Spicy Chickpea Stew with Coconut Milk

Chickpea Stew

This version of Spicy Chickpea Stew with Coconut Milk was adapted from Chef Cathal Armstrong. It’s a simple stew that comes together in just a few minutes, making this a rare example of a summer stew. The spiced up Asian flavors also suit the warm weather.

Spicy Chickpea Stew with Coconut Milk 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 2–4Source Adapted from Cathal ArmstrongPublished
Chickpea Stew


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup peeled pearl onions (pearl onions larger than 1‑inch may need to be halved)
  • 1 red bell pepper (cut into 1‑inch chunks)
  • 3 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoon sambal oelek (or to taste)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (rinsed)
  • 2 cup thinly sliced summer squash
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • thin slices thai bird chili (optional) to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • whole cilantro sprigs (as garnish)
  • toasted bread (for serving)


Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook, gently stirring often, until nicely browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer the onions to a medium bowl. Add the bell peppers the the Dutch oven and repeat the process, moving them to the same bowl as the onions once browned. 

Leaving the oil in the pot add the garlic, ginger, and sambal oelek. Cook, stirring, until the mixture darkens, about 1 minute. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a low simmer. Add the chickpeas, sliced squash, browned onions, browned bell pepper, and coconut milk. Cover and simmer until the flavors come together, about 8 minutes.

Raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring gently, until the soup is hot enough for serving, but don’t bring it to a boil. Stir in the minced cilantro, lemon juice, thai bird peppers (if using), and a pinch each salt and pepper. Garnish the stew with whole cilantro and serve with toasted bread.