Chickpea Potato Curry

Quick and easy chickpea curry with Yukon Gold potatoes, stewed tomatoes, cumin, ginger, coriander and garbanzo beans.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.


  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can fire-roasted or stewed tomatoes with chiles (See Muir Glen. If you can't find canned tomatoes with chiles you can add half a 4-ounce can of diced green anaheim chiles to a 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes.)
  • 6 baby (new) Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces), quartered
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (or ghee if you have it, or you can sub olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)


1 In a large pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the onions and ginger until the onion begins to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the salt, cumin, coriander and cayenne, stir to combine and cook for another minute or two.

2 Add the remaining ingredients, stir to mix and simmer vigorously for about 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add more salt to taste.

Serve the curry in bowls over rice. Great accompanied with plain yogurt.

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  • Michelle

    When you are simmering vigorously, is the pot covered or uncovered?

  • Erica

    Spicy! I cut the cayenne in 1/2 and it still had quite a bit of kick. Served it over quinoa and topped with plain yogurt to cool it off. I also cut the amount of potatoes in half and subbed in cauliflower and carrots. My 2 year old gobbled it up and it was easy to make.

  • Sara

    What a wonderful, tasty, cheap and easy meal to prepare! I used fresh tomatoes (my mom is allergic to the preservatives used in tinned tomatoes) and a teaspoon of medium curry spice and it was delicious. Thanks Elise!

  • Rebecca

    I made this last night. It was delicious and really, really easy to make!! I love that it is an option I can cook for my gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan (if I swap out the butter) friends. Basically a potluck winner that you don’t even need to be a good cook to make.

  • Stacey

    This was good but even better with a bit of plain greek yogurt stirred into and served with cauliflower. Next I make this I’ll add the raw cauliflower directly into the curry at about the half way point. My 11 and 8 year old even ate it!

  • Fauna

    I had to use plain yogurt to cut the heat, which was fine. I believe yogurt is common in Indian cuisine. Very good with the yogurt too.

  • Cyndi

    I know this wouldn’t be traditional–but could this be adapted to a crockpot since everything seems to go in at once? Would anything (amounts for instance) have to be changed to make it work in a crockpot?

    Slow cookers work best with foods that take a long time to cook. This curry cooks up in about half an hour, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a slow cooker. ~Elise

  • Motyka

    This is the perfect recipe for someone who wants make a curry without buying all of the spices that Indian curries usually call for. It sounds like there’s mixed reviews on whether this constitutes as an authentic curry or not, but honestly, authentic or not – it tastes great and is ridiculously easy to make.

    I made it exactly as written first time, and as usual, Elise’s recipes are perfect as written. But, because of the wide variance in heat tolerance, I would start with 1/8 tspn of cayenne. I have a high heat tolerance, and the 1/2 tspn was plenty for me. Better to add more in, than to put too much and be sorry. Also, it equated to more than 4 servings for us too – which is refreshing since most recipes (not on this blog) seem to overstate the amount of servings.

    Today I made it different, based on recommendations from other reviewers that different veggies could work with this. I got my first CSA produce box, and there was an unidentifiable vegetable in there. Turns out it was kohlrabi. I roasted it with garlic and olive oil, then used this along with lentils and zucchini, instead of the chickpeas and potatoes. It was just as delicious, and I would try lots of different veggie combo’s now. I served it over organic basmati rice. Excellent vegetarian main dish, worthy of company.

  • Ellen

    I love this one! It was not only healthy, but so very easy to make, and for once I had everything on hand – cooked chickpeas, cooked rice, ginger and chicken broth in the freezer, canned tomatoes and spices in the cupboard, and potatoes and onions in storage – and to top it off, it’s a curry so my husband deigned to eat it! Plus, there was enough for leftovers. Perfect winter weeknight recipe.

