This slow cooker coconut chickpea curry is the perfect low effort dinner - just add all the ingredients to the pot, and it will cook itself!
I've been using my slow cooker quite a bit lately - with two small children, I've been reminded just how handy it can be! Just throw in a few ingredients, then get on with your day. Before you know it, you'll be faced with a tasty dinner that pretty much cooked itself - like this slow cooker coconut chickpea curry! Full of flavour, but next to no effort required (and since it's a one pot meal, there are very few dishes to wash!).
Slow cookers are perfect for curry!
A vegetarian curry is just the sort of thing a slow cooker is perfect for. Leave it to bubble away for a few hours, and it will only get tastier and tastier.
It's also a great opportunity to use harder vegetables like carrots. I don't often use carrots in a curry - I usually make quick curries that contain veg I've just fried for a few minutes in a pan, which doesn't really work for carrots. But they're beautifully cooked after a few hours in the slow cooker!
Plenty of vegetables
To make your coconut chickpea curry, first add a couple of tins of chickpeas to the slow cooker, along with plenty of chopped vegetables. I used mushrooms, carrots, a pepper, and an aubergine (eggplant), but most veg will be great. This kind of meal is perfect for clearing out the fridge!
Just avoid any vegetables that become too mushy if they're cooked for a long time - things like broccoli aren't really great cooked in a slow cooker. But any vegetables that hold up well with low, slow cooking will work just fine.
Shop-bought curry paste
Next, the curry sauce!
Rather than making my curry from scratch with my own blend of spices, this time I took a shortcut, and used a big dollop of curry paste instead. Somebody far cleverer than me has already done the hard work, finding a perfect blend of flavours, and I'm more than happy to trust their judgement!
Combined with a tin of coconut milk, it's all you need to make a tasty, creamy curry sauce.
Of course you're welcome to use ground spices instead if you prefer! I love it when people make my recipes their own.
How to thicken a slow cooker curry
Sauces cooked in the slow cooker are often a bit thinner than those cooked on the hob. With the lid on the whole time, the liquid doesn't evaporate at all, so it doesn't reduce down in the same way, and as the vegetables cook, their juices also contribute to the tasty sauce.
Personally, I have no issues with this at all! This coconut chickpea curry still has all the same incredible flavour as a thicker curry, and by the time you've spooned it over some fluffy rice, it all mixes together beautifully.
But, if you do prefer a thicker sauce, you have a few options:
- Combine 2 tablespoon cornflour with 2 tablespoon water, and mix well. Add to the slow cooker for the last hour of cooking time.
- Remove the lid from the slow cooker for the last hour of cooking time to allow the sauce to reduce a little.
- Add a handful of red lentils for the last hour of two of cooking, to absorb some of the liquid.
What if I don't have a slow cooker?
If you don't have a slow cooker, this coconut chickpea curry will be awesome cooked on the hob as well. Just fry off the veg in a big pan (I like to use my massive wok!), then add the chickpeas, curry paste and coconut milk, and simmer for 5 minutes or so until everything's all hot and bubbly.
It's a little more effort to cook it this way, but obviously takes much less time overall, so it just depends on whether you'd prefer 20 minutes of hands-on time, or a few hours of hands-off time.
Both ways give you a delicious chickpea curry!
How can I serve this slow cooker coconut chickpea curry?
The whole point of using the slow cooker for this chickpea curry is to make it an easy, low effort meal - so you're probably going to want to keep your side dishes simple too.
I personally think white rice is best for a slow cooker curry, as it works really well to soak up the excess sauce. A bit of naan bread or chapatti on the side is also perfect for mopping up the plate!
Or, since the curry itself is pretty hands-off, you might actually decide you've got some energy left to spend on your side dishes after all. Some Bombay potatoes or samosas would be great, or even another curry (saag paneer and lentil dal both make great sides!).
Slow cooker coconut chickpea curry
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- 1 medium aubergine (eggplant)
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 yellow pepper
- 6 medium mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained (480g, or ~ 2 ½ cups, in total when drained)
- 3 tablespoon vegetarian curry paste (I used tikka paste)
- 400 ml (~ 1 ½ cups) tinned coconut milk
- 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
- Fresh coriander (cilantro), to serve (optional)
- Cut all the vegetables into bitesize pieces, and add to the slow cooker. Add all the remaining ingredients, and mix well.
- Cook on high for around 4.5 hours, or until cooked to your liking. Garnish with fresh coriander (cilantro), if desired.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.