Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric

January is National Soup Month.  If you have 2 cans of chickpeas and 2 cans of coconut milk, you’ve got dinner.  You’re going to need some kale and a few other things, and truth be told, only 1 can of coconut milk, but let’s talk ohmygoshthisisdelishous right now.  This recipe is just what you need this minute:  simple, healthy, inexpensive, and so good you won’t be able to stop eating it.  With over 3,400 tagged posts on Instagram, #TheStew is also taking social media by storm.   Are you scanning the ingredient list yet?

As usual, I modified things a bit and you should feel free to do this, too.  I started with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to sauté the onion, garlic and spices because I felt like 1/4 cup was too much, and then opted to drizzle in a bit more when I added the chickpeas.  I also reordered the ingredients, since having drained, drier chickpeas was important.  You can use frozen kale or Swiss chard to speed this up even further, and if you happen to keep either of these things in your freezer at all times, it makes this even easier to pull off without ever heading to the store.  I cut way back on the coconut milk and ended up using only about 1/2 cup from the can and about 1 cup of the shelf stable variety, even though the recipe advised not to do this.  As the stew thickened, what resulted was very rich and creamy.  I even added a bit of water, so I think the two cans of coconut milk would have been too much for me.

Making the stew was quick, but because you need to let it cook down for a bit, I recommend giving yourself at least an hour.  You will not need to attend to it, except for the occasional stir, leaving you free do other things while it simmers away, filling your whole house with its heady aroma.  Serve it topped with a bit of yogurt, some mint leaves, and some of the reserved crisped chickpeas, or vary the toppings a bit with some toasted coconut strips, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, or some spiced, baked chickpeas.

There is nothing better than hot soup on a cold winter night, and this addictively delicious, creamy stew is a flavor bomb of good-for-you ingredients. Turmeric and ginger are warming, comforting, aromatic, and inflammation fighting.  Flu season is amping up, you better amp up, too.

I will be making this again soon, but next time, I am doubling up, and maybe that will leave me with some leftovers.  Just wait till you try this.  I am sure you will be as dazzled as I was.  Go get those chickpeas and get going.  I am posting mine to Instagram right now.

Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • One 2-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, kale, or collard greens, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup mint leaves, for serving
  • Yogurt, for serving (optional)
  • Toasted pita, lavash or other flatbread, for serving, (optional)

Drain and rinse chickpeas, drying as much as possible.  Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent.  Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook and stir until onion starts to brown a bit, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add turmeric, red pepper flakes, and chickpeas.  Season with a little salt and pepper, and cook stirring frequently, so the chickpeas sizzle and fry a bit in the spices, adding more oil if necessary.  Cook until chickpeas start to break down, brown, and crisp a bit, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove and reserve about one cup of chickpeas for garnish.

Using wooden spoon or potato masher, crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starchy insides to help thicken the stew.  Add coconut milk and stock to the pot and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits that have frozen on bottom of pot.  Reduce heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until stew has thickened and flavors come together, about 30 to 35 minutes, or until you reach your desired consistency.  Add greens and stir, cooking until they wilt and soften.  Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper.

Ladle into serving bowls and top with mint, reserved chickpeas, red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.  Serve toasted pita or flatbread, and a bowl of yogurt dusted with turmeric alongside.

– adapted from recipe by Alison Roman as seen on nytimes.com/recipes 





Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

Scroll to top