  • hit&runpariah

    Tweaks included chicken stock (on hand) with more potatoes and less chickpeas (either that or too much). I had time so I let it simmer for over an hour and the ‘taters seemed to absorb much more of the flavor and the onions were perfectly soft. I recommend simmering it down, it’s a great stew. Wife was very happy when she came home from work, the ginger and spices are a great antidote to the January rain.

    Up in the Northwest, we order 2/5 stars maximum when we get spicy food. I put in a generous teaspoon of cayenne and it still wasn’t very spicy to us. and I’m all about the fresh ginger and spending an extra 5 minutes grinding up coriander & cumin seeds, seems to add a vibrancy to the spice. Way too much for 2 people, even with leftovers!

  • Cashew

    This was great! I wouldn’t necessarily say it has a strong curry flavor, but it was more like an American take on curry. I was surprised how much I could taste the ginger even though it didn’t seem like that much when I put it in. I especially liked how it called for less butter than most traditional Indian recipes. Very filling, and it made at least 5, possibly 6, dinner-size servings. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  • Betsey

    This was made last night and was superb! The only addition I made was with fresh cauliflower. The recipe was so good, that I’m going to use up the rest of the cauliflower tonight and substitute Northern beans for the garbanzos, and chicken stock for the veg.stock. I hope I have enough left over to freeze this time! Thanks, Elise – you are the BEST!


  • Courtney

    My husband is a hospital resident, and I wanted to make him something healthy and fortifying that I could throw in the fridge on Sunday and he could eat on the fly. This was such a hit, especially on the second day. I followed the recipe and added a few handfuls of fresh spinach I had on hand. Thanks, as always, for a foolproof recipe that brings a lot of flavor. This has quickly become my go-to site for feel-good food.

  • Andrea

    I have a dumb question…The recipe calls for minced ginger, that’s fresh ginger, right?

    Thanks, I love your site!

    Good question! Yes, that would be fresh ginger. ~Elise

  • christine

    Made this last week for work – had enough for the entire week’s worth of lunches!! The flavors blended incredibly well. I used canned new potatoes b/c I had to get rid of them…but the recipe was still amazing. Coriander might be my new fav spice.

    Thanks for the recipe :)

  • Janice

    This is a delicious recipe! I was pleasantly surprised that these simple ingredients could create a dish with such wonderful flavors.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Shelley

    Great recipe and thanks!! Made it many times. One hint, not sure if it’s been mentioned…Add non fat plain yogurt on top, gives it that creamy touch!

  • Brad

    We made this tonight and it was very good. It was so easy to make that while I was dumping in all the ingredients I thought to myself “well, at least it’ll be cheap and healthy”. But it was also very delicious, quite a bit more delicious than I was expecting it to be. I think next time I might try swapping the potatoes out with a green vegetable like zucchini as some of the other posters had mentioned. Thanks for the recipe Elise. I think this might become one of our usuals.

  • Mariah

    I am a huge fan of this recipe! Every time I make it I experiment with adding/subtracting veggies (cauliflower, zuchini, carrots, & yellow squash to name a few alternates) and I really think you can’t go wrong. It’s my favorite dish and fills my apartment with the most amazing curry smell. It’s so easy to make and reheats like a dream. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful dish!

  • Beth

    My husband and I are suckers for Indian food but most of the recipes I’ve found online seem very intimidating and involved. This was incredibly delicious, a cinch to make and relieved the monotony of our usual lentil dahl. Thank you.

  • Sue

    I found your site by accident, when I opened a can of chickpeas for a recipe that required bean sprouts. So, now I have a great use for the chickpeas and a curry that my husband will probably approve of! Thanks for your recipes!

  • Chanda

    Hello again. Ok, this is the second recipe of yours that I have made today!! I am hooked!! Anyhow, this turned out really good. I could not find the tomatoes. So, I used organic diced tomatoes along with a can of chiles. I also did not have veggie broth but used chicken instead. I put extra butter because I only had a little bit left over and did not want to waste and I put extra “red” potatoes (that is what I had on hand). Thanks again for another great recipe.

