This dish combines the warm and aromatic spices of Jamaican curry with protein-packed chickpeas, creating a truly delicious and satisfying meal. This curry chickpeas (Jamaicann-Style) is quick, easy, and packed with so much flavor! It’s simmered in a flavorful curry base infused with fresh thyme, pimento berries (allspice), scotch bonnet pepper, coconut milk, and of course Jamaican curry powder.
This version is a modern twist on the Indian chickpea-and-potato curry which is an adaptation of the Indian dish chickpeas curry (chana masala).
This protein-packed Jamaican-style curry chickpeas is perfect for a quick weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy plus it comes together in under 30 minutes and it’s vegan-friendly. This is my favorite and go-to vegan meal.
It’s filling, incredibly delicious, and budget-friendly. So if you’re looking for a quick easy, tasty, vegan option you’ve come to the right place, my friend. This Jamaican-style curry chickpea will not disappoint.
What’s The Difference Between Jamaican Curry And Indian Curry?
The main difference between Jamaican and Indian curry is that Jamaican curry is made with curry powder. Curry in India is not made with curry powders (that’s a UK invention) and is often sauce-based with either coconut milk or cream blended with tomatoes, fresh herbs, and toasted spices.
Jamaican curry is not a single spice but a unique blend of spices which often includes a mix of turmeric, cumin, paprika, cardamom, garlic, and fenugreek. It’s also infused with pimento seeds (allspice berries), which gives Jamaican curry its unique flavor and sets it apart from most other curries.
What’s The Difference Between Chickpeas And Garbanzo Beans?
Despite their different names, chickpeas and garbanzo beans are actually the same thing! Chickpeas are the most common term for this legume in the U.S., while garbanzo beans are more commonly used in other parts of the world, particularly in Latin America and Spain. They are a type of legume in the same family as kidney beans and peanuts with a buttery, nutty flavor, and creamy texture often used in a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, stews, and curries.
What Are The Health Benefits of Chickpeas?
Here are a few:
- Chickpeas are a good source of protein, making them a great option for vegetarians and vegans.
- They are high in fiber, which can help with digestion and weight management.
- Chickpeas contain several important vitamins and minerals, including iron, folate, and manganese.
- They may help to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Chickpeas are also a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect against cell damage and certain diseases.
So, in short, adding chickpeas to your diet can provide your body with many important nutrients and may help to improve overall health.
Canned (Pre-Cooked) vs. Dry Chickpeas
The choice is completely up to you. This comes down to personal preference, the amount of time you have allotted to preparing this dish, and what option is readily available to you. For this recipe, I used the canned variety. This allows me to make this tasty meal in a fraction of the time PLUS you can save the aquafaba and use it later as a vegan egg substitute in another dish. WIN!
Instead of using canned chickpeas, you can also use dry chickpeas that have been soaked and cooked. To do this, simply soak 1 cup of dry chickpeas in water overnight, then drain and rinse them and add them to a pot with enough water to cover. You can also add a few cloves of garlic for flavor. You can also add salt (optional) to taste. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 1-2 hours, or until the chickpeas are tender.
Chickpeas (canned or dry) I used the can variety for this recipe to reduce cooking time. If you choose the dry variety I’ve included directions on how to prepare it in the recipe card.
Jamaican curry – the star of the recipe + add delicious Caribbean curry flavor.
Fresh cracked pepper – I recommend fresh cracked black pepper over the stuff sitting in the jar.
Yellow onion, Garlic cloves, Fresh ginger ( you can also use ground ginger)
Cumin seeds – add depth and warm to the dish.
Ground turmeric powder (optional) – boost the color of the color – makes it more vibrant + add nutritional benefits
Whole scotch bonnet pepper – brings the heat and flavor. You can also leave it whole to only add flvor and no heat. You can also leave it out.
Green Seasoning – add another layer of flavor to any dish.
Raw coconut oil – for cooking
Fresh spinach – you can use frozen spinach or any other leafy green
Fresh parsley – you can us dried parsley as well.
Unsweetened coconut milk – adds that rich, creamy texture + add that subtle coconut-y flavor.
*** The full recipe, including all ingredients, measurements, instructions, and recipe video 🎥 is located in the recipe card below.
Where Can I buy Jamaican Curry?
- Specialty grocery stores: Many larger cities have specialty grocery stores that carry a variety of international ingredients, including Jamaican curry powder. If you live near a store that specializes in Caribbean or African foods, chances are they will carry Jamaican curry powder.
- Online retailers: If you cannot locate it at the specialty grocery store, you can also purchase Jamaican curry powder at Amazon online. There are many retailers that specialize in international products and spices, and they often have a wide selection of Jamaican curry powders to choose from. I’ve linked a few of my favorite curry powders for your convenience. My absolute favorite Jamaican Curry powder is Betapac Curry (not sponsored). Betapac Curry is Jamaica’s product and the brand most Jamaicans prefer.
