White bowl filled with pumpkin chickpea curry and basmati rice

Pumpkin Chickpea Curry

Our Pumpkin Chickpea Curry is proof that vegan food can be delicious! Tender pieces of roasted pumpkin in a spicy, creamy sauce with chickpeas for protein and substance – what’s not to love?

This is a recipe we return to time and time again for Meat Free Monday, or when we have a vegan or vegetarian dinner guest. The curry tastes even better reheated the next day. It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

Pumpkin pieces ready to roast for pumpkin chickpea curry

So many good things in my life became even better when Dean came along, and my Pumpkin Chickpea Curry is no exception. No kidding! I used to cook the pumpkin in the the curry sauce without roasting it. Because pumpkin takes a while to cook, it would be mostly broken down by the time it cooked through. The first time Dean made it, he roasted the pumpkin before adding it. There was no turning back!

Photo of roasted pumpkin pieces for pumpkin chickpea curry.

Variations on Pumpkin Chickpea Curry

Like most of our recipes, this one is versatile. We used Kent (J.A.P.) pumpkin in this instance, but we often use butternut. This curry is equally delicious with roasted cauliflower, broccoli, squash or zucchini. Green beans work well in a vegetable curry, as do peas. You could use a mixture of vegetables, both roasted and un-roasted. It’s a great way to use up those bits and pieces of vegetables left lurking in the crisper drawer after the weekend.

Spices and sliced onion, minced garlic and ginger to make pumpkin chickpea curry.

Play around with the spices, too. We used cumin, coriander seed, Kashmiri chilli, turmeric and curry powder. Try adding ground or whole cardamon pods, cloves or cinnamon for a variation on the flavour. Bring up the heat by using fresh hot chillies, or a different kind of chilli powder.

We always throw in a couple of large handfuls of greens at the end. Spinach will wilt within a minute or two. If you’re using kale or cavalo nero, you’ll need to cook it for five minutes longer.

For a cooling, refreshing a dessert to follow this curry, try our tangy mandarin sorbet or easy raspberry sorbet.

Over to you! If you cook this curry, we’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Pumpkin Chickpea Curry

Our Pumpkin Chickpea Curry is proof that vegan food can be delicious! Tender pieces of roasted pumpkin in a spicy, creamy sauce with chickpeas for protein and substance.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken curry, curry, curry recipe, easy, fast, healthy, spicy, vegan, vegetarian, weeknight dinner
Servings: 6 people


  • 2 cups pumpkin pieces bite-size
  • vegetable oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece ginger grated
  • tsp ground cumin
  • tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder see note
  • 1–2 TBS curry powder or paste
  • 1 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 250g cooked chickpeas
  • 200 ml coconut milk or to taste
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach or chopped spinach
  • Basmati rice, fresh coriander, lime or lemon wedges, and fresh chopped chilli to serve. optional


  • Preheat oven to 200°c.
  • Put the pumpkin pieces on a baking tray (line it with baking paper if you want to save on washing up). Drizzle oil over the pumpkin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss, and place in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden and tender. Meanwhile, make your curry.
  • Heat oil in a heavy-based frying pan or a wok. Add onions and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until soft and translucent but not coloured. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Add all spices except turmeric and cook, stirring for 3 or 4 minutes or until spices are fragrant. Do not overcook, as the spices will become bitter.
  • Add canned tomatoes. Fill the empty can with water and add that to the pan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the mixture reduces by about one third.
  • Add turmeric and stir. Add chickpeas and coconut milk and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add a splash of water.
  • Add roasted pumpkin and spinach. Cover for a minute or two until the spinach begins to wilt. Stir gently to combine.
  • Serve curry with steamed basmati rice, fresh coriander, a wedge of lime or lemon, and fresh chopped chilli if you like.


We used Kashmiri chilli powder for this recipe. It is much milder than the commercially available chilli powder in Australia. If you're using regular chilli powder, start off with ¼ to ½ a teaspoon, depending on your tolerance.

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