  • Donna

    Hi Ann from May 3rd, Thank you for the info on relacing the butter with olive oil or nothing at all. Will try it one day and let you know.

  • HollyG

    I made this dish for my family’s annual “SpudFest” wherein each member has to bring a potato dish. I didn’t want to make the standard twice-baked potatoes, or sweet potatoes with marshmallows, etc, so I found this recipe while doing a search online.

    It was a HIT! Additionally, it freezes very well: I made another batch and froze what was left over after dinner into individual plastic containers. So much better than cardboard boxes of “microwave dinners” in the grocery store.

  • Kim

    I tried this dish with a little less than 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper and found it extremely spicy (I am sensitive to hot spices, though). I used the “mild” tomatoes with green chiles, which I have used in other recipes, so I don’t think it was that. My husband, who loves spicy food, also found it pretty spicy, but very tasty. If you don’t like really spicy food, I would reduce the cayenne to 1/4 tsp or less.

  • Thomas Hebert

    This was scrumpious! I didn’t have butter, so substituted olive oil. I had considered doubling the recipe, but didn’t and I’m glad of it – it makes a *lot* (more than for 2 people) as written.

    Healthy, cheap, good.

  • Jeana

    I halved this and made it for lunch. Took all of fifteen minutes. I ate it with some homemade pita bread. It was delicious and filling and super super super easy. This is definitely going to become a staple recipe in my collection!

  • Elise

    Hi Amanda – as mentioned by the recipe’s author Ann, you can use olive oil. Ghee would be a more typical ingredient for Indian cooking, but if you are vegan, it won’t do as it is made from butter. As for the cayenne, curries in general tend to be a bit spicy and this one is no exception. If you are quite sensitive to chile, I would start with a smaller amount and add more to taste.

    Hi Matt – Yes, this has the texture of a stew over rice.

  • Coralie

    Half a Teaspoon won’t seem all that much when it’s all done Amanda, unless you have a very sensitive stomach or IBS you won’t even notice (be more worried about the Chiles in that case!?) One of the best things about Curry is the very Subtle (unless you’re a fan of Vindaloo/hot disshes) warming sensation created by all the oils from the Spices.
    Don’t be afraid to add spice as it enhances the flavours of the other ingredients (like salt or sugar do)
    Alternatives to Butter (for Vegans, dairy intolerants etc) are Ghee and rather than Olive Oil i’d recommend Nut Oil as it does not impart any distinct flavours. Ghee is traditionally very ‘Indian’ and is a vegetable butter behaving as such, however it is the polar opposite of Vegetable Oil Cholesterol wise as it is a Hydrogenated fat (unlike Groundnut/Peanut-Oil which is very stable to high temperatures before becoming hydrogenated)
    Finally, I agree with frying the onions although this varies from dish to dish, 15 minutes seems a bit long but frying the Onions, chopped roughly and fairly large, in a little nut-oil on a heavy bottom skillet, high heat- will impart a nice roundness to the dish. Just caramalise the edges and don’t soften to death otherwise they lose all intergrity after Stewing the dish for a further half an hour.
    In the UK, Curry is such a staple that Chinese restaurants, ChipShops and virtually all resaurants sell it. I can’t imagine not having a Curry house or two on every row of shops. Its never really occurred to me that not everywhere is like this. Thanks for enlightening me everyone x

  • Amanda

    Oh my, this sounds tasty AND easy! Yay!
    I’m a little concerned about the amount of cayenne pepper though…that seems like an awful lot…
    Is this supposed to be super spicy?
    Do you think it would effect the overall taste if I lowered the amount of cayenne to 1/4 tsp?

  • Ann

    Donna: You can omit the butter. It is a classic ingredient in Indian cooking and adds a nice creaminess to dishes. But if you eat olive oil, perhaps use that instead? If not, then try it without added fat and see how you like it.

