Cashew and Chickpea Curry

Cashew and Chickpea Curry -Wonderfully flavored homemade curry with fresh ground spices, cashews, chickpeas and spinach served over rice or with flat bread!


Cashew and Chickpea Curry

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It has been almost unbearably cold here in Western Colorado over the last four weeks or so. Last year at this time I was trail running in shorts and this year I can’t be outside for more than a minute or two without a full-fledged parka.

It doesn’t help that the house we rent was apparently constructed by middle schoolers so there are visible gaps between windows which create an awesome wind tunnel of freezing. Sweatshirts and blankets are necessary in every room of the house.

Any time I see a dish that looks warm and inviting, I want it immediately and that’s what led me to this Cashew and Chickpea Curry. Even though it includes a homemade curry spice blend, it’s fairly straightforward to make and is just spicy enough to ward off the chills.

Cashew and Chickpea Curry

Serves 4-6
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Blender spice grinder

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Wonderfully flavored homemade curry with fresh ground spices, cashews, chickpeas and spinach served over rice or with flat bread!

Recipe adapted from a Serious Eats recipe.


Spice Mixture:

2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 teaspoons coriander seed
2 cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Curry Ingredients:

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 medium white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1-2 Thai chilis, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup roasted cashews
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 14-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large bunch spinach
1 lime, juice only
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, garnish
Rice, for serving


1) Add cumin seed, coriander seed, cloves, cardamom, and peppercorns to a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.

2) Add those spices to a spice grinder with other spice mixture ingredients and pulse until ground.

3) In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Then add diced onions, peppers, garlic, and ginger. Cook until veggies are soft, about 5-6 minutes.

4) Add ground spice mixture to pot along with cashews and stir together. Cook for about a minute to heat spice mixture.

5) Add coconut milk and remove from heat. Add mixture to blender and blend until smooth.

6) Return curry to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add chickpeas and spinach and simmer for a few minutes to combine flavors.

7) Season with lime juice and a pinch of salt if necessary and serve over rice garnished with cilantro.

Cashew and Chickpea Curry

The Spices

If you didn’t want to bother with the curry spice mixture here, you can skip this step and just use a few tablespoons of yellow curry paste in the recipe.

I actually left out a few spices from the original recipe because I couldn’t find them and didn’t have the desire to hunt them down.

If possible, use whole spices for this because you can toast the spices in a skillet for a few minutes which really brings out their flavors. I just toasted my cumin, cardamom, and coriander.

spices for Cashew and Chickpea Curry
A quick toast.

Then I used my little spice grinder to pulse everything together and ended up with this lovely dark yellow spice mixture.

I ended up with about 1/4 cup of spice mixture and I used it all for the curry.

ground spice for Cashew and Chickpea Curry
Buzz it up.

Building the Curry

Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe is just chopping up the onions, garlic, ginger, and chiles. That should convey to you how easy this recipe actually is once you have all the pieces in place. If you don’t have Thai bird chiles, you can easily substitute Serrano peppers.

There’s no reason to be super-anal about chopping this stuff because you’re just going to blend it all together later anyway, but try to get everything somewhat even so it cooks evenly.

chopping veg for Cashew and Chickpea Curry
The hardest part of the recipe…

Add some butter to a large pot and then add all of the veggies over medium heat. Cook them for five minutes or so until they soften.

Then you can add in all of your spice mixture. It’ll immediately smell awesome.

started Cashew and Chickpea Curry
Getting it started.

Then add your cashews and stir everything together. Let it continue to cook for a minute or two so the spices can get warm.

cashews in Cashew and Chickpea Curry
Smells good already.

The Blend

At this point, add your coconut milk to the pot and remove it from the heat.

Add everything to a blender and pulse it until mostly smooth. This is a pretty important step because you don’t really want whole cashews in the finished dish but you want the cashew flavor.

blended Cashew and Chickpea Curry
Pretty important.

Add this pureed mixture back to the pan and bring it to a simmer.

Then add the chickpeas which you should drain and rinse.

chickpeas for Cashew and Chickpea Curry
Two cans.

And the spinach which you should also rinse.

spinach for Cashew and Chickpea Curry
One big bunch.

Stir everything together and when the spinach is wilted, its’ ready to serve!

Season the curry with lime juice and a pinch of salt and serve it with some fresh cilantro on top.

Cashew and Chickpea Curry from Macheesmo
All together.

You could serve this Cashew and Chickpea Curry with rice or with some sort of flat bread. Either way it’s fantastic on a cold winter night and is totally doable even on a week night!

16 Responses to “Cashew and Chickpea Curry” Leave a comment

  1. Have you tried putting plastic on your windows? Those kits you can buy at home improvement stores? They work like a charm for my drafty rental windows.

  2. Great, I have 2 serrano peppers that need to be used in my fridge, and some garbanzo beans I’ve been meaning to use. Sounds like this recipe is being made this week! Thanks!

    Get some caulk and fix your windows, man, you’re wasting tons of money!!

    1. Ha. Yea… we have them fixed up actually. We couldn’t caulk them, but we have lots of that foam filler stuff which does the trick. :)

  3. I have made this a few time from the Serious Eats site. My wife will eat this breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I did have to change the amount of coconut milk as we found the dish too rich/sweet. I just halved the amount of coconut milk and added chicken stock.

  4. Ok, I am about to insert my head into the computer screen to try to eat this!! :~) This looks spectacular!! Thanks for sharing the spice mix too-I absolutely can’t wait to try this!

  5. Any idea whether an immersion blender would do the trick? I’ve never tried immersion blending nuts before…

    1. Hmm… i worry that the cashews wouldn’t really puree as well as they should. I tend to use immersion blenders for stuff that is more liquid than this (like soups mainly). This is a bit thicker and I worry that it would just be messy. I think a blender is your best bet.

      1. OK! I’ve been thinking about biting the bullet and buying one, anyway. This is as good an excuse as I need! Thanks so much for all of the easy to follow recipes — they always turn out just like they should (reeeeallly tasty). I’m making your baked falafels tonight!

  6. Cooked this curry today – added some veggie chicken pieces and some extra veggies…..absolutely delicious – really different from other curries I’ve cooked…Thanks.

  7. Amazing this. I used cilantro instead of spinach because that’s what was on hand. Amazing recipe.

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