Plant-based Hokkaido pumpkin and chickpea curry with a wild rice mix.

Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry [whole-food, plant-based, oil-free, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free]

What is curry?

pumpkin and chickpea curry
Pumpkin and chickpea curry with a wild rice mix.

Curry is a variety of dishes originating from the subcontinent of India. But for me, curry is a treat for all the senses! The taste, the smell, and the colors! That aromatic combination of spices is just to die for and there is something almost addictive to it. This is one of my most simple plant-based curry recipes. The star of this pumpkin and chickpea curry recipe is going to be a baked pumpkin, we will use chickpeas and sesame to add extra protein and texture, and coconut milk to bind it all together. For this easy curry recipe, we will use a basic curry spice mix.

Ingredients I used for this pumpkin and chickpea curry recipe

pumpkin and chickpea curry
Ingredients for this pumpkin and chickpea curry recipe.

As I already mentioned, the star of this pumpkin and chickpea curry recipe is a baked pumpkin. Where I come from, this sort of pumpkin simply called “the orange pumpkin”. A well-known sort is also the Hokkaido pumpkin which is very similar and will work great as well. There are so many sorts of pumpkin, I could write a whole article about it. Just try to find a pumpkin that looks similar to mine and you should be good to go. I would be happy if you tell me how it is called in your part of the world in the comments below! We will use cooked chickpeas for extra protein and roasted sesame seeds for flavor and crunch. For the base of the sauce, we will use coconut milk and spice it up with a basic curry spice mix. Since a baked pumpkin can get really sweet, we will serve this curry with a lemon wedge that will give the dish some acidity and take it to a whole new level!

Why did I choose to bake the pumpkin?

pumpkin and chickpea curry
Baked pumpkin is very tasty and also easy to cut.

There is something special about baked pumpkin. It gets that nutty kind of flavor and it also gets very sweet. And most of all, it gets so much easier to handle. You just wash it, scoop out the seeds and put it in an oven. It is much easier to cut it once it is baked and you don’t even have to peel it since the skin gets so soft and tasty. For me, roasted pumpkin is so mind-blowingly good, I can eat it straight out of the oven.

What is a basic curry spice mix?

The most basic curry spice mix consists of turmeric, coriander seeds, fenugreek, ginger, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Turmeric is what gives it that vibrant yellow color. I listed the ingredients in the order they commonly appear, from largest to smallest content. Different ratios of these ingredients and different additions make different kinds of curry spices. If you are new to the world of curry, I suggest you try a store-bought curry mix. Once you get familiar with the tastes, you can experiment and make your own curry spice mix.

pumpkin and chickpea curry
Turmeric is what gives this plant-based curry a vibrant yellow color.

What is the difference between a curry paste and a curry spice mix?

Many curry recipes call for a curry paste. I avoid curry pastes since they are usually not entirely plant-based and they tend to contain large amounts of oil. A store-bought curry paste can contain shrimp paste, fish sauce, sugar, and even milk. A curry spice mix is a spice mix in a form of dry powder. You can substitute curry paste with a curry spice mix combined with water.

A word on the coconut milk

pumpkin and chickpea curry
Coconut milk is the base of this plant-based curry sauce.

Coconut milk usually comes in a can. For this recipe, I am using full-fat coconut milk. Since coconut milk is very high in fat, I am extra careful about how much I use. I usually use only about 100ml per person, so for this recipe, you will need half a can. I don’t buy low-fat coconut milk because that is just nonsense. You can dilute the coconut milk with water yourself and not pay for them to do so (since the price is usually the same). I also suggest you check the ingredients of the coconut milk you buy. You want the ingredients to list just coconut and water. You can also make your own low-fat coconut milk as described in my low-fat curry recipe.

What to serve your pumpkin and chickpea curry with?

There are many things you can serve this pumpkin and chickpea curry with. I suggest you serve it with rice. My choice is a wild rice mix, but you can serve it with any kind of rice. And don’t forget about that wedge of lemon, it really makes a difference.

Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry

A very simple recipe for a plant-based pumpkin and chickpea curry that is also vegan, whole-food, oil-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free.
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chickpeas, curry, hokkaido, oil-free, plant-based, pumpkin, vegan
Servings: 2
Calories: 645kcal
Author: Zana Hrastovsek



  • 500 g orange pumpkin or a similar sort of pumpkin
  • 1 and 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can coconut milk full fat
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup water


  • 1 tbsp curry spice mix (*see notes)
  • 1 tsp onion and garlic powder each
  • 1 chili (*optional)
  • salt to taste

For serving

  • 2 wedge lemon
  • 2 cup cooked rice of choice


  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wash the pumpkin. Take the top off and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Place the top back on, so it won't dry out too much while baking.
  • Put the pumpkin onto a baking tray and into the oven. Bake until it gets fork tender. This will take about 30 minutes*.
  • Take the pumpkin out of the oven and cut it into bite-size cubes.
  • Heat up a larger pan or a medium pot. Add the sesame seeds and roast them until they get golden brown.
  • Add the cubed pumpkin and all the other ingredients along with the spices and water to the pot.
  • Stir well and add salt to taste.
  • Cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes so it thickens up and all the tastes combine. You can mash some of the pumpkin to make the sauce even thicker.
  • Serve with cooked rice and a wedge of lemon.


  • Use any kind of curry spice mix you like. If you are not sure how much you like the curry taste, add little by little and stop before the taste gets to intensive or too spicy for you.
  • The baking time depends largly on the shape or type of your pumpkin. Just poke it with a fork to check. It is done when you can pierce it with no effort.

Nutrition facts


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