Chickpea Vindaloo (Spicy Chickpea Curry)

Chickpea Vindaloo (Spicy Chickpea Curry) - Yup, it's Vegan

Tomato season is here in Maryland! I am so in love with sweet summer tomatoes. I haven’t had much time to cook during the week lately, so right now we are focusing on making huge batches of things that reheat well. Curry is one of those things, and a great way to use up the huge bags of tomatoes we are getting in the CSA. This chickpea vindaloo recipe is something that I started making in college, long before going the vegan route.

Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of cooking lots of recipes by Vegan Richa, and I learned from Richa that freshly toasted & ground spices are so worth taking the extra time for. I used to make this vindaloo with ground everything and the flavor just pops so much more with a fresh curry paste. Buying whole spices can be a bit of an up-front cost, but they last a lot longer on the shelf than their ground counterparts. If you don’t have all of these whole spices in stock then feel free to mix and match whole vs. ground, as it will still taste really good.

I will make my standard disclosure here that I am making no claims of authenticity with this recipe. I have done my best to research what is classically included in this spice blend. I think this tastes pretty close to what they have at my favorite Indian restaurant, though. From what I understand, vindaloo was actually inspired by a Portuguese dish in the beginning, and the most important part is that it’s very spicy and tangy. In particular, it seems to be up for debate whether potatoes should be used. That was an easy choice for me because we had potatoes that needed using.

Chickpea Vindaloo (Spicy Chickpea Curry) - Yup, it's Vegan

Also, instead of lemon juice or red wine vinegar, palm vinegar is the recommended form of acid. That’s something I don’t keep on hand so I chose to use lemon juice and I was satisfied with the result. I even found versions that don’t have any tomato or cardamom, so I guess everyone has their own take on vindaloo. No matter – this will make your kitchen smell fragrant and delicious. I kind of want to inhale the curry paste. =]

Speaking of the CSA, in addition to the roma tomatoes and potatoes used in the chickpea vindaloo, here’s what else we’ve been getting the past couple weeks:
A gigantic watermelon (!!)
Cherry tomatoes
Bell peppers
Yellow squash
Swiss chard

As you see, it’s been a really nice break from the usual onslaught of leafy greens. I’ve kind of been missing them! But I’ll take fresh tomatoes over kale any day. :)

Chickpea Vindaloo (Spicy Chickpea Curry)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 5-7 servings

Chickpea Vindaloo (Spicy Chickpea Curry)

An easy, flavorful gluten-free & vegan chickpea vindaloo - chickpeas in spicy and tangy tomato curry.


  • 2 c. dried chickpeas
  • 5 c. water
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 c. diced potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
  • 1 c. diced tomato (about 2 medium-small tomatoes)
  • 1 yellow or white onion, diced
  • For the vindaloo curry paste:
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 scant tsp. cardamom pods
  • 1 tb. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tb. mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 and 1/2 tb. paprika
  • 1 tsp. coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 4 red chilis, seeds removed (or not, if you dare), chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ~2" piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tb. tomato paste
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice (about 1 large lemon) or red wine vinegar


    Prepare the chickpeas:
  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight, or for 1 hour using this quick soak method. Cover with plenty of water as they will nearly double in size.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to a large saucepan with the 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Partially cover the pot.
  3. Add the diced potato, tomato and onion. Stir every few minutes.
  4. Prepare the vindaloo curry paste:
  5. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the cardamom pods, coriander seeds, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cloves, and bay leaves. Stir the spices continuously until they become fragrant and start to turn golden, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately.
  6. Add the spices to a blender along with the rest of the curry paste ingredients. Puree until a smooth paste is formed.
  7. Prepare the chickpea vindaloo:
  8. Stir the curry paste into the pot with the chickpeas, and cover again. Continue cooking at medium heat, partially covered, and stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup more water if it starts to dry out. Cook until chickpeas and potatoes are fully cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  9. Add more salt to taste, and cayenne pepper if you want it spicier. Serve topped with fresh cilantro, over rice (pictured is quick-cooking brown basmati from Trader Joe's) or with other accompaniments of choice.

Chickpea Vindaloo (Spicy Chickpea Curry) - Yup, it's Vegan

A veganized adaptation combined from this chicken vindaloo recipe and this other chicken vindaloo recipe. Chickpea vindaloo recipe shared on Virtual Vegan Potluck. Happy Monday!


  1. says

    Looks like my comment didn’t post…. so here’s for the awkward re-try (only awkward if you see both, that is!). a) This look AMAZING. I just pored over the Saveur India issue and am freshly obsessed with Indian food. This is definitely going into our rotation. b) The photography is g-g-GORGEOUS. Such vibrant hues, so sharp. Love it

    • says

      Thank you so much!! That’s a really nice compliment. I hate the lighting in my new house so I am super happy and relieved to hear (read?) you say that. I really need to subscribe to Saveur :) and I only saw this comment, so I guess you are in the clear, lol.

  2. says

    This is my kind of meal! My whole life has been taken over by tomatoes these last couple of weeks (I have a produce over-buying problem!) and I’m constantly looking for fresh ways to use them up. Chickpeas, tomatoes, and warming spices? I’m in!

  3. says

    I love making my own curry paste, they taste better than the packaged ones! Stunning chickpea curry and I love fresh cilantro on top of curries!

  4. Karyn says

    I am a new vegan and am just discovering Indian food. I went to my new favorite Indian restaurant this weekend and ordered something very similar to this and it was wonderful. I thought to myself – I must learn to make this! Already had this recipe pinned from before — can’t wait to try it! Thank you!


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