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Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry

This was my first time cooking with black garbanzo beans, and I loved them in this slow cooker curry that’s vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet Phase Two. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

For my birthday in December my blogging and real-life friend Lydia sent me some black garbanzo beans, an ingredient I had never seen before I got them in the mail.  I was intrigued and immediately started looking on the internet and in cookbooks for ideas of how to cook this type of bean.  I settled on this Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry from The Indian Slow Cooker where the unsoaked beans were put in the CrockPot and cooked on high for 9 hours with water and a ground mixture of seasonings and Indian spices.  (Yes, that is supposed to say 9 hours on high.)The final recipe I ended up was delicious but may not be all that authentic, because when I tasted the mixture after 9 hours it was a bit spicy for my tastebuds, so I added a can of tomatoes and some green onions and simmered it an hour more.  Cilantro and a little lemon juice is stirred in at the end.  I loved the chewy texture and the savory, almost nutty flavor of the black garbanzo beans.

I do my Meatless Monday posts late on Sunday so they’ll be there when people get up on Monday morning, and as you probably realize, there was a big football game tonight and I’ve been at my brother Mark’s house eating, talking to the babies, and photographing the food while everyone else was watching the game.  Luckily I had most of this written earlier in the day while I simmered some chili to take to the party!(You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.)

Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry found on KalynsKitchen.com

Here’s the package the black garbanzos came in.  Mine were more brown than black, but from pictures on the internet I see some varieties are darker than this.

Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry found on KalynsKitchen.com

And here’s a close up of the cute little beans.  They are smaller than regular garbanzos and are much chewier when they’re cooked.  They also cook more quickly than regular garbanzos, so if you want to try this recipe with regular garbanzos, they will take even longer to cook.

Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry found on KalynsKitchen.com

Combine chopped onion, chopped tomato, minced ginger, minced garlic, cayenne, cumin seeds, turmeric, chile powder, and salt in a food processor and process into a paste.  (I used the bowl attachment of my immersion blender.)

Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry found on KalynsKitchen.com

Then put the beans, spice paste, and 4 cups of water into a slow cooker and cook on high for 9 hours.  I increased the water a bit from the original recipe, because mine were quite dry after about 6 hours, if you’re not planning to add the extra tomatoes at the end you could probably use another 1/2 cup of water.

Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry found on KalynsKitchen.com

Here’s how the beans looked after 9 hours on high.  As you can see, they absorb a lot of water!

Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry found on KalynsKitchen.com

I used an old-fashioned potato masher to mash some of the beans.  You could puree them even more if you wanted a thicker mixture.  At this point the beans were tasty, but very spicy for me even though I used the smaller amount of cayenne.

Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry found on KalynsKitchen.com

I added a can of petite diced tomatoes and some sliced green onions and simmered this for a couple more hours to tone down the heat.  (If you like it spicy you might want to skip this step.)

Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry found on KalynsKitchen.com

And here’s my finished product after a couple more hours of cooking.

Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry found on KalynsKitchen.com

I ate this over brown rice, with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on top, but obviously skip the yogurt for vegan.

More Great Recipes with Garbanzo Beans:

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) and Edamame Salad with Lemon and Mint from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Curried Garbanzo Beans from Poor Girl Eats Well
Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew / Paula’s Moroccan Lentil Stew from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Indian Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Curry Balls from Gluten Free Easily

Slow Cooker Recipe for Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry
(Makes 4-6 servings, depending on what else you eat it with.  Recipe adapted from The Indian Slow Cooker.)

I used a 3.5 quart slow cooker for this recipe, and it could have been slightly smaller.

1 1/2 cups dried black garbanzo beans (or use regular garbanzo beans, but they will require a few hours longer to cook)
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato (I used cherry tomatoes)
2 tsp. minced ginger root
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (I used 1/2 tsp. and it was very hot so I’m not sure I’d recommend using the full amount unless  you really like it spicy!)
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. chile powder
2 tsp. salt (or less)
1 can petite dice tomatoes (optional)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)
3-4 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice


Pick over the garbanzo beans, removing any broken ones or debris found in the beans, and wash beans if needed.

Using a food processor or the bowl attachment of an immersion blender, puree together the onion, fresh tomatoes, minced ginger, minced garlic, cayenne, cumin seeds, turmeric, chile powder, and salt.  Put the paste mixture in the slow cooker with the beans and 4 cups of water and cook on high for about 9 hours, or until beans are soft.  (They will still be slightly chewy when they’re done.  I would start to check after about 6 hours and see if you want to add more water.)

When beans are done, taste for seasoning.  You can eat the curry at this point, but it was too spicy for me so I added the can of tomatoes and sliced green onions and cooked for about 1 hour more on high.  When it’s done to your liking, stir in the chopped cilantro and lemon juice.  Serve hot, over brown rice if desired.

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South Beach Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions: 
Dried beans are approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet, but they’re limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving size for Phase One.  I’d probably eat this for phase two so you can have some brown rice with the curry. This should work for other low-glycemic eating plans, but it’s too high in carbs for a stricter low-carb diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click here for more Slow Cooker / Pressure Cooker Recipes on my other site!

