Garbanzo Bean Curry

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We enjoy garbanzo beans (also called chick peas). Garbanzo beans were not something I ate growing up. In fact, my garbanzo bean experience was a few times in salads. Then a couple of years ago I was reading a blog called Lentils and Rice (the blog is no longer available) and she had a series that she called Stretchy Beans. She talked about how she would cook a big pot of beans and then would recreate it into different meals for a few days. I already used that concept with chicken and roasts and to some extent pinto beans so it seemed like a natural fit for my family. One of her Stretchy Bean ideas was using garbanzo beans. Joe hadn’t really eaten many garbanzo beans either but he was willing to try it out. Turns out we LOVE garbanzo beans. One of the suggested meals was Garbanzo Bean Curry. I used the instructions given to make it the first time and since then have changed it quite a bit to fit our tastes. The recipe I’m sharing, is the current way we’re making it and we like it very much. I’m sure it doesn’t come close to resembling a ‘real’ curry but it is very good.

The Prep: Wash and pick over 1 pound of Garbanzo beans (I usually triple that amount so I can make multiple meals). Put beans in a crock pot, cover the beans with water, add 2 Tablespoons whey or lemon juice per 1 cup of beans, put on the lid and let soak at least overnight (I usually soak them for about 24 hours). Drain the water. Put beans back in crock pot and cover with broth. Turn on low and cook for 7-8 hours.

Garbanzo Bean Curry

1/2 onion- minced
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1-3 Tablespoons curry powder (make your own)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic minced
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
Package of frozen green beans or okra
4 cups garbanzo beans
2 cups of the broth the beans cooked in or water
1 can of tomatoes with the juice (or use 3 diced fresh)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can coconut milk

Cook the onion in the coconut oil over low heat until soft about 7-10 minutes. I was actually out of onion when I made this and took the pictures, so I used 1/8 cup dried onion re-hydrated in water and skipped this step.

Add the curry powder and the cumin and let it ‘toast’ for a minute or two but don’t let it burn. Add the tomato paste and the green beans or okra (I’ve made it both ways before and we prefer the green beans) and the garlic. Stir it all together.

Add the beans, broth or water, tomato, salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Turn it down and let it simmer for about 15 minutes (I added my re-hydrated onions at this step).

Add the coconut milk and let it simmer another 10 minutes.
We served ours over Bulgar (also cooked in broth) and topped with Spicy Lemons (the recipe for Spicy Lemons is in this Probiotic Recipe book from Jenny at Nourished Kitchen- they are soooo good.)
Garbanzo beans are a good source of fiber and protein. Cooking them in broth increases the protein. Like all legumes (and grains) garbanzo beans need to be soaked in order to reduce the phytic acid and allow the body to absorb more minerals. Amanda at Rebuild from Depression has a great article with charts and everything showing why we should soak our beans. And as a bonus the soaking allows the beans to cook quicker and more evenly.
We like garbanzo beans in this curry, cooked as a bean patty (kind of like falafel), turned into hummus and also added to vegetable soups to make something resembling a minestrone soup. Garbanzo beans are a frugal addition to our meal plans.
Do you like Garbanzo Beans? What is your favorite way to enjoy them?
This post is a contribution to Pennywise Platter hosted each Thursday by Kimi the Nourishing Gourmet. Visit there for some great money saving real food tips.
Millie Copper
Millie Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. Millie is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Millie began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. Discovering a love of writing, she has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing. Learn more at


  1. Carrie Hansen

    >I'm thinking of trying this recipe but wanted to ask a couple clarifying questions…

    How much is a "package of frozen green beans or okra"? We buy it in bulk, so I have no idea what your packaging is.
    Also wondering how many oz for "1 can of tomatoes in the juice" you mean, along with what type of tomatoes (diced, whole, strained, etc.).

    I look forward to trying this recipe! Thanks!!

  2. Millie

    >Hi Carrie!
    I use the small packages of frozen veggies which I think are 1 pound (I do not have any in the freezer to verify) if I was using from bulk I would figure around 2 cups (or so). And the 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes, usually diced.
    But this recipe is very forgiving. You could certainly use more or less of either. You could use whole or sliced tomatoes and just kind of mush/chop them in the skillet so they are more 'bite sized'.
    Also, I usually go with the lower amount of curry powder because of the kids but if you like it spicier add more. We usually serve this over rice with flat bread on the side. So good! In fact, I think I'll be adding this to my June menu since we haven't had it for awhile.

  3. Kara

    >Came over from Wardeh's site. Thanks for this recipe. I made it tonight with fresh green beans and tomatoes and chicken stock for the liquid. Scrumptious!!

  4. Millie


    I'm glad you liked it. Fresh green beans would be wonderful! I can't wait until we have garden produce here.

  5. Anonymous

    >Awesome web site, I hadn't noticed before during my searches!
    Carry on the fantastic work!

  6. Monica

    I have my beans in the crockpot and I am making this meal tonight with garlic naan. I love curry! I am also implementing your stretchy-beans menu plan and I’ve got the whole month planned. It’s an exciting venture and I hope it keeps me on track. I am so good for so long and then I slip off track and stop making menus and then there are more trips to the store, more store bought loaves of bread…it’s horrible. But, I am so thankful for your blog and the ideas you have posted!

    1. Post

      I know how easy it is to slip off track! I hope the stretchy beans work for your family. I find them to be such a help with my planning and time. Keep me posted.

  7. Pingback: Monday’s with Millie: The #1 Food That Should be in Your Kitchen |

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