Chickpea Massaman Curry + Tom Yam Chilli

Chickpea Massaman Curry + Tom Yam Chilli

When talking sisters, mine is as cool as they come. She is currently here in London, spending the week with us and cooking up a storm in efforts to fill up my freezer before the baby makes his entrance into the world. She’s like a freakin’ tornado – and I love it!

Other than being completely awesome, my sister is also very well travelled. She’s been everywhere (almost), and once went and spent several months in Thailand working with an underwater conservation team. It was on this trip she also managed to befriend several of the kitchen ladies, who ended up teaching her how to cook some of her favourite Thai meals. And this Massaman curry is one of those. A dish that tastes so original, is perfect for entertaining and so tasty when made vegetarian. While my sister usually makes with either beef or chicken, she makes it with chickpeas when visiting us. And she even admits that it is every bit as delicious with chickpeas! It is great served on rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice and an added squeeze of fresh lime and a few cashew nuts to top. So good!

Chickpea Massaman Curry + Tom Yam Chilli

The homemade Tom Yam chilli paste is really the crown of this dish, but if the thought of making your own feels too intimidating or time consuming, it can be substituted for a storebought chilli paste. This one will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge when kept in a glass jar (I collect old jam jars for these purposes) and it can be added to a multitude of curries, stews and other meals that go well with a fantastic kick of garlicky spice sensation. It is so good and while it can be added into the curry before serving, I like to keep it separate so people can decide how spicy they want it – and so my kids can eat it too.

This curry is dairy free, gluten free and full of healthy fats from the rich and dreamy creamy coconut milk. The chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) add a good amount of plan protein as well as fibre. Just 1 can (1 1/2 cup) contains around 17 gm fibre, which is over 50% of the recommended daily intake!! Fibre promotes a healthy digestive system, help prevent certain types of cancers and can be helpful for weight loss since it helps keep you full and satisfied for longer.

Chickpeas also contains a unique and amazing balance of antioxidants that are known to help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research studies actually confirm that consuming chickpeas can help lower “bad” cholesterol and that just a small amount of chickpeas every day can help significantly improve cholesterol levels in the span of just one month! So, vegetarian or not, if you haven’t yet added chickpeas to your recipe repertoire, now would be a good time. And this recipe is the perfect place to start! Enjoy…

Chickpea Massaman Curry + Tom Yam Chilli
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 4
Tom Yam Chili Paste
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 10 dried whole chilies
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari sauce)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar / maple sirup
  • 2 tsp lime juice
Massman Curry
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cans coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari sauce)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or sugar
  • 8-10 chopped, pre-cooked, small potatoes / or ½ butternut squash
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Optional: add 300 g chicken/beef/tofu
Chili paste
  1. Melt oil in a large pot and add carrots. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Then add onions, garlic and chilies. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat off, then add soy sauce, sugar and lime juice and stir well using a spoon.
  3. Put everything in a blender or food processor (I use my mini food processor). Process until a paste forms and there are no big pieces of chilies left.
  4. Put the paste back in the wok for 2 minutes, then transfer to a glass jar. Set aside.
Massaman Curry
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pot or wok pan. Add onion, carrot pieces, tomatoes and curry powder and sauté over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the onions are soft.
  2. Add coconut milk and stir well. Leave to simmer until it thickens up a bit. Add a little water if necessary (depending on how thick your coconut milk is).
  3. Add soy sauce, sugar, potatoes (pre-cooked), chickpeas and stir to combine. Leave for about 5 minutes to allow the chickpeas to heat up.
  4. Turn off heat, add a touch of lime juice and top with tom yam chilli paste and roasted peanuts/cashew nuts. Serve over rice or quinoa.


Referenced sources

  1. Pittaway JK, Ahuja KDK, Cehun M et al. (2007) Dietary Supplementation with Chickpeas for at Least 5 Weeks Results in Small but Significant Reductions in Serum Total and Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterols in Adult Women and Men. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism. Vol. 50, Iss. 6; p. 512-518.
  2. Wallace, TC, Murray, R & Zelman, KM. (2016) The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus. Nutrients. 2016 Nov 29;8(12).
  3. Murty CM, Pittaway JK and Ball MJ. (2010) Chickpea supplementation in an Australian diet affects food choice, satiety and bowel health. Appetite. 54(2):282-8. 
  4. Pittaway JK, Robertson IK and Ball MJ. (2008) Chickpeas may influence fatty acid and fiber intake in an ad libitum diet, leading to small improvements in serum lipid profile and glycemic control. Journal of American Dietetic Association. 108 (6), p. 1009-10013

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