    It’s been fun to read everyone’s comments. Thanks again, Elise, for the post!

  • brownelf

    Elise, thank you for posting the Wikipedia entry on curry. I’m Indian and an amateur food historian and can confirm that it’s pretty much accurate.

    Angela (and anyone else who’s curious), there is no spice in Indian cuisine called curry. If we use the word “curry” at all — and in some regions of India, the word is never used — we use it to mean any saucy (as opposed to dry) dish that goes with rice or bread.

    The curry leaves mentioned in the Wikipedia entry? Chances are, unless you are very familiar with authentic Indian food, that is not the smell you associate with it. “Curry” leaves have a very mild fragrance and you don’t even come across them in many Indian restaurants in the U.S.

    And Q — so sorry to hear your wife didn’t enjoy the Chicken Tikka Masala. But she’s hasn’t tried Indian food, then, and perhaps you haven’t either — Chicken Tikka Masala is a British dish, and you will never find it in an Indian home. I hope at least you — if not your wife — will have the chance to try real Indian food someday :-) . Hey, your wife should at least try it before she decides she doesn’t like it, right?

  • Donna

    I was just wondering could I omit the butter since I do not eat butter or margarine? What should I replace it with?

  • Elise

    Hi Angela – Great question. According to the Wikipedia entry on curry,

    The term curry is most likely an anglicized name for the Kari derived from the usage of “Kari” in the South Indian language Tamil to connotate any secondary dish eaten with rice. In addition, curry leaves, known by the Tamil word ‘Karuvapillai’ (literally meaning black leaf) which is an aberration of ‘kari-veppilai’ in Tamiil or ‘kari-veppila’ in Malayalam or the Kannada word ‘Karibevu’ is used in various kinds of dishes common in South India made with vegetables or meat and usually eaten with rice. The term curry (meaning a stew) was found in English before the arrival of British traders on the Subcontinent, and may simply have been applied by them to dishes which they thought resembled the stews they were used to. The term is now used more broadly, especially in the Western world, to refer to almost any spiced, sauce-based dishes cooked in various south and southeast Asian styles. In Kerala, though each curry has a specific name, generically any side dish is historically referred to as a ‘curry’. Not all curries are made from curry powder; in India the word curry is heavily used in the southern part of India in languages like Tamil, while rarely used in the north.

    Hope that answers your question.

  • Angela

    I continue to marvel at your recipes and truly appreciate your website. I feel like I have a somewhat silly question regarding this recipe for Chickpea Potato Curry, though. I thought that curry was a strong spice that was used in Indian food (and that chased me in the other direction), yet I don’t see the spice used in this dish. Being of hispanic origin, I was raised on cumin, peppers, garlic and other “strong” tastes. This recipe sounds delicious and I plan to try it as soon as I get some time in the kitchen. Could you help me understand the curry reference?

  • 84'er

    First, I LOVE your site. I’ve tried so many of your recipes and they are all great! Second, I am so glad you posted a simple curry recipe. I’m Indian and I can’t tell you how many times I have to explain to people that Indian food at a restaurant is nothing like Indian food at home. Curry doesn’t automatically mean a soupy concoction of complicated spices, tons of heat and a floating layer of oil. Most Indians use a basic base (similar to your recipe above) with a few spices such as cumin and corriander. As Jonathan mentioned – you can use this base with a variety of vegetables and lentils. Try it with some wheat flat bread (or authentic wheat “rotis”) for a change from rice.

  • Rakhee

    Absolutely love your site. Beautiful pictures too….
    Just a note. You can substitue chickpeas and potatoes with any vegetables like Eggplant,beans,cabbage, zucchini, etc or even different beans or lentils. The base stays the same. This can be made with just one vegetable or lentil.

  • Kalyn

    Sounds great. I’d switch the potatoes for cauliflower and this would be perfect for me.

    Cauliflower would be an excellent sub for the potatoes, Kalyn. Thanks for the idea! ~Elise