Chickpeas, Kidney Beans and Lentils with a Spicy Tomato Sauce

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe

Deciding to revisit an old favorite, I once again made this rich, earthy and spicy Indian curry made up of four types of legumes and lots of warming spices. If you don't have black chickpeas — also known as kala chana — on hand, you can substitute an additional 1/4 cup of yellow chickpeas, but I will note the black chickpeas add a deeper flavor and nice texture to the dish as they are a bit chewier than their yellow cousins. They do take longer to cook than ordinary chickpeas, so a longer soaking time is pretty much essential. This nourishing dish is especially good with brown basmati rice.

This recipe is adapted from 660 Curries, another treasured cookbook that is indispensable for any cook who enjoys Indian food and wants to create unique, often simple, but always tasty and flavorful Indian dishes.

Chickpeas, Kidney Beans and Lentils with a Spicy Tomato SauceChickpeas, Kidney Beans and Lentils with a Spicy Tomato Sauce
Recipe by
Adapted from 660 Curries
Cuisine: North Indian
Published on February 23, 2010

Thick, rich, earthy and spicy chickpea, kidney bean and lentil curry

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  • 1/4 cup dried black chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup dried yellow chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup French lentils or split urad dal
  • 2 tablespoons butter, ghee or oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons brown or coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 to 4 dried red chilies, to taste
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 to 4 fresh red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro, finely chopped, for garnishing
  • Rinse the chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils and soak for 10 to 12 hours or overnight in enough water to cover. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chickpeas are tender — about 1 1/2 hours.

  • When the beans are tender, heat the ghee or butter in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds and cook for 30 to 60 seconds or until they begin to pop. Add the cumin seeds, ground cumin, sugar, salt, coriander, turmeric, asafetida, cayenne and dried chilies. Stir quickly and then add the tomatoes and fresh chilies. Stir a few times and cook until the tomatoes are softened — about 5 minutes.

  • Drain off some of the water from the cooked beans to get a fairly thick consistency and add the tomato mixture to the pan. Simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

More Indian chickpea recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Chana Masala
Black Chickpeas with Roasted Coconut and Fragrant Spices
Chickpea Paneer Kofta in a Creamy Cashew Tomato Sauce


Mallika said...

Lovely idea. Looks delicious.

Rachel said...

Thanks for sending this great recipe over to My Legume Love Affair #20. Three legumes in one dish! Wunderbar!

Priya Suresh said...

Thats a delicious and nutritious dish..looks awesome..

notyet100 said...

looks yum..

The Food Hunter said...

This sounds yummy!

Soma said...

Oh! this sounds so good. a warm bowl with some roti and a salad. my tummy would be very happy.

Anh said...

Yummy and healthy! I want to make a pot of this right now!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

I didn't even know that such a thing as black chickpeas existed. Gorgeously yummy dish Lisa. I would really enjoy this one. I'd have to search for asafetida. I am not familiar with that.

dictionar german said...

Looks delicious. One question.. Could this be an evening meal ?

Lisa Turner said...

This dish is an excellent evening meal! Enjoy.

And Jackie, you can get asafetida from an Indian grocery store.

dictionar german said...

Thanks Lisa >:D<

MapMaster said...

I love the smokiness of fried Indian spices ... a great combination with kidney beans.