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33 comments on “Slow Cooker Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry”

  1. Eight hours? Seriously? Put them in a pot with water, bring just to a boil, turn it off till the next day and it's 45 minutes, tops, to cook.

  2. I am starting a cleanse from processed foods, and this recipe would be perfect for it!
    I am accustomed to Indian cuisine, and have had black garbanzo beans before with shredded coconut in a side dish. It was delicious and crunchy, so I cannot wait to try out this recipe!

  3. I took the cooking time from a slow cooker Indian cookbook, and I was surprised that she cooked them so long, but mine did indeed take a very long time to get done. Did you soak your beans? That can shorten the cooking time. However the thing that makes the most difference is the age of the beans so possibly the black garbanzos I got had been sitting on the shelf a long time.

    Glad you liked it and that yours cooked more quickly.

  4. I am confused about the 14 hour cook time. I couldn't find the black so i just purchased the white dried garbanzo beans. They were probably done cooking after a few hours on high in my crockpot. When i googled the time every website said they only need to cook for a couple of hours. Anyway it turned out fabulous and i will definitely make again but just want to clarify the cook time.

  5. Jane if you like beans, these are well worth looking for. Maybe an Indian grocer would have them.

  6. I have never heard of black garbanzo beans, but I am definitely going to look for some! I love all kind of beans … this sounds so good!

  7. I've never seen black chickpeas before – these look fantastic – all moody and spicy and intriguing – didn't know about your meatless mondays posts on blogher but am off to check them out

  8. I know regular garbanzo as chickpeas but havenever seen the black ones. The recipe looks delicious.

  9. How would you rate this cookbook. I love Indian foods and a slow-cooker recipe book sounds like a good idea. In the Indian market, I've seen garbanzo beans in other various colors: green and purple garbanzo beans as well.

  10. I do the same as Sugar mentioned in first comment.
    9 hours of cooking is too time-consuming, but then again, it's slow cooker so it's understood..,. 🙂
    But I soak beans overnight too & then pressure cook on medium for 20 minutes, and then use them to cook/saute further or add in salad.
    Works for these black garbanzos, chickpeas, kidney beans, etc which then go on to make the Indian dishes Chana Masala, Chhole, and Rajma Masala, etc respectively 🙂
    But I see you do have several pressure cooker recipes from the past 🙂

  11. You can always count on Lydia for some interesting ingredients. I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for these beans. The curry sounds wonderful!

  12. How interesting! I have never seen these and I am now in the country that uses garbanzos all the time! Love that hearty dish you made with them , I can see scooping these out with some pita pieces.

  13. I am such a sucker for a good beans and rice recipe. It is actually one of my favorite meals. simple and satisfying. And I feel like I'm somehow connecting to the rest of the world when I eat rice and beans.

  14. I've never even heard of black garbanzo beans before, but I'm intrigued! Now I'm curious. The whole meal sounds delicious!

  15. I'm excited that Lydia introduced me to black garbanzos so I can share them with all of you!

    Donna, the canned ones are definitely softer. I like the more chewy texture of the dried ones a lot.

  16. I have never cooked with dried garbanzos – how does the texture compare with canned?

    Thanks for yet another enlightening post!

  17. I've never seen black garbanzo beans before, what a good friend Lydia is. So interesting that they have a different taste than regular garbanzo beans.

  18. Definitely saving this recipe! Never heard of black garbonzo beans. Thank you!

  19. I use black garbanzo beans quite often in my cooking. I soak them overnight and use the pressure cooker for 20 minutes before adding them to curries.

    In south India they make something called "sundal" with garbanzo, a traditional festival food. It is a simple saute of boiled garbanzo and grated coconut tempered with mustard seeds popped in oil and curry leaves. A recent discovery and it has become one of my favorite ways of having the bean.

  20. This sounds great. I have been on an Indian and slow cooker kick lately – so the timing of this recipe is perfect! I hope I can find black garbanzo beans in Boise!

  21. I've been waiting to see how you used the black garbanzos! I've never cooked with them — in fact, I'd never seen them in the market before. This looks like a delicious curry, and leftovers could easily be turned into a soup. Now I have to buy a package for myself!

  22. I actually have black garbanzos in my cabinet and I find they have to cook a lot longer than regular chickpeas, which is why I rarely make them. The slow cooker is the perfect vessel for them, then! And I could always use some curry in my life. All day every day.

    • Joanne, that's interesting. The slow cooker book gives the times for regular garbanzo beans as 14 hours on high, so I was going by that, plus I saw several places online that said these cook more quickly than regular ones.

    • Wacky! I've cooked normal chickpeas in my slow cooker on high (without anything added other than stock and bay leaves) for 2-4 hours. Longer on low. It probably depends how fresh your beans are.

      Anyhow, I have black chickpeas, too, but haven't made anything with them yet! This looks like an interesting recipe to try.. although it looks a bit tex-mex meets Indian. 😛

    • Janet, I was skeptical about the 9 hours, but it did take that long. I think pressure cooker is the way to go with these!

  23. 🙂 this is another dish, I love!!

    just to add, you also get a green variation of the beans which are similar tasting. I let the beans soak in water over night, and then use a pressure cooker to cook them. Then add the spices/masala. That way, I save a lot of cooking time 🙂

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