Creamy Coconut Kale and Chickpea Curry Recipe

by on November 5, 2013

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Creamy Coconut Kale and Chickpea Curry

I had a really bad craving for a creamy chickpea curry recipe – BUT I still wanted to make sure it wasn’t too decadent so this turned out to be a wonderful compromise. I usually make an all tomato based chickpea curry aka Chana Masala, but I wanted to step out of the box a little, not to mention I had a ton of kale sitting in the fridge. I thought about serving it on the side, but you know what? Kale goes extremely well in a creamy curry sauce too so in it went into the curry!

I used light coconut milk in this recipe, but I do limit the frequency I use coconut milk in my recipe due to the higher fat content. If preferred you can use another plant based milk instead, I just really enjoy a hint of coconut flavour in this curry.

There’s also a special spice mix I blended up which was a nice change from regular old curry powder or garam masala mixes. I like trying something different! So if you can find these whole spices give it a try and use a coffee grinder and make your own spice mix it’s really fast and easy too (not to mention cheaper to make your own spice mixes once you’ve bought your whole spices).

This was a fun recipe to make and it’s definitely going into my regular repertoire, the leftovers were fantastic for lunch the next day too!

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Creamy Coconut Kale and Chickpea Curry

(Vegan) Creamy Coconut Kale and Chickpea Curry

Serves 6


1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons (roughly) fresh ginger chunks, minced
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 16 oz can light coconut milk (or substitute another plant based milk)
2 1/2 tbsp spice mix (recipe below)
4-5 tbsp brown sugar *or as desired
1 tsp salt *or to taste
6 cups fresh cooked or 3 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained
1 bunch of kale destemmed and chopped


1. In a large deep skillet, wok or pot sauté the onions, garlic and ginger dry or in a little water or vegetable broth for 5-6 minutes until translucent and fragrant.
2. Add tomatoes and cook until softened about 10 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes and onions to a food processor or Vitamix along with coconut milk and blend until pureed.
4. Add remaining ingredients and simmer together until the kale is softened. Taste test and adjust seasonings as desired.
5. Serve with rice or Indian flat bread.

Spice Mix

3 tsp whole cumin seeds
3 tsp whole coriander seeds
2 star anise
1/2 tsp black pepper corns
1 green cardamom pod
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp roasted or regular cinnamon


1. In a dry skillet toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, star anise and black pepper corns until fragrant. Be careful to not burn them and remove once lightly toasted and fragrant.
2. Add to a spice grinder with remaining spices and combine until powdered.
3. Store in an spice jar and use as desired in curries.

What’s your favourite curry recipe and what do you serve it with? 

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ashley October 27, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Made this for dinner tonight. Cut the sugar down to 2 T. Also didn’t have star anise and used a pinch of ground cloves. The dish was so delicious! Thank you for the yummy recipe!


2 Keriann June 15, 2014 at 8:42 AM

I made this dish last night but I didn’t have tomatoes. I added carrot sticks and sliced mushrooms instead. I also didn’t have all the whole spices to make the spice mix so I improvised with 1 tbsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, cardamom and cinnamon, a dash of allspice and 1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper. It came out great (even the kids loved it!) but next time I will try making my own spice mix with the star anise. Definitely will be making this again.


3 Hend June 4, 2014 at 5:56 PM

This. was. so. delicious! I loved it so so much! More than any curry I have ever tasted! I didn’t have star anise and I only had ground cumin and coriander, and black cardamom pods. So I skipped the toasting step and just ground everything together. It still turned out delicious, though I would guess it would have been even more so if I had toasted it and added star anise. That’s just an excuse to make it again!

Other changes I made: I added 6 fresh chopped roma tomatoes instead of canned, and 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk + 1/4 cup water instead of the lite coconut milk (it still turned out very saucy even though I used less milk!). Also I used 4 tablespoons date sugar instead of brown.


4 Rachel Siegel February 6, 2014 at 5:41 PM

This is wonderful! I love how much sauce it makes. I added two medjool dates to the sauce when I blended so I just needed a touch more sugar as it all came together. I unfortunately didn’t have all of the necessary spices to try making the blend. I used Garam Masala but I hope to get them all and try the correct seasoning for next time.
Perfect for my snowy cold evening.
Thanks for another great recipe!!


5 Kim November 15, 2013 at 9:00 PM

I like the combination of curry and coconut milk. nummy. can’t wait to try. thanks


6 Phyllis November 15, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Thank you, I look forward to making this soon. I was actually thinking to make this as my “treat” for Thanksgiving 😉


7 Phyllis November 14, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Oh My Goodness! I am for sure making this tomorrow. This looks sooo good I think I can smell it.. lol I am new to cooked lowfat vegan as I have been struggling to be a lowfat raw vegan (80/10/10) for the past year. I just came across this lifestyle after watching Forks Over Knives less than a week ago. So I am building up my spices again per say. That being said, is their a ready made spice that you can recommend to me in place of your recipe just for this one time? Hopefully I can make it like yours next time.. 😉


8 Veronica Grace November 14, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Hi Phyllis there is no other spice mix that tastes like this, so making it yourself would be best, but if you use another indian spice you’ll probably have to use far less as it will likely be much spicier and you’ll have to season it to taste.


9 Valerie November 11, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Tried this last night & it was terrific! Used what I had on hand – chard, garam masala, powdered ginger – & put it over steamed potatoes. THANKS!


10 sherry November 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Sounds great and its cold in Denver also! What pre-ground spices do you recommend in the soup?


11 Veronica Grace November 5, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Hi Sherry, this is a curry you serve with rice or bread, not a soup lol. It’s just saucy because I served it with brown rice and it was nice to soak up some of the sauce.

I made my own spice mix for this, if you buy one from the store you will have to season it to your tastes. Garam Masala is very spicy, so I would use only a little at a time if you want to your tastes.


12 sherry November 5, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Whoopsie… pic looked like soup 😉 I just finished making it, awesome!!


13 Veronica Grace November 5, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Yeah just really saucy! Ha ha. I had to take a quick pic of it and throwing it on a plate on top of rice didn’t look so nice!Glad you enjoyed it 🙂


14 Suzanne Powers November 6, 2013 at 3:51 AM

Printing facility?


15 Veronica Grace November 7, 2013 at 6:43 PM

There’s a print option at the top of each post on top of the first picture to print what you want from each recipe.


16 andrea kober November 5, 2013 at 10:16 AM

This looks de-lish!!

It is my partner’s birthday and I will make it for his bday dinner tonight. I happen to have all the ingredients in the house…I love when that happens.

I don’t have lite coconut milk (I have never even seen it here in Victoria) but will mix half coconut and half rice milk and hope it works out.

Cant wait!!!


17 Marita November 5, 2013 at 10:13 AM

This is an amazing recipe and I shall definitely try it and write back with my comments. I absolutely love your new Printing facility. It is awesome. Thanks so much.


18 Veronica Grace November 5, 2013 at 7:30 PM

You’re welcome 🙂


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