Easy Vegan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry

We love this curry for so many reasons. It’s oil-free, vegan, gluten-free, healthy, creamy and mild; making it perfect for the whole family (kids too). This shouldn’t take you more than thirty minutes to make; great when you need something fresh and nutritious but don’t want to spend all day cooking.

A Sri Lankan curry packed full of flavour, veggies and chickpeas. You’ll be left wanting more, that’s for sure.

Creamy, mild and flavoursome butternut squash, sweet potato and chickpea curry. Photo by Anju at Anju’s Kitchen.

Spice Level – Mild

Sri Lankans are renowned for their super spicy dishes, and we cook a LOT of spicy curries. But not everyone loves their mouth on fire, so we’ve created a curry that is mild and creamy but still full of flavour. If you’re a fan of spicy curries, then this one’s for you.

Why is this dish so healthy and low fat?

  1. This vegan curry is completely oil-free as no frying is required, making it low in fat.
  2. It’s cholesterol-free as no animal products are needed in this plant-based curry.
  3. The vegetables, chickpeas, and spices mean this curry is full of nutrients and protein.
  4. If you want to make this dish even lower in calories, you can use reduced-fat coconut milk.

Cooking Tips

This Sri Lankan curry is so quick and easy that anyone can make it in roughly 30 minutes. You won’t need any technical or fancy skills. Simple but tasty, what more can you want?

It’s a simple case of peeling, slicing, chopping, and cooking. The only tips we have are:

  • It’s easier to cook rice in a rice cooker, but you can also use a pan. BBC Good Food has lots of tips for cooking rice here.
  • Raw chickpeas have more nutrients as they are fresher, and will taste better. However, fresh chickpeas need to be cooked and soaked beforehand, For last-minute dinner decisions (like many of ours are) go ahead and use tinned chickpeas.
  • When frying your garlic, chili, onion, and spices be careful not to burn them or your curry might taste burnt.

Cooking Chickpeas

  1. It’s best to soak the chickpeas in freshwater overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, drain your soaked chickpeas and transfer to a large pan.
  3. Fill the pan with cold water until you have twice the volume of the chickpeas.
  4. Bring to the boil. When bubbling you can turn the heat down and simmer for 45 mins to an hour.
  5. Taste to check if they are soft and tender, then drain and leave until ready to use. If you plan to continue cooking in another dish it’s ok if they are a little hard.

The chickpeas will only need a short amount of time in the curry so cook them for the full hour.

Coconut milk cream raw coconut

Full fat or reduced fat coconut milk?

We’ve used both full-fat and reduced-fat tinned coconut milk on many occasions and there is little difference.

When using full-fat coconut milk in curries you’ll end up with a slightly thicker, creamier sauce, but it will be higher in calories. There is more water in the reduced-fat coconut milk, meaning less fat and calories.

Both versions will be delicious.

Look out for the printer icon just above the recipe (but please think of the planet and only print if necessary).

Now get in the kitchen, give it a go and tell me you don’t love it.

AuthorSarahCategory, , DifficultyBeginner

A mild but tasty curry full of Sri Lankan flavours that is so easy anyone can make it.

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time30 mins

 3 garlic cloves
 1 mild green chilli
 ½ medium red onion
 1 tsp curry powder
 ½ tsp chilli powder
 ½ tsp tumeric
 ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
 4 curry leaves or 2 bay leaves (optional)
 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon)
 1 cup cold water
 1 small butternut squash
 1 medium sized sweet potato
 1 medium or large tomato
 1 400g tin of chickpeas (or 240 grams freshly cooked)
 200 ml (1/2 can) reduced or full fat coconut milk

1

Finely slice the garlic, green chilli and red onion.

2

Peel and chop the butternut squash and sweet potato into large chunks, and the tomato into smaller chunks.

3

Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse well (if using tinned), and set aside.

4

Add all of the ingredients to a large pan (except the coconut milk and chickpeas) and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the potato and butternut squash have softened.

5

Whilst the curry is cooking, prepare your rice. You can use any rice you like; brown, white, fried or packet microwave rice will do. If using raw rice make sure to rinse well under cold water and always follow the instructions on the packet.

6

Once the butternut squash and sweet potatoes have started to soften (after about 10 minutes) add the chickpeas and leave to cook for a few more minutes.

7

Lastly, when the water has reduced and the curry is looking thicker, add the half can of coconut milk and cook for another couple of minutes until the curry starts to bubble.

8

Check if you need any more salt or spices. If it is is too mild add more chilli powder, or if too spicy add a little more coconut milk. Now enjoy!
Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Ingredients

 3 garlic cloves
 1 mild green chilli
 ½ medium red onion
 1 tsp curry powder
 ½ tsp chilli powder
 ½ tsp tumeric
 ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
 4 curry leaves or 2 bay leaves (optional)
 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon)
 1 cup cold water
 1 small butternut squash
 1 medium sized sweet potato
 1 medium or large tomato
 1 400g tin of chickpeas (or 240 grams freshly cooked)
 200 ml (1/2 can) reduced or full fat coconut milk

Directions

1

Finely slice the garlic, green chilli and red onion.

2

Peel and chop the butternut squash and sweet potato into large chunks, and the tomato into smaller chunks.

3

Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse well (if using tinned), and set aside.

4

Add all of the ingredients to a large pan (except the coconut milk and chickpeas) and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the potato and butternut squash have softened.

5

Whilst the curry is cooking, prepare your rice. You can use any rice you like; brown, white, fried or packet microwave rice will do. If using raw rice make sure to rinse well under cold water and always follow the instructions on the packet.

6

Once the butternut squash and sweet potatoes have started to soften (after about 10 minutes) add the chickpeas and leave to cook for a few more minutes.

7

Lastly, when the water has reduced and the curry is looking thicker, add the half can of coconut milk and cook for another couple of minutes until the curry starts to bubble.

8

Check if you need any more salt or spices. If it is is too mild add more chilli powder, or if too spicy add a little more coconut milk. Now enjoy!
Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Easy Vegan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry

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