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Hearty Okra and Chickpea Curry

When you think of okra and chickpeas, you don’t immediately think of decadence.

You might just think of healthy, nourishing, and maybe if I’m honest, a bit boring. But, okra and chickpeas are a remarkable pair in this creamy, indulgent curry that comes together in a snap.

Given I’m in Thailand (at the time of writing) — a country known for its spicy curries, I figured it would be a good idea to take advantage of some of the local ingredients, and come up with a mouthwatering curry recipe. Chickpeas are not a common staple here in Thailand, but okra, coconut milk, and ginger are pretty easy to find!

Here’s a step by step video of the recipe:

🗒️ Ingredients You’ll Be Needing

Although I’ve been getting inspiration from whatever ingredients I can find in Thailand, that doesn’t mean you can’t find them in North America or Europe.

You should be able to find all of the ingredients I’ve chosen for this recipe, and they shouldn’t be pricey— in fact, they should also be pretty cheap to get (maybe apart from okra).

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious curry (they’re ordered by use):

  • Vegetable oil (can be olive oil, coconut oil, or even sunflower oil);
  • Onion, garlic, and ginger;
  • Curry powder, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala;
  • Red chili pepper (optional if you can’t handle the spice);
  • Boiling water or vegetable broth (depends on whether or not you want extra flavor);
  • Crushed tomatoes;
  • Full-fat coconut milk;
  • Okra;
  • Chickpeas;
  • Fresh Coriander (also optional in case you wish to garnish the curry).

It seems like they’re one too many ingredients, but you’ll realize during the recipe that it’s a pretty easy recipe to replicate.

I’ve got a pretty small kitchen with very few utensils here in Thailand, which makes it quite challenging for me to make more elaborate recipes, but this one is easy peasy! You only need the basics, really.

👨🏻‍🍳 How To Make Okra and Chickpea Curry

To start making this recipe, you’ll need first to gather the ingredients I’ve just mentioned, and I would suggest placing them somewhere you can see them in case you forget to add any of them.

Finely dice onions, garlic, and ginger.

The first step of this recipe is to finely dice your onions, garlic, and ginger and sauteé them in hot oil for about 2 minutes until they’re fragrant.

Feel free to add in the red chili pepper if you want your curry to be spicy.

Add the spices.

Then, add the spices and cook for about 30-60 seconds, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

This is the foundation of the curry as it gives our recipe its characteristic flavor. I’ve used curry powder, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala, which combined with the onion, garlic, and ginger become super yummy.

Deglaze with hot water.

The next step is to add hot water followed by a can of crushed tomatoes and fresh okra, allowing them to cook for 10-15 minutes or until they acquire a softer consistency.

I personally like okra a bit crunchy, so I typically add other ingredients a bit earlier.

Add coconut milk and chickpeas.

Next, you’re going to add the full-fat coconut milk and the chickpeas and cook them, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until the curry has thickened.

You want a thick and creamy consistency that is somewhat shiny.

At this point, I also add half a teaspoon of salt, but I’ll leave you to judge the amount of salt you want in your food. I don’t need a lot of salt to have a blast with my food.

Garnish with fresh herbs and lime juice. 

Finally, you can add a bit of lime juice and coriander to taste. Adjust the salt if needed. Now you’ve got a delicious meal that is very filling, delicious, and pretty fragrant.

💡 Things To Consider When Making This Recipe

Do not skip the onion, garlic, ginger, and spices. This is what makes this dish flavorful, so skipping one or more of these ingredients may result in a more boring dish.

My wife doesn’t really like spicy food, so I also tend to omit the chili peppers, but I also would recommend adding them if you enjoy spicy food. They certainly bring the dish to another level! Depending on your tolerance, you can either consume chili peppers with or without seeds. If you leave the seeds, it’s going to be extra spicy.

If you’re unable to find any fresh ginger, you can also use ground ginger. To get an amount equivalent to fresh ginger, just use 1 teaspoon of ground ginger.

Also, because I’m often traveling, I only have very basic kitchenware, but if you’ve got a microplane or a small cheese grater, it’s definitely something I would use instead of simply mincing ginger with a knife.

It isn’t always, but assuming that bought coconut milk in a can— sometimes the coconut milk is not mixed well, so you have a very solid cream on top and liquid on the bottom. I would recommend pouring the milk into a large bowl and whisking it to break up the clumps. That’ll make it easy to stir the milk in the curry.

Finally, it’s important to remember that the cooking time may vary slightly based on the type of pan you use for the curry, as well as the ingredient quantity. If you’re aiming for fewer servings, I would use a wide, shallow pan, but if you want more portions, use a deep soup pot or Dutch oven.

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okra and chickpea curry

Hearty Okra and Chickpea Curry


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  • Author: Alexandre Valente
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Okra and Chickpea Curry is decadent, and if you let it, deliciously spicy. It’s easy and quick, making it a perfect weeknight dinner! Plus, it’s made entirely vegan and gluten-free!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 finely diced onion
  • 24 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 2 tsps curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 finely diced red chili pepper ((optional))
  • 1.5 cups hot water
  • 400 grams crushed tomatoes
  • 200 grams fresh okra
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 400 ml full-fat coconut milk
  • 250300 grams cooked chickpeas
  • fresh coriander (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Heat a large, deep skillet or large saucepan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once it’s shimmering, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and the red chili pepper (if you want a spicy curry). Let it cook for 2 minutes while stirring to prevent burning.
  2. Add the curry powder, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala, and cook for 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant, stirring frequently to prevent the spices from burning.
  3. Pour in the hot water, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add in the crushed tomatoes and the fresh okra, allowing it to cook for 10-15 minutes until it’s relatively soft.
  4. Add the coconut milk, chickpeas, and half a teaspoon of salt. Continue stirring to fully incorporate the coconut milk into the curry, and let it cook for an extra 10-15 minutes until you get a thick, creamy, and shimmering consistency.
  5. Finally, stir in the coriander, and turn off the heat. If you want your chickpeas to be even creamier and more on the puréed side, use an immersion blender to lightly purée the curry. An option is also to add a bit of lime juice, particularly if the curry is on the spicier side.
  6. Serve the curry with rice and/or Indian naan.

Notes

  • I’m using olive oil, but you’re free to use any other type of vegetable oil, be it sunflower or coconut oil.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian

🙏🏻 Before you go, I’ve got a favor to ask!

I’d love to get your feedback on this recipe! Feel free to leave a comment below detailing your experience— and let others know how you feel about it!

Of course, you can also ask any questions you may have about the recipe— and we’ll try to respond ASAP.

chickpea and okra curry recipe

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