Butter Chickpea Curry recipe

This recipe for butter chickpea curry has become a favourite since we started making it for our Auckland-based meal delivery service. We’ve used roasted cashew butter and coconut milk to give it a luscious, creamy texture. It’s perfect to have with rice or flatbreads and freezes really well. It’s even more delicious made in advance and we jar ours up for easy storage in the fridge - as a quick meal for the week ahead.

Time 45 minutes (including cooling and cooking)

Serves 3-4


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or cooking oil of choice)
  • 3 smallish onions - 2 finely diced plus 1 sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • ½ thumb ginger peeled and crushed
  • ½ thumb turmeric peeled and crushed
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 400g chickpeas – 1 tin or 200g dried and soaked
  • 200g cauliflower – roughly 2/3 of a head broken into small florets
  • ¾ tin tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup tomato passata
  • 165mL coconut milk can
  • 170mL water
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (or to taste)
  • Optional – rice, flatbreads, extra greens


  1. In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp of cooking oil then add the two diced onions. Cook until brown and caramelised.
  2. Keep pot on the heat and add crushed garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cook until soft. Add garam masala and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from pot and cool slightly. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a clean pot, heat remaining oil and add sliced onions. Cook until just turning brown.
  4. Add fresh tomato and cook until soft.
  5. Add blended spiced onion paste, chickpeas and cauliflower. Stir until everything is coated
  6. Add the tinned tomatoes, passata, coconut milk and water.
  7. Bring to the boil and turn heat to low/simmering and cook for 10 minutes or until chickpeas and cauliflower are cooked through (may be longer if using soaked rather than canned chickpeas).
  8. Toast cashew butter in a small pan and whisk into the curry. Cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Season with salt and coconut sugar to taste. Remove from heat.
  10. Fold in baby spinach and serve with rice, flatbreads or extra greens!


Little bird organics is the creation of partners Megan and Jeremy. Megan is the chef and creator of the little bird flavour and Jeremy, an award-winning architect and designer, is the brains behind the branding. Their goal is to shift existing paradigms around plant-based cuisine, and show people just how exciting, innovative and delicious organic wholefoods can be.