Chickpea Coconut Curry with Goat Cheese Polenta

​Let’s get out of our comfort zone. By getting into our comfort zone.

I have grown up eating Indian food for most of my life. It is pretty much my favorite thing to eat (Spicy Sarah was my nickname in high school). My dad always loved taking me to the Indian buffet for lunch in our town, when pre-vegetarian me would load up on totally authentic butter chicken (blessed be he). Even though I am vegetarian, making my own indian food (and even gobbling up Trader Joe’s Chana Masala) makes for some of my favorite meals. And for me, nothing scream comfort quite like a big old warm bowl of dahl or curry chocked full of chickpeas or lentils.

I swear I have curry powder running through my veins. My yellow tinged veins.

But actually, in my old apartment, I used turmeric so much that my countertops were stained so horribly. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to take the stain out, but it just. Wouldn’t. Come. Out. My mom had to dip into the corners of in the internet to figure out home remedies for it. But they say it is good for you so I continue to use it anyway. I love it.Can we talk about for a second how the best tasting foods are SO ugly? I love making curry so much but it is SO hard to photograph. Something about simmering something on the stove does not make for the most appealing color combinations for the camera. It happens with stews of all kinds. Fudge, why does it have to look like a bowl of slop on a plate?Then again, you can pretend you’re a pig while you’re eating it. And making snort sounds. THAT does sound like fun.So, even if this curry/slop isn’t the prettiest thing you’ve ever put on your table, I BEG you to try it out. Now, I understand that for some people, cooking with Indian spices can be really scary. A lot of recipes call for a laundry list of things like turmeric and curry powder and what in heavens name is fenugreek (to this day, I still do not know).. However, like with anything, practice makes perfect. So here, we are going back to basics with one of the easiest curry recipes I know. Now I know this is not “authentic” Indian food, but I believe that this recipe gives you the most bang for your buck! Onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spices make for a KILLER sauce for chickpeas and greens. And that coconut milk? You better add it please! Use full-fat canned coconut milk (or if you’re crazy like me, coconut cream). Add some yogurt,  egg, or NAAN (actually please add all of them. Load up that sucker and you’ve got yourself a MEAL!

Yields 2

Chickpea Coconut Curry with Goat Cheese Polenta

20 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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  • 1/2 cup fine corn grits or polenta (not instant!)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 ounce goat cheese
  • salt + pepper
  • curry
  • 2 teaspoons coconut or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • spice blend (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes (I love the fire roasted so I HIGHLY suggest those babies)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk or 1/4 cup coconut cream diluted with 3/4 cup water
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chopped greens (I used kale but Swiss chard or spinach works too)
  • handful cilantro or mint, chopped (to garnish)
  • lime juice, to garnish
  • naan/soft boiled eggs, to serve
  • spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried chilies
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


make the polenta

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add polenta and lower heat to medium low. Whisk so the polenta has won’t stick to the bottom. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the polenta is no longer gritty. Once cooked, stir in the cheese, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

make the curry

In a deep cast iron skillet or a small soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is lightly shimmering, add the onions to the pan. Cook and stir the onions until translucent and quite soft, about 5-6 minutes. You want the onions to be quietly sizzling while they cook, so lower the heat if necessary.

Add the spice blend to the skillet and stir. Once the spices are quite fragrant and fully integrated with the onions, add the tomato paste, mashing it with the back of your spoon into the spices and oil. Add the garlic and chickpeas and stir the mixture for 30 seconds.

Add the balsamic vinegar and tomatoes to the pan and stir, using the back of your spoon to scrape up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan. Add the coconut milk to the skillet and season the stew with salt and pepper.

Bring the stew to a boil, and then lower the heat to a light simmer. Cook the stew for about 10-15 minutes, or until the flavors have melded to your liking. Five minutes before the stew is finished, add the greens and allow to wilt. Garnish the top of the stew with the chopped parsley/cilantro.



125 cal


3 g


19 g


8 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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