Curry Ackee & Chickpeas

Easy Curry Ackee & Chickpeas

Jamaica’s National Fruit, paired with high-protein chickpeas, is the perfect vegan dinner for a busy week. Try this Curry Ackee and Chickpeas dish and spice up your week with something different. 


Ackee and Chickpeas are such a strange combination, right?

It certainly is, as I didn’t even think this dish would be so good.

As I continued my journey of experimenting with chickpeas, I decided to try something new. 

Both are packed with protein, making it a great combo for a healthy lunch or dinner option.

What is Ackee?

The fruit ackee, native to tropical West Africa is known for being the National Fruit of Jamaica. 

When ripe, the seeds are discarded and the arils (the yellow part of the ackee fruit) are parboiled in salted water. 

It is used in many Caribbean dishes, especially one known to be the National Dish of Jamaica – Ackee and Saltfish. 


Truth be told, growing up I was not a fan of ackee. 

Unsure of the reason, but it didn’t sit well with me. And knowing the significance it had on my country, I felt a little guilty. 

I mean a JAMAICAN that doesn’t like ackee, of all the fruits. 

However, I’m proud to say as I got older, I began to enjoy the flavors of it. 

Thanks to my mom, of course. She never stopped preparing it for us until we all learned to like it.

Ackee and Seashell -TheShyFoodBlogger
Ackee “smiling” or opened up

Did You Know? Ackee although widely used in many Caribbean cuisines, is known also for being a poisonous delicacy. 

Unripen ackee can cause serious health risks if not handled correctly. 

To get the best results when using ackee in any dish, ensure that the ackee is fully ripe before picking from a tree. 


A ripened ackee should open up or “smile” to reveal the yellow fruit inside, known as arils. 

Once the fruit is ripe, you may pick it from the tree and remove the black seeds and pink flesh before the preparation of cooking.

Ingredients to Use


I know that Ackee and Saltfish are a better pairing, and I must agree. 

But nothing beats new flavors, and I’m always a sucker to try new things.

  • Ackee – Ackee can be grouped into two types: butter or cheese. This recipe calls for the cheese-type ackee to be better as they are robust or sturdy when cooked. Most canned ackees use these types.
  • Chickpeas – canned chickpeas work fine, but I prefer to purchase dried chickpeas in bulk and pressure cook them to my desired tenderness. 
  • Seasonings and Vegetables – onion, garlic, tomato, and escallion.
  • Spices – all-purpose seasoning powder, curry powder, turmeric, salt, and black pepper.
  • Oil – vegetable or olive are great choices.

How to Cook Ackee & Chickpeas

Preparing this delicious dish is quick and easy. The ingredients are prepped ahead of cooking time.

For a more detailed guide, you can use the recipe card below.

Dry Chickpeas - TheShyFoodBlogger
Dry Chickpeas
  • Parboiled ackee and set aside, or if using canned ackee, follow instructions on the can for the proper cooking process. 
  • In a large skillet, saute onions, garlic, and escallion for 30 seconds. Add curry powder to sauteed veggies. Mix well.
  • Add tomato, ackee, and chickpeas, season with all-purpose seasoning, salt, and black pepper. 
  • Add water and gently combine all the ingredients in the pan together. Then, allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Similar to ackee and saltfish, this dish can be served with almost anything. 

Some great suggestions include:

Curried Ackee and Chickpeas - TheShyFoodBlogger
  • Fried or Roasted Breadfruit (for breakfast or even lunch)
  • Fried Dumplings (another breakfast side)
  • Callaloo and Toasted Bread
  • Boiled Food (yam, boiled dumplings, green bananas, irish potatoes, pumpkin, etc.) and more
  • Flatbreads

Storing and Reheating

Place any leftover ackee and chickpeas in an airtight container.

Store in your refrigerator for up to 2-4 days. 


For longer storage time, store in your freezer for up to a month. 

When reheating, place in a medium pan and heat over low flames. Allow to simmer, and enjoy with your desired sides.

Thanks for being here and I hope you enjoyed the recipe and content.

Comment below if you made this recipe. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram @theshyfoodblogger and hashtag #theshyfoodblogger

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~ TheShyFoodBlogger

Curried Ackee and Chickpeas - TheShyFoodBlogger

Curried Ackee and Chickpeas

This recipe will be the best dish you'll ever make in 15 minutes or less. It's the go-to recipe to whip up something tasty. It's also vegan-friendly.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Breakfast, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 5 servings


  • 2 cups ackee (parboiled or use canned ackee)
  • cups chickpeas (canned or dried chickpeas, pressured)
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. Morton Nature's Seasons (all purpose seasoning)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 stalks escallion (finely chopped)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 large tomato (diced or chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (chopped)
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onions, escallion, and garlic for 1 minute.
  • Add curry powder to sauteed veggies and mix well.
  • Add the ackee, chopped tomatoes, and chickpeas. Stir gently to combine ingredients.
  • Season with all-purpose seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
  • Add water, and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  • Adjust taste if needed.
  • Serve.


Serving Suggestions: 

    • Fried or Roasted Breadfruit (for breakfast or even lunch, yum)
    • Fried Dumplings (another breakfast side)
    • Callaloo and Toasted Bread
    • Boiled Food (yam, boiled dumplings, green bananas, irish potatoes, pumpkin, etc.) and more.

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