Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric


Photography by Devon Francis


This stew was an innocent dinner last week.  I saw my friend Leanne post a photo of this stew on her Instagram feed and it looked delicious, vegan, flavorful, easy, everything I like and the way my family eats.  She mentioned she found the recipe in the NY Times.  Well, what she didn’t tell me was that it was Alison Roman’s recipe for the NY Times and it had its own hashtag #thestew.  Who knew??!!

And I can see why this recipe has been trending.  It was super good and really pretty.  Pretty dishes get all the love these days.  But I will vouch for this recipe that it’s not just a pretty face.  There’s substance to this stew and it’s pretty healthful.  We’re still struggling in LA with unseasonably cool temps, so soups and stews have been my life this winter. I especially appreciate the warming nature of ginger and chili flakes.

There’s a good chance you have all the ingredients to make this in your pantry/fridge.  I have been growing herbs on my patio, so I was quite delighted to use my fresh mint here.  I have been deviating from recipes lately and instead using what I have or adapting the ingredients to what is seasonally available.  The green curly kale was my favorite part of this stew, believe it or not.  The ridges on the edge of the leaves picked up so much stewy goodness.  But I could see adding asparagus, broccoli, green beans, or snap peas.

I hope this recipe is not in your repertoire yet and that I’m bringing you something new.  If you make it and post it, use the hashtag #thestew and tag me so I can see your beautiful creations @pamelasalzman.  Enjoy!

Shop the recipe by clicking on the images below:

4.9 from 16 reviews
Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • ¼ cup unrefined coconut oil, avocado or olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk*
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 bunch of organic Swiss chard, kale or collard greens, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces (I highly recommend green curly kale so that the thick stew gets caught in the ruffles of the kale leaves)
  • 1 cup of fresh mint and/or cilantro leaves, for serving
  • full-fat greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt, for serving (optional)
  • toasted pita, lavash or other flatbread, for serving (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Season with a big pinch of sea salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is tender and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add turmeric, red-pepper flakes and chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, so the chickpeas sizzle and fry a bit in the spices and oil, until they’ve started to break down and get a little browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove about a cup of chickpeas and set aside for garnish.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, further crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starchy insides which will thicken the stew. Add the coconut milk and stock to the pot, and season with another pinch of salt and pepper (go easy on the salt if your stock is salted.) Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the stew has thickened, 30 to 35 minutes. If after 30 to 35 minutes you want the stew a bit thicker, keep simmering until you've reached your desired consistency.
  4. Stir in the greens and cook until wilted and softened, about 3 to 7 minutes, depending on what you’re using. (Swiss chard and spinach will wilt and soften much faster than kale or collard greens.) Taste the stew for salt and pepper before you serve and add more if you think it needs it.
  5. Divide among bowls and serve with desired condiments on the side (yogurt, herbs, pita or lavash.)
*Personally, the ratio of coconut milk to stock is more rich than I like. I make it with a little less coconut milk, like 1½ cans, and more vegetable stock, like 2¾ cups. I also very often add cauliflower rice about 20 minutes prior to finishing cooking. I also sometimes swap 2 cups of diced vegetables like carrots and cauliflower florets for 1 can of the chickpeas.


Related Recipes



  1. Making this soup for the second time with your veggie substitutions. So delicious! Thanks, Pamela.

    • Great! 🙂

  2. This is phenomenal! I don’t like chickpeas and barely like turmeric, but I made a large batch of this for someone and ended up keeping a quart of it for myself! Made exactly as directed and it is SO. GOOD.

    • Love that, Lisa! I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe.

  3. Thank-you so much Pamela, for this beautiful recipe. I had been making this for the past 18months since I was advised by my Lung specialist to change my diet to a plant base one. This was the first Plant base / vegan meal I made, and your recipes are tasty and helped me adapt to this huge change in my life. I add a sweet potato to this recipe to help thicken the stew. I also add fresh baby spinach in stead of Kale. Once again many thanks for sharing your much loved recipes.

    • What an honor. I’m so happy to hear you’ve made this recipe over and over agin. Thank you, Josette, for sharing.

