Black and Yellow Chickpeas in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Black and Yellow Chickpeas in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce

An intense but balanced blend of smoky, hot and pungent flavors from fried spices, fresh and dried hot peppers, and mustard seeds popped in hot oil complements an earthy and buttery mixture of beans in this simple but beautiful and fragrant Indian-style chili. Black chickpeas (actually brown) have a fuller and chewier texture and deeper earthier flavor than yellow chickpeas. The combination of these two peas with red kidney beans and creamy urad beans provides wonderful contrasts in color and texture. Black chickpeas and whole urad beans are easily obtained at any Indian grocer, as are brown mustard seeds and asafetida.

Adapted from Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries, this book is quickly becoming a favorite tool for incredibly fast and easy midweek meal ideas.

Black and Yellow Chickpeas in a Sweet and Spicy SauceBlack and Yellow Chickpeas in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce
Recipe by
Adapted from 660 Curries
Cuisine: Indian
Published on November 30, 2008

Colorful, rich and hearty Indian four-bean "chili" with a smoky and zesty blend of spices

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  • 1/4 cup dried black chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup dried whole urad beans
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or a mixture of butter and olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 3 dried whole red chilies
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 4 fresh cayenne peppers, slit lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
  • Thoroughly rinse the dried beans together under running water, rubbing them between your palms. Soak for 8 hours or overnight covered in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender. Drain and set aside, reserving 1 cup of the rich cooking broth.

  • Heat the ghee or butter and olive oil mixture over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds and quickly cover with a lid. As soon as the seeds stop popping, about 20 to 30 seconds, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the dried red chillies, honey, cumin seeds, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric and asafetida, and cook for a minute or so in the hot oil. Now add the tomato and fresh cayenne peppers, and return the pan to the stove. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the beans and the reserved cooking liquid, and simmer for 15 minutes or until a thick sauce has formed.

  • Season with salt and discard the chilies if prefered. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings

Black and Yellow Chickpeas in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce


SMN said...

Thats a nice dish..

Anonymous said...

I'd never heard of black chickpeas before, but that does sound quick and tasty!

Usha said...

Love the combination of beans used in this curry...looks fantastic !

command economy said...

I bruised my knuckles reaching THROUGH the screen for that bowl. want.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I just made this curry, Lisa and we enjoyed it. My post is at

Suparna said...

Hi Lisa,
Am coming straight from aparna's blog:) I was really tempted by the look of the curry. I'm making this very soon . Thanks a lot for the lovely recipe :)and stunning pic.
God Bless

Anonymous said...

Loved the recipe... there are couple of recipes that I bookmarked but not sure if I will be able to try them by end of this month, for T&T.. It is very healthy, delicious and filling too...

Spice Rack said...

Thank you for posting a very good dish, I really love spicy dishes, it really makes me sweat and makes me eat more. Herbs and spices are found in the spice rack and it is not that difficult to prepare. We really need to organize our kitchen by using kitchen shelves and spice racks to have an efficient and faster cooking experience.