors to penetrate the chickpeas and meld together, it also will help thicken the sauce.
Finishing the chickpea curry
Once the sauce is done simmering, squeeze the juice of one lime and add 1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro. Remember not to skip on the lime juice! Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, due to the sweeter taste of the pumpkin and coconut milk, I usually add a pinch more kosher salt at the end depending on your preference.
Serve the pumpkin chickpea curry over basmati rice prepared to package instruction. I typically cook 2 cups dry basmati rice, so I will have enough leftovers to go with the pumpkin chickpea curry. I also serve with tandoori naan heated up and lime wedges on the side.
- To store: Store curry separate from rice in airtight containers. Leftovers will keep in refrigerator up to 4 days.
- To freeze: Prepare pumpkin curry and let cool fully. Transfer to a freezer safe bag and freeze in an even layer. Defrost in refrigerator overnight.
- Reheating: You can microwave curry to re-heat, I recommend placing a paper towel or cover over the bowl because chickpeas sometimes burst. You can also reheat on the stovetop on low heat until warmed through.
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- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 serrano peppers (sliced (see note))
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger root (peeled and minced (1 1/2 tbsps))
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 15 ounces pumpkin purée
- 13.5 ounces full fat coconut milk (see note)
- 31 ounces chickpeas (drained and rinsed (2 cans))
- 2 limes (1 juiced, other cut into wedges)
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
- Basmati rice (prepared according to package instruction (see note))
- Tandoori naan (warmed)
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- In a high walled skillet or dutch oven, melt 2 tbsp ghee over medium heat. Add in onions and sliced serrano peppers, sauté for 4 minutes until onions begin to soften.
- Add the curry powder, ground cardamom, garam masala, kosher salt, black pepper, minced ginger, and minced garlic. Mix and sauté one minute until fragrant.
- Next, add in the pumpkin purée and coconut milk. Using a whisk, whisk the pumpkin and coconut until fully smooth and no lumps remain. Bring to a gentle boil. Add in the chickpeas and stir until they are evenly dispersed, cover, and lower the heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and sauce to thicken. (Prepare rice at this time)
- Uncover the curry and add juice of one lime and chopped cilantro. Stir until fully incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve over basmati rice, with naan bread and lime wedges along side. Enjoy!
- If you want less heat you can use 1 serrano pepper or remove the seeds from the peppers, after removing the stem with a pairing knife.
- This recipe calls for full fat coconut milk, if you use lite coconut milk the sauce will be more watery and is not recommended
- I typically cook 1 1/2 cups dry basmati rice, so I will have enough leftovers to go with the pumpkin chickpea curry. If you are freezing the curry, the rice is best prepared fresh.
- Store curry separate from rice in airtight containers. Leftovers will keep in refrigerator up to 4 days.
- Prepare pumpkin curry and let cool fully. Transfer to a freezer safe bag and freeze in an even layer. Defrost in refrigerator overnight.
- You can microwave curry to re-heat, I recommend placing a paper towel or cover over the bowl because chickpeas sometimes burst. You can also reheat on the stovetop on low heat until warmed through.