Slow-Cooked Chickpea Curry

July 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: The slow-cooker is the fire-and-forget missile of the cooking world, and that’s something that comes in handy when you are busy around dinner time, say, for example, you have to bring your laptop in for an appointment at the Apple store (which you just know is going to start and end late). Then, if you have one of these nifty devices—mine comes courtesy of Joanna’s parents as a graduation present:  thank you both! I’m sure we’ll get lots more use out of it—just load up the ingredients, press the proverbial little red button, and come back from your Genius Bar appointment—or wherever else you’ve been—to find fresh curry awaiting your return.

looks slightly better than it tastes, but nothing a little salt and spices won't fix

The ingredients for this are simple, and the whole thing doesn’t take much work. We felt this needed more in the way of flavor. It only uses curry powder which, to be honest, I tend to find kind of weak. I think if you add some well-chosen amounts of other spices, even ones that are already in the curry powder, you can get a different balance of flavors that I think would work a lot better. We also didn’t salt ours at all until serving, and we think it could use maybe a teaspoon for the whole recipe. Be careful if you don’t use low-sodium broth, because that might take care of the salt needs.

This recipe comes from a collection of easy slow-cooker dinner recipes.


1 large head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 C. green beans, sliced in halves or thirds
3 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 14 oz. can vegetable broth
3 tsp curry powder
(Optional: extra 1 tsp curry powder and/or the following
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste)

1 14 oz. can light coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped/chiffonade
salt (~1 tsp) and black pepper to taste

Start by prepping all your vegetables besides the basil leaves (so carrots, onion, cauliflower, green beans) and place them all in the slow cooker. Drain and rinse your chickpeas and add those in too.

just start piling up the veggies

Pour in the can of vegetable broth, and measure in your spices. The spicing is really up to you, the amounts above are guidelines and should change based on your personal tastes. Other things to consider adding include cinnamon, nutmeg, red chili flakes, lemongrass, star anise, or just about anything else you’d like. By now you should have everything up to the break placed into your slow cooker. Stir everything around, place your lid on, and start it up.

ready to activate

Cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (we did 2 1/2 hours) or on low for 5 to 6 hours.

slow cooking can be artistic too

When the timer goes off, prepare your last ingredients. Take the cover off your slow cooker, add in your basil leaves and the can of coconut milk (we used light coconut milk and thought it worked fine, though regular is of course tastier).

the end product

Add salt and black pepper to taste in the cooking vessel, or to individual serving bowls. Serve with or without rice (brown basmati is a solid choice, if you want rice).

garnished with a basil leaf and served

Enjoy! And look forward to one or two more slow cooker recipes to go up this summer. In fact, we are working on another one this very night.


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