Chickpea and Mushroom Curry

August 07, 2012

Chickpea Mushroom Curry

The chapter For the love of chickpeas continues with a very simple Indian-style curry, a recreation of the one that got me hooked on these little legumes in the first place years ago. This was a lucky combination, but the result blew me away. For an hour after eating a bowlful of curry and rice I kept on saying how incredibly good it was. As with any food I instantly love, I had the curry again the same day and made even more the next. Mushrooms seem to complete chickpeas. I used white mushrooms this time, but my favourite are the chestnut type. This curry is rich and wonderfully aromatic, with a harmonious blend of spices that creates a warm, long-lasting aftertaste. It's also highly nutritious and provides a good amount of fiber to aid digestion.

Chickpea Mushroom Curry

To fully appreciate food, the visual has to be just as good as the flavour. With this curry I wanted a deep brown colour, but I will also share with you how to create an orange-brown and deep red; I find all three colours to be appetite-inducing. I will also show you how I make basmati rice. For me a curry is incomplete without rice or some type of flatbread (my latest favourite is homemade paratha-style chapati - a soft, chewy, flaky bread that makes eating by hand very enjoyable).

Chickpea and Mushroom Curry
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Tb oil (I used sunflower)
  • 300 g white mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 can (400 g) chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup creamy coconut milk (75% fat) - 1 cup is 250 ml
  • 480 g cooked chickpeas (from an 800 g can, or use 2 x 400 g cans)
  • salt

  • 2 tsp curry powder (I use mild Madras curry powder)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 8 dry curry leaves (even better if you can use fresh)

In a large pot or casserole heat the oil on medium. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the onion, sprinkle about 1/2 tsp salt to help soften it faster, cover with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft and almost translucent, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking or browning (you might need to reduce the heat, depending on what type of dish you're using).

Add the aromatics and mix everything well, cook for about a minute.

Add the chopped mushrooms, sprinkle another 1/2 tsp salt to soften and release their juices faster and cook covered for about 10 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes (with the juice), coconut milk, chickpeas and curry leaves, adjust salt (I added another tsp), cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until thickened, but not dry (after it comes to a boil adjust the heat so that it simmers gently and stir once in a while). While cooking, chop the tomatoes further with a spatula if you find big chunks. Turn the heat off and leave the pot on the hot burner, covered. That will help thicken the curry further.

Chickpea Mushroom Curry

As you may have noticed from your experience, the longer the tomatoes are cooked, the darker they turn. To get this deep brown colour I used white mushrooms with black gills, as the liquid they release is dark and combines with the tomatoes and coconut milk to create brown. If you prefer a different colour, here's how:
  • for orange-brown: once the mushrooms turn dark and release their juice, cook them uncovered until the juice evaporates completely. Reserve 2-3 Tb chopped tomatoes and proceed with the instructions. As the curry cooks the colour will change from orange-red towards brown. You may need to add some of the reserved tomatoes for a deeper tone. A little turmeric will also help maintain an orange hue.
  • for deep red: cook the mushrooms as above. Add the tomatoes and about 1/3 cup coconut milk. Cook covered for about 10 minutes after it comes to a boil, then remove the lid and increase the heat so that the gravy thickens before it has a chance to turn brown. Don't forget to stir from time to time.

Chickpea Mushroom Curry

Since you're cooking tomatoes, make sure to use a non-reactive dish, as that could alter the taste of the curry.

Chickpea Mushroom Curry

Once you have the curry simmering, you can start preparing the rice. You need:
  • 1 cup (190 g) basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • oil or vegan butter, optional

Basmati Rice

In a bowl, thoroughly wash and drain the rice a few times until the water runs clear. The rice will look slightly translucent. Cover with cold water 1-2 cm above the rice level and soak for 30 minutes. Drain. Now the rice will be bigger in volume and opaque white.

Five minutes before the soaking time is over, pour the water in a pan and add salt. For this amount I used a 21 cm heavy-bottom pan. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting, see-through lid and bring the water to a boil. Transfer the pan to the smallest burner turned to high. Add the rice and spread it around the pan in an even layer without stirring it much. Cover with the lid and bring back to a boil (about 30 seconds). Cook for about 3 minutes on high, during which time the rice will start foaming.

When the water level has reached the rice level or just below it, reduce the heat to low and allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes. The golden rule of making basmati rice is to not remove the lid until it is ready, so that steam does not escape. Well, I never follow it. I like the rice to be uniformly cooked, so after lowering the heat I let the rice cook for a couple of minutes and then quickly remove the lid with one hand and give it a stir with the other, using a small knife, then cover it again and cook for another 1-2 minutes. That ensures that the rice on the bottom doesn't get sticky because of the weight, it also helps separate the grains a bit and gives you an idea of how much longer to cook it (you can see if there's more water, or if it's beginning to stick to the bottom).