  4. I have made this twice and it is delicious. I like to use one can of light coconut milk and one small can of coconut cream. For garnish, I just stick with a mix of mint and cilantro. This is a keeper for sure!

    • So glad you liked this! It’s simple and super delicious!

  5. Can’t wait to try this! When you suggest adding cauliflower rice 20 min before finishing, do you use fresh cauliflower rice or frozen? Will frozen bring down the temp too much or add too much liquid?

    • Either is fine! Frozen riced cauliflower will usually cook slightly faster than fresh because it’s been blanched ahead of time. You won’t need to adjust the liquid amount when adding riced vegetables.

  6. I think importantly what is missed out here is Alison Roman “the stews” inspiration from chick Pea curry or what is commonly called “channa masala/chole masala” depending on which part of the Indian subcontinent your from. You can follow the many recipes on this online if not sure on ratios. We typically don’t use turmeric as a garnish due to its acrid taste but we do fry tumeric in the beginning along with garlic, onions, mustard seeds, and curry leaves. Sometimes we add a little bit of tumeric during the cooking process in curry’s that are made at home.

  7. I use this recipe all the time. Thank you so much for publishing it!

    • I appreciate the feedback! Glad you love it.

  8. One of our favorites including my husband who is very picky! Thank you!!

    • Glad to hear it!

  9. Can I use arugula instead of kate?

    • Sure!

      • Can frozen spinach be used too?

        • Sure!

    • Always

  10. You were right: i did have everything in the pantry already. I used lite coconut milk for health reasons, so I put in extra garbanzos to make it thicker. I also used my crockpot, natch, after adding the broth and milk step, i set the instant pot for 15 minutes. I added greens on sauté after that. Worked fine.

    • Terrific!

  11. Really pretty dish. I give it a 7. Thinner than I thought-wouldn’t call it a stew. Could use another can of chickpeas. Used swiss chard and chopped up the stems for crunch. Added a lot of lime juice and siracha-not that spicy otherwise. Good especially if you have a cold

    • Thanks for your feedback!

  12. Hi! Can you use lite coconut milk? Thank you!

    • Normally I would say use the full fat, but I prefer this stew with less coconut milk, so feel free to swap in the lite.

  13. This looks so good & I’m just cooking it now. However we are a small household- can I freeze some of this for enjoying at a later date?

    • Yes, of course!

      • Freezing dishes with coconut milk is tricky, isn’t it? Frozen coconut milk doesn’t thaw well!

        • The other ingredients should help stabilize the coconut milk. Plus, once it is reheated, it can be given a vigorous stir if it seems grainy.

        • Could you put shrimp in this?

          • Yes! Add shrimp in the last few minutes of simmering. Timing depends on the size, but you’re not looking at more than a few minutes. They need to turn pink on both sides.

        • I make big batches of this, eat some and freeze some. It’s fine and not at all separated. I only use 1/2 the coconut milk in the recipe. Sometimes add turkey, and too

          • Great tips!

  14. Hello Pamela,
    My first time on yr site.
    Thank you for publishing this.
    Very happy to have found you.
    May I ask, how the orig. recipe differed from yr version.?
    I’d like to compare & make it both ways.
    Thank you again.
    Ellen D N

    • Hi Ellen! At the bottom of the recipe in the notes is what I did differently. I preferred it with less coconut milk and more vegetable stock. I should update this further since I have made it several times since posting and I have swapped some of the chickpeas for small cauliflower florets and once I made it with 1 can of chickpeas and 1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables. I have also browned small cubes of boneless skinless chicken to start the recipe and only added 1 can of chickpeas. I highly recommend serving this with cauliflower rice!

      • This is one of my main Covid19 recipes. I have raw organic tumeric root I’m adding chopped at the beginning. I cut the coconut milk in half and sometimes add ground turkey. It freezes very well. Just made a double batch tonight without turkey. So good.

        • I totally agree with cutting the coconut milk in half. Ground turkey would be a good addition. I love turkey with this flavor profile. Thanks!

