This glowing turmeric chickpea stew is nutrient-rich and delicious, made with fragrant fresh turmeric and ginger; chickpeas; tender vegetables; and creamy coconut milk. Recipe originally posted in January 2015, updated in January 2020.
I think this chickpea turmeric stew is absolutely perfect for the cold weather months and kicking off a new year. It’s comforting yet bright, and packed with nourishing ingredients. So, cheers to 2020 and a year of great food!
I use fresh turmeric in this stew, which is an absolute delight. The difference between fresh turmeric and ground dried turmeric is rather like the difference between fresh and ground ginger – both are delicious, but the fresh stuff is another level. Seriously incredible. Either one will work in this recipe, however, so don’t worry if you can’t get fresh turmeric locally.
Pictured above is my mise en place, which demonstrates that fresh turmeric stains anything and everything. Be sure to wash up promptly afterward to avoid permanent discoloration of your stuff.
The steps for making this stew, pictured above, are pretty basic: lightly brown some onion, then add some aromatics and a couple of pantry spices. Stir in coconut milk and veggies, and simmer until tender. Add the chickpeas and a splash of lime juice, season to taste, and you’re ready to eat!
Anyone who read the blog back in 2015 may remember the infamous lime incident, caused by my social awkwardness and resulting in the purchase of a lime that produced under 1/2 tablespoon of juice. I’ve been buying bottled lime juice these days, to make recipe prep easier. Whatever you do, don’t skip the lime in this turmeric chickpea stew recipe because it brings all of the flavors together.
(If you use fresh citrus often, I do recommend this nifty little citrus juicer. It’s cheap and a breeze to use! Grab one and it’ll be a snap to make my Orange Tofu or my Lentil Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.)
Speaking of fruit juice, I also use freshly squeezed pineapple juice in this turmeric chickpea stew to add sweetness and flavor, and I think it pairs really nicely with the coconut milk. It also means that no added sugar is necessary in this recipe, which is always good news!
I add regular and sweet potato to this stew to make it nice and hearty on its own, but it’s also lovely served with jasmine rice. Feel free to add other stew-friendly veggies too, such as cauliflower or leafy greens. If you make this Chickpea Turmeric Stew, let me know in the comments section below or tag me on Instagram with @yupitsvegan!
Chickpea Turmeric Stew
Hearty and spicy chickpea turmeric stew, made with nutrient-packed sweet potatoes and fragrant fresh turmeric! Gluten-free, vegan recipe.
For the chickpea turmeric stew:
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or use coconut oil)
- 1/2 yellow or white onion diced (or use 1 shallot)
- 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeno peppers finely chopped (use 2 if you like it spicy)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp minced fresh turmeric root (about 3 inches) (or use 1 and 1/2 tsp. dried turmeric, added along with the curry powder)
- 1/2 tbsp mild curry powder
- 1 and 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk (equal to 1 14-oz. can)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup 100% pineapple juice
- 2 tsp soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)
- 1 medium to small potato cubed
- 1 medium to small sweet potato cubed
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas rinsed and drained (equal to a standard can)
- 2 tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
For the chickpea turmeric stew:
- In a saucepan, heat a small drizzle of neutral oil (I used grapeseed oil) over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallot with a sprinkle of salt, and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until starting to soften.
- Add the pepper, garlic, turmeric, and ginger with another sprinkle of salt, and stir. Cook for 5-7 more minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the shallot is soft. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 more minute, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the coconut milk, water, pineapple juice, soy sauce, and cubed potatoes and sweet potatoes, along with another fat pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
- Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat to a steady simmer and cover the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
- If desired, use the back of your spoon to mash up some of the potatoes to thicken the stew slightly. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and lime juice and let simmer partially covered for 5-10 more minutes.
Season to taste with salt and additional lime juice. Serve hot, with rice and fresh herbs if desired. (Mine is topped with cilantro).
I found a big jar of unsweetened 100% pineapple juice with pulp for about $3 in the natural section of my regular grocery store. The extra not used in this recipe is really delicious for drinking on its own, mixed with carbonated water (naturally sweetened pineapple soda!), or in cocktails.
Other chili peppers can be used. Adjust the amount based on the spiciness of the pepper and your own preferences.
THAI RED CURRY COCONUT BACON: For a super amazing topping that takes this dish to the next level, try this: combine 1.5 cups coconut flakes with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp red curry paste, 1 tbsp pineapple juice, and 1/2 tsp liquid smoke. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring every 5 minutes, until crisp. Use to top the stew.
Thai red curry coconut bacon adapted from this coconut bacon recipe.