Basmati Rice

Lastly, turn the heat off and let it sit on the hot burner for 5 minutes. Use a fork (or the same knife) to gently stir the rice to separate the grains and make it look fluffy. Some people like to add a few drops of oil to the water in which the rice cooks, or a little butter when making it fluffy, to also add some flavour. I prefer to keep things simple, so I don't add either.

Instead of white, you could make brown basmati rice. While it is highly nutritious, it also comes with a distinctive taste.

Chickpea Mushroom Curry

I would love to get your feedback after trying this recipe, so please leave a comment below. And if you know other great combinations involving chickpeas please drop me a line, I'm always on the search for new exciting curries.

Enjoy and spread the magic!:)

Like this recipe? Share it with your friends and come back for more!


Andrea - Chocolate and Beyond

Great images Adriana! I love your blog, and the different cuisine types that you have at the side. And this chickpea & mushroom curry looks tasty too - chickpeas are a curry favourite of mine :)

Vegan Magic

Thank you so much Andrea for visiting my blog and for the lovely words:) I'm very happy you like the curry. As for the different cuisines, I love trying new dishes and my searches on the net take me all around the world:)


This looks delicious! I'd be making it tonight, except I think I'm out of chickpeas... One of my favorite curries is sweet potato-chickpea, it's amazing and comes together in a snap! :)

Vegan Magic

I'm so glad you like it, Hayley:)Many thanks for the suggestion. I tried a combination of butternut squash and chickpea (there's another post about it) and it was great, I'm sure I'd love the sweet potato too. Will definitely try it. Thank you for the comment:)


This looks absolutely delicious! I'm a big fan of chickpeas, especially in curries - they just make everything a bit more substantial.

Vegan Magic

Hey Jenny, thanks so much for the comment, I couldn't be happier that you like my curry. Well, this is getting better and better:) Just before you Hayley suggested the sweet potato-chickpea combination and now your comment led me to your blog where I found not one, but three wonderful recipes using this combo that I would like to try:) I planned to make another favourite curry tomorrow, but with so much inspiration I think I'll try something new. Thank you!

Mushrooms Canada

What a fantastic recipe! Everything about this dish screams my name; curry, chickpeas and of course mushrooms! Yum! Thanks for sharing, it looks simply amazing.


Vegan Magic

Hi Shannon:) I can see why you like it so much, a blog dedicated to mushrooms, that's LOVE!:) Those portabella burgers and pizza on your site look fantastic! Thank you so much for the comment, I hope you enjoy this curry as much as I do:)

Kerry Brian Davidson

Nice, On my to do list now.

Vegan Magic

So happy you like it, Kerry:) I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:) Have a great day!


I made this last night for dinner. I added black beans and used instant rice, since I have a big family, so that it would stretch farther. My kids, who are usually picky eaters, LOVED this! It was delicious and filling! I am sure it will be one of our "weekly" dished now! Thanks for the recipe, love your blog!

Vegan Magic

Hi Julie, this is awesome! I'm so happy everyone loved it. Black beans are my favourite, I'm sure they were a great addition to this dish. I make some chickpea curry almost every day and my latest craze is chickpea and gungo peas. Today I made the chickpea mushroom one, only I added even more mushrooms and coconut milk and let it cook until really creamy. It was fantastic! Thank you so very much for the feedback and comment, I appreciate it:)

Debs @ The Spanish Wok

Oh this looks good.

You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme. New theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

Vegan Magic

Thank you very much for the invite, Debs. The event sounds wonderful and the past ones I've seen were very interesting. Thanks for stopping by:)

Lara Martin

I made this recipe, and per usual cooking in Sudan is quite the adventure. Even without finding a couple of ingredients, this came together quickly and the taste is simply amazing. In fact, I am eating it again for lunch. I've forwarded this recipe to family who are interested and I even had my Bangladeshi colleague try it. It got his seal of approval so that is something to be said! :)

Vegan Magic

Lara, your comment has made my day:) I'm so happy everyone loved it and that you found a way to make it without the missing ingredients. I couldn't be happier that this wonderful dish made it all the way to Sudan:) And since you mentioned your Bangladeshi colleague, he'll be happy to know that I've recently found a small Bangladeshi restaurant in my area that makes jumbo samosas, the BEST I have ever eaten. Thank you so much for the feedback. I have more delicious curries to post, so do visit again soon:)

Anna Breuer

hey Adya, I made this for my grandparents, and they loved it! It was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! We don't really have that distinct sweet flavor in Western cuisine ;)
I didn't know when to add the chickpeas thus threw them in at the end, it didn't thicken like it should have. Any ideas why?
Anyway, it was so good I am sure to make it again!

