Lentil and Chickpea Curry in a Hurry

It was that time of day on a Monday, around 4pm, when both kids had overslept during nap time and it was almost too close to dinner time to get to the store.  Our refrigerator was bare, the pantry contained rice, canned beans, some veggie broth and not much else.  As the toddlers stirred I took a glance at the driveway only to see the large van belonging to the electrician still fixing our air conditioning blocking my exit.  I hate going to the grocery store at this hour and delivery pizza wasn't an option based on the previous junky meals from over the weekend.  Rather than asking the electrician to move and arguing with my little post-nap tyrants to put on shoes and get in the car, I decided to try to make something edible, nutritious, and delicious.  I set some coconut broth, veggie broth, curry powder, chickpeas and lentils on the counter and googled a recipe for chickpea curry.  I've made Lentil Daal before and figured I would try out another bean stew recipe.  I found the Food Network's Ree Drummond AKA The Pioneer Woman's recipe for Chickpea Curry and adapted it to what I had on hand.  From the electrician asking me several times what I was cooking and from the kids actually consuming something I had taken the time to cook, I will keep this recipe, and the pantry staples handy for other nights like this one.  Warning: there will be a mess to clean up.  Rice and kiddos do not make for a clean floor or highchair post dinner, but that's a small price to pay for being able to avoid a disastrous trip to the grocery store or pizza and chicken nuggets for the 5th time in a row.  I hope this might help whoever needs to know some basic staple pantry items that will yield a delicious dinner!


Lee's Recipe can be found here: Chickpea Curry with Rice

My adapted version based on what I had:


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 yellow onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 (15oz) can cooked lentils, drained and rinsed

1 (15oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 (13.5oz) can light coconut milk

1 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Lemon juice to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups basmati rice, cooked according to package directions



1.  Over medium high heat in a large saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté onion until it is soft and translucent.  Add minced garlic and curry powder to the pan and cook for a minute longer.

2. Add lentils and chickpeas to the pan.  Stir well to coat the beans in the vegetable mixture.  Add vegetable broth to the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid begins to evaporate and the beans take on a stew-like consistency.  

3.  Stir in maple syrup, a squeeze or two of lemon juice and salt and pepper.  

4.  Serve the bean mixture over the basmati rice and devour.