Chickpeas are very healthy and belong to the legume family. Like many other legumes, they are a good meat substitute. So perfect to stage a delicious vegetarian meal. This vegetarian chickpea curry is not only packed with vitamins and nutrients. Packed with healthy so to say. But also surprisingly tasty and very easy to prepare. This curry reaches your plate in half an hour. What's stopping you from getting started? We season this Indian curry with North African ras el hanout. We will explain what that is again later in this article.
The best tips to make this vegetarian chickpea curry
Preparation is half the work. And that also applies quite well to this vegetarian chickpea curry. One person is of course a bit faster at chopping the vegetables than the other. But fifteen minutes of carving is a good average. And also stir-frying the curry takes about fifteen minutes.
Preparing the vegetables and the feta
The chickpeas are already a very easy start. Since we are working with canned chickpeas here, we only need to open the can and let the chickpeas drain.
The next step with the cherry tomatoes is also a piece of cake. Because we just need to cut them in half lengthwise.
Next we remove the stem and the inner part with the seeds from the red bell pepper. Then we cut the red pepper into medium-sized, bite-sized pieces.
Then we wash the eggplant and remove the ends. Next we cut it in half lengthwise. Finally we cut the eggplant into cubes using what I call the three-dimensional cutting technique: horizontally lengthwise, vertically lengthwise, and then width wise.
Now only the onion, the red chili pepper and the garlic remain. We also clean those first, and we also remove the seeds from the red chili pepper. We finely chop the garlic and pepper. The onion, on the other hand, can be cut into larger pieces.
Finally, we still have to cut the feta cheese. We also cut it into cubes. We will mix two thirds of it under the curry. The last third is for finishing on the plate. Just like the finely chopped parsley. You can finely chop this while the curry is cooking.
Stir-frying the vegetarian chickpea curry
Now it's time to put the wok or a large deep pan on the fire. First heat a tablespoon of oil in it and briefly fry the onion, garlic and chili pepper.
Once they start to smell, you can then add the sliced bell pepper. Stir fry this for a few minutes.
Then add the cherry tomatoes, the eggplant and the drained chickpeas. Deglaze with a little water and then add the spices: ras el hanout, pepper and salt.
Now cover the curry and let it simmer for 10 minutes. In the meantime you can finely chop the parsley.
Then we mix two thirds of the cubes of feta cheese under the curry. Stir everything well together and let the curry simmer for another 5 minutes until the feta has melted. It will eventually form a light creamy sauce.
When the feta has melted and all the ingredients have integrated well, the vegetarian chickpea curry can be served. Arrange the curry on plates and then garnish with the remaining feta and chopped parsley.
What is “Ras el hanout”?
Ras el hanout is a North African spice blend that is especially popular in Morocco. The traditional recipe contains 24 to 27 different herbs. Sometimes even much more! If you have it at home, you can make it yourself. The most famous ingredients are allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and turmeric. These are roasted and then finely ground.
More information about ras el hanout and how to make it yourself can be found here:
- Ras el hanout spice mix (BBC good food).
- Easy ras el hanout (The spruce eats).
- Homemade ras el hanout recipe (Serious eats)
I love chickpeas in various preparation. You may find some more surprising ideas in the following articles:
- Tasty lukewarm chickpea salad
- Lukewarm pumpkin salad
- Moroccan meatballs with chickpeas
- Hummus with sesame paste