      • I’m so happy to have found your comment about using vegetables in place of some of the chickpeas! I made a chickpea and pasta dish last week and my husband claimed that the chickpeas upset his stomach! What to do … what to do? I already purchased the ingredients to make this recipe (which I saw in the YouTube video). So thanks to your extremely helpful suggestion I’m still going use one can of chickpeas (need them to help things thicken up), a bag of frozen cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, and some fresh cremini mushrooms. You saved the day. Thanks.

        • It’s never wrong to eat more veggies! 🙂

  15. I added Dover sole on top and let the soup gently steam the sole and it was absolutely delicious!

    • I love that you did that! Great job!

  16. Any ideas for replacing the chickpeas with a substitute? My son is allergic to legumes? Or is chickpea too key to the dish to replace?

    • I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker to swap another ingredient for the chickpeas! I would do chunks of whatever hearty vegetable he likes, such as cauliflower, butternut squash, carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms. Cook until they’re tender. You can even use frozen vegetables. 🙂

      • I accidentally bought pinto beans when we first got our shelter directive. It turned out very good

        • Great!

  17. I have made this recipe several times & Love it. I put a dollop of mint chutney & with the tang of the yogurt makes it almost decadent. I also used fresh spinach instead of kale. It is a sample now for meatless meals.

    • Mint chutney sounds absolutely perfect with this! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. I followed this recipe and made it last night. It was delicious. I used two can of full fat coconut milk and it was perfect. I can’t wait to make it again

    • Great! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  19. I made it but felt it was lacking so I added curry paste and it was fantastic.

    • That’s what cooking is all about – use a recipe as a guideline and making it work for you. Glad you found a way to enjoy this stew!

  20. It’s incredibly rude to re-publish another person’s work without permission, and without any way of them receiving recompense, especially when that recipe sits behind a paywall in its original form!

    • Wow, Sara. You sound upset. Recipes are not copyrightable, only images. I gave credit to the author, used my own images and gave my own spin on the recipe. That is perfectly legal. People do this with my recipes all the time and MANY people have republished this exact recipe on their blogs, on Facebook and on Instagram.

      • Good lord – what is wrong with Sarah? Recipes are to be shared. I’m sure Alison is thrilled about the success of this stew! Thanks, Pam, for your version.

        • LOL Lynne!!!

      • I appreciate you reposting it! I don’t want to pay for one more subscription! Thank you. Going to make this tonight!

        • LOL enjoy!

      • I was so excited to hear about this recipe that I bought Alison Roman’s cookbook, Dining In. Sadly, the recipe is not there. So I copied your version and taped it into the front cover. Don’t feel guilty at all.

        • Thanks, Teri! Enjoy!

      • Also if you go to the New York Times website to find her original recipe you will encounter a firewall that permits you one or two articles a month without subscribing. I’m sure that Alison Roman is happy to share the recipe. I’m listening to her right now on NPR! By the way she’s all about substitutions for any reason, although the full fat coconut milk is non-negotiable.

        • Thanks, Michael! Also, she has it for public consumption on a youtube video and the NYT posted it on their instagram page. The recipe is very much out there! Ironically, I prefer the stew without the full recommended amount of coconut milk. I swap in a little veggie stock for some of the coconut milk.

  21. This was not in my repertoire and it’s so so good! I might have to eat another bowl! Thank you!!

    • it’s always fun to change it up a bit 🙂

  22. Hi – love your site (and have your book!). This stew sounds delicious but I need to avoid saturated fat (coconut milk) and dairy. I realize the coconut milk is integral to the recipe – is there a substitution that could work? Thank you!

    • Thanks! I’m really not sure since I haven’t made it any other way. But I have a feeling you could try some cashew milk or hemp milk and puree some of the chickpeas into the stew to thicken it that way….

    • Try making a cashew cream with raw cashews soaked with water and a little salt and then blended till creamy. I substituted cashew cream for coconut milk in another soup and I almost liked it better.

      • Another suggestion is to use raw cashew butter mixed with water if you don’t have time to soak cashews or have a high powered blender. 🙂

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

Signup to receive updates about new recipes and more

I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Amazon