Chickpea Tofu Tomato Curry

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Chickpeas are a huge part of my life. I eat a LOT of hummus, as anyone who has ever seen my brunch gallery or my Instagram travel posts can attest. Until I nail my own perfect hummus recipe though (working on it!), I’m going to branch out from time to time. So, I like to have a chickpea curry or salad as well. This curry is vegan friendly but still meaty in consistency, fresh with a lot of flavour, and very filling.

I got the inspiration for this one from a friend who doesn’t even realize how much of an impact she had by making me this dish one night. I tried to emulate it, doing a bit of extra research and adding a bit of my own spin to it.

Secrets to success in chickpea curry

This curry uses chick peas, extra firm tofu, and tomatoes. It adds basic Indian curry spices and a good measure of chili spice for flavouring. Fresh cilantro leaves – my equivalent of catnip – add to. Serve the curry with white basmati rice. You may want to sub in brown rice if you can’t eat white rice

The extra firm tofu is key to the success of this dish. It has a solid consistency and silky texture which complement the chick peas nicely. It doesn’t get too watery and feel like it’s dissolving in your mouth. A perfect way to make a vegan dish seem a bit “meaty”.

Note that the measurements below are based mostly on the packaging of the core ingredients in this dish: chick peas, tofu and cherry tomatoes. Don’t feel bad adjusting the numbers a bit if packages near you come in different sizes. You should try to keep a roughly 1:1 ratio of chickpeas to tofu, unless you’re not able to get extra firm tofu. In that case I would skew more toward the tofu.

Lessons learned from making curry

As far as I know, what makes it a curry is, first and foremost, the spices you use. Although that said, most curry dishes are very saucy as well.

On that note, the only issue I had is that when I made the dish is that it came out a bit dry. You probably noticed from the pictures already. It wasn’t very watery as I was afraid of adding too much, so I ended up adding too little. Don’t worry though, the recipe below compensates for this!

You can easily make this curry more saucy by adding more water, or better yet, the liquid from the can if you’re using canned tomatoes for this recipe. Another option is to add part or all of a can of coconut milk for a lovely creamy texture. Personally, I’ll save that for my Thai peanut curry instead.

I’ve already decided to sautée my vegetables on coconut oil to add a bit of that rich coconut flavour. I think it’s legit to add coconut to Indian curries as well, but I’m no expert. I am a simple man. When I find a recipe I love, I share it.

Ingredients for chickpea tofu tomato curry.
Ingredients for chickpea tofu tomato curry.
Displaying fully cooked chickpea tofu tomato curry with fresh cilantro and lemon.

Chickpea Tofu Tomato Curry

A fresh take on a classic Indian dish (Chana Masala). Savory, spicy, and satisfying, yet sits surprisingly light in the stomach.
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • Can opener if using canned chick peas
  • Cutting board and knives
  • Large frying pan
  • Strainer or colander

Ingredients
  

Solids

  • 1 can (540 ml) chick peas 1 can of this size gets you about 350-400g of actual chick peas
  • 3/4 lb (350 g) tofu extra firm is best
  • 2/3 lb (300 g) cherry tomatoes alternatively, you can use canned tomatoes and add the water from the can
  • 1 white onion
  • 5 cm (2") piece of ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3-5 red chilis
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro more if desired

Liquids

  • 1 1/2 cups (400 ml) water
  • 1 lemon freshly squeezed and zested
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil to sautée vegetables, use vegetable oil instead if you can't use this

Spices

  • 1/2 tbsp Indian curry powder or use garam masala instead for a warmer flavour and darker, more brown colour
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Instructions
 

  • Prepare your ingredients. Chop the onion, chilis, garlic, and ginger into small pieces. Wash and strain the chick peas, tofu and tomatoes. Measure out your spices and water. Juice the lemon and zest a little bit of its skin to add with the juice for extra flavour.
  • Sautée the onions, garlic, and ginger on coconut oil on low-medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add tofu, chickpeas, tomatoes, and chilies and mix well.
  • Add water. Continue mixing all ingredients in the pan until tomatoes are soft. This should take a few more minutes. (Optionally, you can add coconut milk here too for a saucier curry).
  • Add spices and mix thoroughly. The tofu will be dyed yellow from the turmeric and curry powder (or, as above, more orange-brown if using garam masala instead).
  • Top with fresh cilantro right before serving. This will add more aroma to the dish, whereas adding cilantro too early will dampen it and dull the scent.

Notes

Note that the measurements above are based mostly on the packaging of the core ingredients in this dish: chick peas, tofu and cherry tomatoes. Don’t feel bad adjusting the numbers a bit if packages near you come in different sizes.
 
What’s your favourite Indian curry dish? Let me know with a comment below, and tag me on Instagram @the.phil.osopher with your curry photos! I’d also love to hear thoughts on what other cake recipes you’d like to see.
Keyword chickpea, cilantro, curry, dinner, dish, garam masala, Indian, powder, recipe, rice, tofu, tomato

Thanks for stopping by! If you like this kind of article, why not check out some of my other food recipes as well?

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