Here are some other brands you might like as well:
- Grace Curry Powder (Jamaican Brand)
- Blue Mountain Country
- Chief (this is a Trinidad & Tobago brand but pretty popular in Jamaica)
- Make your own: If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also make your own Jamaican curry powder at home! This will allow you to customize the blend to your specific tastes and needs. (see recipe card)
Can I Substitute Jamaican Curry for Indian or Thai Curry?
Nope! The Thai and Indian curries are different flavor profiles and differ from the Jamaican Curry in taste and composition.
I Don’t Have Coconut Milk – What Else Could I Use?
You can use coconut milk powder or coconut cream (dilute according to the packaging instructions).
Can I Substitute Coconut Oil For Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Sure, the choice of oil is completely up to you.
Can I Substitute Dry Chickpeas For Canned Chickpeas?
Absolutely! See the recipe card for preparation and cooking directions for dry chickpeas.
I Don’t Have Turmeric, Can I Leave It Out?
Yes, Turmeric is an optional ingredient. I love to combine Turmeric with curry. It’s a bit of redundancy because curry powder contains turmeric. Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color. Sometimes the curry can appear a bit on the darker side when cooked and I prefer my curry dishes to be vibrant as the sun (lol) hence the additional turmeric. Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s a win-win for me.
Can I Substitute Frozen Spinach For Fresh?
Yes, you can use one pack (10 ounces) of frozen spinach leaves which yields about 1-1/2 cups after cooking. You can substitute 1 pack(10 ounces) of frozen spinach leaves for 1-1/2 pounds of fresh spinach for this recipe.
Can I Substitute Scotch Bonnet Pepper, with habanero, or red pepper flakes?
Absolutely, for this recipe, you can substitute the Scotch Bonnet for habanero, red pepper flakes, or chile pepper of your choice. You can also leave it out entirely. I usually leave the scotch bonnet pepper whole to only extract the oils and flavoring from the skin and none of the heat. I typically tiptoe around the hot pepper heat (yeah, I know you’re about to yank my Jamaican card – the story of my life:) The habanero (which is more readily available outside the Caribbean) will provide intense heat (if that is what you krave) or you can opt for its chiller, milder cousin the red pepper flakes for a mild spicy kick. The choice is completely up to you. Either way, it’s still a super delicious dish.
Health Benefits of Scotch Bonnet Pepper
If you can handle the heat, you will be able to reap a few health benefits from these little, spicy chile peppers. Scotch bonnets are a good source of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B, as well as iron, niacin, riboflavin, and magnesium. They are also high in dietary fiber, phytochemicals, carotenoids, and flavonoids.
The chemical capsaicin not only makes these peppers spicy but also has been shown to offer medicinal properties. Capsaicin can be used to treat different types of pain such as headaches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid pain, and painful diabetic neuropathy. It can also relieve chest congestion and prevent sinusitis. Researchers have also found capsaicin may help prevent and block the growth of cancer cells and reduce the onset of cardiovascular diseases.
You can add white potatoes or sweet potatoes diced in 1-inch cubes. You will need to pre-cook them before adding them to the curry chickpeas.
You can also add additional veggies to the dish. If spinach is not your thing, but cauliflower is then by all means add cauliflower.
What Goes Well With Curry Chickpeas?
The possibilities are endless. Serve this Jamaican-style coconut curry chickpeas over a bed of white rice, brown rice, or even quinoa. You can also serve over a bed of cauliflower rice, roti, or any of your favorite side dishes for a complete meal your whole family will love!
Make sure the leftovers have cooled down to room temperature before storing.
How To Store Leftover curry chickpeas In The Fridge?
You can store your leftover curry goat in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Leftovers can be kept for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. After that, the risk of food poisoning increases. If you don’t think you’ll be able to eat leftovers within four days, freeze them immediately.
How To Store Leftover curry chickpeas In The Freezer?
You can freeze your curry chickpeas in small batches. This way you don’t have to reheat the whole thing for small servings; it reheats really well. You should freeze it covered in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap it tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap for best results.
Properly stored, it will maintain the best quality for about 4 months but will remain safe beyond that time.
Need to Reheat?
How To Reheat Leftover Curry Chickpeas on the stovetop?
The curry chickpeas reheat really well on the stovetop. You can remove the frozen meal from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the fridge until you are ready to reheat. It tastes a lot fresher and much better in my opinion. I pre-heat in a saucepan over low heat and allow the food to heat all the way thru slowly. It does take some patience to reheat this way, but of course, you can use the microwave.
Leftovers taste a lot fresher and much better in my opinion when reheated on the stovetop. I typically reheat covered in a saucepan over low heat and allow the food to heat all the way thru slowly. It does take some patience to re-heat this way, but of course, you can use the microwave (see microwave instructions below)
How To Reheat Leftover Curry Chickpeas in the microwave?
The microwaves reheat quickly and easily. Place the food in a microwave-safe container, cover it with a damp paper towel to maintain moisture, and make sure that all of the food is evenly spread out across the plate so it heats up at the same rate. and reheat until the food heats all the way thru. The time will depend don’t the power of the microwave you’re using.
4 servings per container
- Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Sodium 1003.62mg 42%
- Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 7.06g 29%
- Sugars 3.44g
- Protein 7.67g 15%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
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