Chickpea Thai red curry with black rice

It was graduation day on Friday, finally I am officially done  and although I already qualified in July, I now have my certificate as well, it always feels better when you have a written piece of paper in your hands, dosn´t it  ?  After so much fun and giggles of happiness at the graduation ceremony I wanted to dedicate this month’s post to the leading part of the dish, the humble but quirky chickpea. In German chickpeas are called Kichererbsen, which means giggle pea, god only knows where that translation came from, funny enough Kichererbse was my brother’s nickname in Kindergarden- he still is one or at least he can make me giggle quite quickly.

Chickpeas have a delicious nutty taste with a buttery texture, they originate from  the middle East and are a staple in many countries , they are also the base for some of our favourite snacks , take hummus and falafel, love those.  You can find them sprouted in most health food shops now as well, but why spend big money when you can easily sprout them at home, check out Irma´s sprouting post to see how.


As a member of the legumes family , chickpeas are high in protein and insoluble fibre, so our good bacteria love them too. They also have a good amount of vitamins and minerals to claim for themselves and even better news is that recent research has shown that they are a great choice of those who want to lose a few extra pounds as they have a positive effect on blood sugar and satiety, one more reason to integrate them into your cooking. (1)

I love Thai food and have been meaning to make a red curry for ages,  it´s so delicious and the protein rich black rice with kale and samphire adds extra nuttiness with a sublet crunch and some saltiness- yums!

I always go a bit mad when I am at the green grocers, hence the long ingredients list, you can of course freestyle the choice of your vegetables, but sweet potato and cabbage go super well with this curry and adding some green with peas or sugar snaps in the summer or broccoli and Brussels sprouts in the winter make it look prettier on the plate, not to mention the added flavour and antioxidants.

Anyway, enough talk now, here is what you need to get and how it´s all done:

Chickpea red Thai curry with black rice-Ingredient – serves 4

2 cups of dried chickpeas (soaked for 4-8 hours , drained /rinsed)
4 small carrots- peeled and cut into small slices
1 medium sized sweet potato- peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 white cabbage – roughly chopped
1 red pepper- cut in slices
1 cup of garden peas or sugar snaps, broccoli or Brussels sprouts
4 large cherry tomatoes
1 small leek very finely chopped or 1 shallot- finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic very finely chopped
2 cm of ginger very finely chopped
1/2 lemon grass very finely chopped
1/2 lemon grass roughly sliced
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
400ml coconut milk ( one can)
600ml boiling water
2 tsp vegetable stock
1 tsp of coriander seeds
2 tsp red Thai curry paste ( free from artificial colouring or flavouring)
1-2 tsp maple syrup
1-2 tsp fish sauce ( optional)
A squeeze of lime juice to taste
A bunch of fresh coriander or/and Thai basil

Black Rice with kale & Samphire – serves 4

125mg rice ( 1 cup) – soak rice for 4 -8 hours drain and rinse well
250ml filtered water (2 cups)
2 cups of chopped kale
1 cup of samphire
1-2 tbsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil & a pinch of salt to add to the cooking water for the rice


This is a fantastic one pot dish, all you need is to prepare the vegetables and set them aside, then heat up the coconut oil in a large pot, at low heat add the finely chopped leek, garlic, ginger and lemon grass together with the red Thai curry paste stirring slowly so the flavours of the spices can unfold. After 2-3 minutes add the coconut milk and 400ml of boiling water, stir well before adding the soaked chickpeas, stir again and simmer for about 30 minutes, next add carrots, pepper, cabbage, sweet potato, tomatoes and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes, add sugar snaps or peas for the last 5-8 minutes.

To prepare the rice, rinse well after it has been soaking for 4-8 hours, and cook as per instructions on the package, you can calculate less cooking time because the rice has been soaked, check after 30 minutes to see if it’s already done. Add one part rice and two parts water with a pinch of salt.

Whilst the rice is cooking blanch the washed and chopped kale in boiling water- simply leave the kale to sit in the boiling hot water in a bowl for about 8 minutes, add the washed/roughly chopped samphire and leave for another 2-3 minutes before draining. Once the rice is cooked, rinse well before adding it to the kale and samphire, add the ghee or olive and mix well. The samphire should add a good amount of saltiness so please be careful and try first before seasoning.

Before serving, heat up the curry once more so it is nice and hot, garnish with fresh coriander and or Thai basil.

Bon Appetite!


(1) Pittaway JK, Ahuja KDK, Robertson IK et al. Effects of a Controlled Diet Supplemented with Chickpeas on Serum Lipids, Glucose Tolerance, Satiety and Bowel Function. J. Am. Coll. Nutr., Aug 2007; 26: 334 – 340. . 2007.