Mouthwatering yellow chickpea curry from scratch

chickpea curry

Sri Lankan light yellow chickpea curry is delicious. In general, yellow curry is easy to make, does not take long and can carry a wide array of vegetables or white fish. My favorite yellow curries besides yellow chickpea curry are golden mixed vegetable curry, canned mackerel curry, creamy potato curry, green bean and carrots or chickpea curry. All made using the same curry powder.

Yellow curry is mild, creamy, and aromatic with coconut, cinnamon, and fennel notes. I often make this curry to go with white rice, string hoppers or white bread because it’s among my children’s favorites. Another reason to love it is it being mild enough for a soup when the mood calls for it. It’s that good on its own. Especially yellow chickpea curry.

This type of mild curry isn’t just for vegetable curries. It can be equally delicious in several types of fish curry recipes or light chicken curry recipes. One of my favorite versions of yellow curry is Sri Lankan white fish curry. There are so many variations and ways of making it, but here is one of my favorite methods, along with seasoning base for making it.

Sri Lankan chickpea curry

In Sri Lankan festive table yellow mild curry brings a much-needed cooling effect. It can carry a simple meal with white rice or white string hoppers as its main component, to the next level on its own. Combining spicy flavored curries and rice, a yellow chickpea curry or lentil curry can deliver one delicious bite. In other words, yellow curry is The One Ring of Sauron’s. Yes, I am making a LOTR refence of rice and curry meal.

Another way of making a healthy meal with yellow chickpea curry is serving it with whole wheat sourdough loaf. Decedent and creamy mild yellow chickpea curry can also make a creamy soup on its own.

Making your own yellow curry powder is extremely easy. Curry powder is very shelf stable, easy grab and go flavor option for many mild curries.

How to make your own Sri Lankan yellow curry powder for yellow chickpea curry

  • 3 tablespoons of Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds ground
  • 1/2 cup of coriander powder
  • pinch of ground cardamom and mustard
  • teaspoon of ground toasted mung bean flour

Mix everything up and store in an airtight container in freezer for longer storage or mix as you go.

Little bit about unroasted yellow curry powder

Unroasted curry powder can be used to make wide verity of curries from mild, medium to spicy. In coconut-based curries it gives fennel and cinnamon aromas and goes well with white rice, bread, or pasta for a milder hearty meal. When used in tomato-based curries it gives more of the flavors of coriander and helps balance heat a bit.

This curry powder is an excellent choice to make spicy curries that you may want to use just red chili powder for heat without any other strong aromatics like cardamom, cloves, or nutmeg. In other words, if you don’t want the intensity of Sri Lankan red curry but just looking for a little heat for your vegetable curries, making a yellow curry with just a little bit of paprika is a better way of achieving it.

One of the things I really like about yellow curry is it being anti-inflammatory. It can be wonderful to go to mild curry for flavoring any spring and summer vegetables that makes your house smell wonderful after making it.

chickpea curry

Sri Lankan yellow chickpea curry

Mild, creamy decadent, kid friendly coconut-based curry that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 cups pre boiled chickpeas or two cans of chickpeas approximately
  • 2 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp dried mango powder
  • 1/4 tsp shrimp paste optional
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 inch Pandan leaves
  • 5 curry leaves
  • ½ tsp Sri Lankan black curry powder a pinch
  • 2 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 can coconut milk or 1 cup fresh coconut milk
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • cup of water
  • 1 tsp Salt


  • Soak chickpeas overnight and boil for one hour or until tender. Alternatively drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas and use that in the curry.
  • Add everything except coconut milk to a stew pot. Mix the seasoning with chickpeas to coat
  • Add water and bring to rolling boil
  • Turn the heat to medium low, cover and let the water cook down and flavors to be absorb to chickpeas
  • taste and adjust the salt and add coconut milk
  • slowly incorporate and heat to a gentle simmer. Do not let coconut milk separate into oil, keep turning to prevent boiling.
  • Cook until sauce becomes thick. turn the heat off and finish by sprinkling black curry powder on top.


Pandan leaves are hard to come by where I live, if that is the case with you can skip adding pandan leaves altogether or add little bit of lemongrass instead.
Pandan leaves add a beautiful aroma to the yellow curry. Aroma the lemongrass gives will grant a curry like east Asian or Thai curry but still is going to be very flavorful. 
Keyword chickpea curry, chickpea curry recipe, kid friendly chickpea curry, sri lankan curry, yellow curry

Other Curry Recipes using same curry base