Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water), onion, red pepper, garlic, and a large pinch of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently or until peppers and onions are softened.
Add the tomatoes (with their juices), tomato paste, chili garlic sauce, peanut butter, coconut milk, and (rinsed, drained) chickpeas. Stir to combine. Add water to desired thickness — about 2 cups (480 ml // as original recipe is written).
Bring to a simmer, then lower heat, cover, and continue cooking until slightly thickened and fragrant — about 15-20 minutes. Turn the heat down if it's boiling — you're looking for a low simmer.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding salt to taste, additional peanut butter for depth of flavor and creaminess, chili garlic sauce for heat, or tomato paste for tomato flavor.
Serve as a stew, over rice, or with naan or pita. For a lighter option, serve over cauliflower rice or a bed of raw or steamed broccoli (which happens to be our favorite). Basil and cilantro are delicious finishing touches.
Store cooled leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding more water or coconut milk to thin as needed.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with coconut oil, lesser amount of chili garlic sauce, and without optional ingredients.