Pickle Flavored Chickpeas

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

Yes, I am offering up another chickpea dish. As far as I am concerned, you can never have enough recipes for this most tasty legume. I can never resist nibbling on the cooked beans before they even make it into the dish I am preparing. The addition of potato here adds a nice texture to this North Indian entrée and the spicing is just the thing for cold winter evenings. Dijon mustard is not a traditional Indian ingredient, but it kicks up the flavor in this dish which should not be described as pickles as we ordinarily understand them here in North America but the robust and spicy Indian pickles known as achar. Serve this with brown basmati rice for an especially nourishing meal.

Panch phoran used in this recipe — or panch phoron or Bengali five-spice as it is also known — is a bittersweet and fragrant blend of seeds commonly used in east India and Bangladesh where it is fried in hot oil until it "pops" and used to season dals like this one. You can easily find it at any Indian grocer, but it is so easy to make at home as it consists of only fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds and black mustard seeds in equal amounts, without requiring any roasting or grinding. Make a small batch of panch phoran for this stew and store the remaining portion for months in an airtight container. Bring it out again whenever you want to a quick, simple and delicious seasoning for potatoes.

Pickle Flavored ChickpeasPickle Flavored Chickpeas
Recipe by
Adapted from 1,000 Indian Recipes
Cuisine: North Indian
Published on January 28, 2011

Spicy, zesty and robust chickpea and potato curry flavored like Indian pickles

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

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  • 1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas (3 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon panch phoran (see note below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 large potato, roasted and peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Note: panch phoran is available commercially at Indian or Asian grocers, but it easy to make your own by combining fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds and black mustard seeds in equal amounts.

  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 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 medium-low, cover, and cook until the chickpeas are buttery soft — 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Drain and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, soak the tamarind pulp in 1 cup of hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. Press through a strainer, discard the pulp, and reserve the water.

  • Mash the garlic and ginger in a mortar and pestle. Heat the ghee, butter or oil over medium heat in a wok or large pan. When hot, add the garlic and ginger mixture, chilies and panch phoran, and stir for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne and asafetida, and stir for another 2 minutes.

  • Add the tomato, stir for 5 minutes, and then add the chickpeas, tamarind water, potato, Dijon mustard and salt. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated and the flavors are blended.

  • Stir in the parsley or cilantro and sprinkle with garam masala. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Pickle Flavored Chickpeas

More chickpea recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Marinated Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus with Olives
Chickpea and Lentil Salad with Zucchini and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Chickpea Flour Dumplings in a Spicy Yogurt Sauce
Scrambled Chickpea Flour with a Fiery Red Chili Paste

On the top of the reading stack: Company's Coming Muffins & More by Jean Pare

Audio Accompaniment: Biosphere


Astra Libris said...

I quite agree - you can never have too many chickpea dishes! :-) These look so comforting and flavorful!

harini-jaya said...

First time here and am impressed by the variety u hv here!! Being an Indian vegetarian all thru my life, I still have a lot to explore ..

Unknown said...

this sounds very flavour full and tangy.I have to try this looks so tempting.thanks for the recipe Lisa.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I am unfamiliar with some of the spices used here Lisa but as time goes on I may be able toadd each to my collection. I do love a good chickpea recipe.

Priya Suresh said...

Tangy chickpeas looks sooo yummy..

AJ said...

Love chickpeas - wonderful flavours here!!

Unknown said...

Bookmarked it, looks superb !!!

Anu said...

Yum, Lisa!

What a brilliant concept - combining tangy & spicy flavors with warm chickpeas...! I'm drooling just reading your post...:-) Will be sure to try this out.

Hope 2011 is going well so far...


eatme_delicious said...

Pickle flavoured chickpeas! What a unique idea. They look delicious.