Considered Comfort: Zucchini and Chickpea Curry

Zucchini and chickpea curry is one of the last meals I cooked in London. It was summer, so zucchini was banging down the door. The rest came down to cleaning out the pantry.

It's already a little strange to think of that moment in time on the other side of the ocean, two-thirds eagerness, one-third quiet trepidation about our homecoming. But that's the great thing about a bowl of curry. It comforts you wherever you are.  


This curry tastes good right away but actually improves as the flavors mingle. It's a great make-ahead dish.

Zucchini and Chickpea Curry

A few weeks before we moved from London, I started eyeing our remaining ingredients with a sidelong glance. With cans of chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and coconut milk and plenty of spices to use up, plus a zillion zucchini in the fridge, this recipe killed approximately 9,000 birds with one stone. It's almost exactly what I had in my head, but after a little Googlefest I didn't even have to make up my own recipe -- just adapt one from England's wonderful Riverford Organics. In the photo you'll see we served it with brown sushi rice, because hey, it's not a perfect world. Without the duress of a move-induced pantry purge, I'd substitute brown basmati.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Serves Serves 6


  • 2 tablespoons of a neutral-tasting vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated on a rasp
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small jalapeno, diced or a pinch of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 1/2 a 15-ounce can coconut milk, well-shaken
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 5 small to medium zucchini, diced
  • Large handful fresh cilantro leaves and stems, roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oil or ghee for a minute over medium heat in a large pot with a heavy bottom. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about five minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, jalapeno or cayenne, mustard seed, cumin, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon and cook, stirring almost constantly, until it smells amazing -- about a minute.
  2. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and salt, raise the heat to high to bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chickpeas and zucchini and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes, until zucchini is tender but not falling apart.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve with rice.


This curry tastes good right away but actually improves as the flavors mingle. It's a great make-ahead dish.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 236 Total Fat:: 16.2g Carbohydrates:: 19.5g Fiber:: 6.4g Protein:: 6.2g