Vegan Magic

Hey Anna, thank you so much for the feedback, it's great that you and your grandparents enjoyed the curry. I noticed that I forgot to mention the chickpeas along with the tomatoes, coconut and curry leaves, they all go in together right after the mushrooms, as in the 4th image, bottom left corner. I'm so sorry about that, I don't know how I missed it. Thank you for bringing this up, I updated the post now.

Chickpeas will cook further and absorb some of the liquid, so that's one thing that helps thicken the curry. Then the heat and the type of dish you're using make a difference too. You can remove the lid after 20 minutes and cook it uncovered, stirring once in a while, until it is thick. I hope the curry comes out perfect next time. Thank you so much for the comment, Anna:) Have a lovely day!


I made this and simply loved it. I was a bit concerned at first about the cinnamon as, whenever I smell it, I think of homemade apple pie! But the flavours were delicious. I've added this to my 'receipes to keep'

Vegan Magic

Karen, your feedback has made me so happy:) This is one of my top favourite recipes and it's always a pleasure to know someone else enjoyed it. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave feedback, I greatly appreciate it.

I totally relate to your situation. I started using cinnamon in Moroccan savoury dishes, until then I'd only used it in homemade apple pie:) Now I add it to many curries, smoothies and desserts.

Now that you got a taste of cinnamon in savoury dishes, you should really try Sophie Dahl's aromatic rice, you'll find the recipe online as Sophie's dhal with lemon and saffron spiced rice. It's the most amazing rice I have tasted, full of flavour, you just wanna eat it plain. Thank you again for stopping by. Have a lovely day:)


Hiya, i'm wanting to try this recipe but would rather use dried chickpeas. I'm just wonder if you would know how much (dried weight) i would need. Thankyou! X

Vegan Magic

@Anonymous: Hello and thank you for your enquiry. By using 1 cup (about 200 g) dried chickpeas you get 2.5 - 3 cups cooked, which is just about what you need for this recipe. Not all types of chickpeas yield the same volume/weight after cooking, but anyway the difference isn't much and you can always add a little bit of water if you need. I hope you enjoy this wonderful curry as much as I do:)

vegan chick 87

Sorry, only just seen your reply! Thanks very much, it's the first time i've evet used dried chickpeas so i was just a bit unsure. I'll be making the curry tonight so fingers crossed it tastes ok!

Vegan Magic

Glad I could help:) Enjoy the curry, it's really delicious:) Looking forward to your feedback.

vegan chick 87

Just had our second helping of curry, it went down very well! I didn't have any coconut milk so i left it out but i preferred it.

Vegan Magic

That's fantastic news!:) Thank you so much for letting me know how it came out, I'm so happy you enjoyed it. I'm addicted to the combination of chickpea and coconut, but you can also use unsweetened almond or hazelnut milk (half of the required amount). It won't be the same thing, but it will surely add to the taste. Thank you kindly for the comment:)


I added 1 banana to the tomatoes today - absolutely delicious, try it out some time!

p.s.: i love your blog. i cook your recipes all the time!

Vegan Magic

Minimalist, I'm very happy you like my recipes:) Banana??? In a curry??? That's new to me. I did a little search right now and it turns out there are many curries with bananas:) Very interesting. Thank you for your suggestion.


I just found your blog few hours ago through an image on pinterest. You blog is very inspirational!I have been vegetarian for past 11 years although not really since I eat shrimp and mussels in moderation...I think it is time to move into 'higher level'! Thank you for these amazing recipes!

Vegan Magic

Anna, thank you so much for your lovely comment. I am thrilled that you found inspiration on my blog and also that you're considering veganism. I hope you will try some of my recipes and look forward to your feedback. Enjoy!:)


I cooked this curry today for dinner. I did not change anything - it came out perfect! My husband loved it. (Previously we always used ready premade pastes such as Rogan Josh).

Vegan Magic

That's great news, Anna!:) Thank you so much for giving it a try, I'm happy you enjoyed it. Chickpea curries are my favourite and I hope to post more soon. Have a lovely weekend:)


I know this is years later, but just made this curry tonight. This is the best curry I've ever made at home--it's restaurant-quality good. Thank you so much for posting.

Vegan Magic

Ali, thanks so much for the feedback and kind words. Sorry for the late reply. I'm so happy you enjoyed the curry, it is one of my favourite.

Izabela Zakrzewska

What can I substitute curry leafs with???


This is so delicious, it has become a favorite of my vegan family. Thank you, Adriana!

Vegan Magic

Izabela, thank you for your comment. Curry leaves have a unique flavour. If you can't find them, you can just leave them out.

Vegan Magic

Anonymous, thanks so much for the feedback! It's so good to know your family loves it:)

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