Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas with Cucumber Raita is literally comfort in a bowl. I know you may be thinking, “I’ve definitely seen other food bloggers with recipes for curry chickpeas,” and you’re right! However, none of them are as good as mine. I say that humbly, but also based in fact. Many other recipes I came across when doing research for this recipe included hard-to-find spices (which aren’t practical for all home cooks), added water when the recipe doesn’t really need any, and so on. The balance of flavor, heat, acid, texture, and overall taste of this curry is truly amazing. Plus, it’s made using ingredients that are found in most pantries, which is what we all need right now. My protein-obsessed boyfriend didn’t even complain that this is a vegetarian main dish. It’s delicious. Bonus? It’s vegan if you substitute the Greek yogurt in the raita for a vegan alternative.
Ingredients needed to make Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas with Cucumber Raita
I like to serve this curry over brown rice, but it would also do well over quinoa, cauliflower rice, or just eaten on its own. It’s easy to substitute whatever grain or grain-alternative base you want for this recipe. In addition to the rice, you’ll need the following to make the curry:
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh ginger
- Curry powder
- Ground cumin
- Ground turmeric
- Ground cayenne pepper
- Canned chickpeas
- Full-fat coconut milk
- Canned pumpkin
- Fresh lime juice
- Brown rice, if desired
The cucumber raita, while not necessary, is an absolutely delicious compliment to the slight heat of the curry. It adds a cooling, fresh element that leaves you with a really balanced bite every time. Here’s what you’ll need to make the raita:
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Curry powder
- Ground cayenne pepper
Tools used to make Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas with Cucumber Raita
The tools needed to make this dish are as follows: a sharp chef’s knife for chopping, a large cutting board, a Dutch oven or large, deep-sided sauté pan, a wooden spoon, a mixing bowl, and measuring spoons. It’s fairly minimal, and the bulk of the dish is made in one pot, making for easy clean up!
How to make Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas with Cucumber Raita
This curry begins by sweating the onions with garlic, ginger, and all of those warm spices. The entire process takes about 6 minutes, but it will make your kitchen smell incredible. Once the onions have sweat and the other aromatics have been added, you’ll add the chickpeas, coconut milk, and pumpkin. Some brands of canned pumpkin are thicker than others, so if you need to add 1-2 tablespoons of water at this point, you may. Use your judgement. The goal is to simmer this curry long enough to create a thick, saucy final product that feels like it’s been cooking all day, when it really only takes 15-20 minutes. You’ll stir to combine, then reduce the heat to low and allow the curry to do its thing.
While the curry simmers, I like to make the raita. It’s really simple to pull together and takes the curry to the next level, in my opinion. As I mentioned above, it’s easy to make this dish completely vegan by substitution the Greek yogurt for a non-dairy alternative.
Start by peeling your cucumber and halving lengthwise. Then, scoop out the seeds and cut it into a very small dice. Add the cucumber to a bowl, along with the Greek yogurt, spices, and cilantro. It’s important to add salt after tasting, as some brands of Greek yogurt can be saltier than others. Salt the raita to your liking, then transfer to the fridge until the curry is finished.
Serve the curry over brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or whatever other base you’d like, then top with a dollop of raita and extra cilantro. This dish is also awesome paired with some fresh naan or pita bread. It’s so warming and stick-to-your-ribs, as they say!
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For the Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, minced
1 tsp curry powder
¾ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
⅛ tsp cayenne, or more if desired (I used closer to ¼ tsp)
2 (15oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (13.5oz) can full-fat coconut milk
1 (13.5oz) can pumpkin puree
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
Juice of ½ lime, plus wedges for serving
Cilantro, for serving
Cucumber raita, for serving (recipe below)
Brown rice, for serving
For the Cucumber Raita
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded, diced very small
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
⅛ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp curry powder
2 tbsp cilantro, very finely chopped
Salt, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne, and cook for an additional 30-45 seconds until very fragrant.
- Add the chickpeas, coconut milk, and pumpkin. If the consistency is too thick (some canned pumpkin options are thicker than others), you may add water 1 tablespoon at a time, however keep in mind you want the final product to be thick like a slow-simmered curry.
- Turn the heat to low and allow the chickpeas to simmer for 30-45 minutes, until they are very fragrant and the consistency is as thick as you’d like it. Continue to simmer if a thicker consistency is desired.
- While the chickpeas simmer, make the raita. Combine the cucumber, yogurt, cayenne, curry powder, and chopped cilantro in a mixing bowl. Season with salt to taste.
- When the chickpeas are finished simmering, remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Season one final time for salt.
- Serve the curry over brown or basmati rice, then top with a dollop of the raita and additional cilantro, if desired. Leftovers keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
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