Chickpeas Smothered in a Tangy Tomato Gravy

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

Tender and plump chickpeas really need no introduction as far as I'm concerned. Even my comrades who profess not to like beans can be persuaded to enjoy them. And they present so many possibilities to the cook. Now, as should be clear from even a quick look at my blog, I adore spicy food so it's no wonder that I should be especially smitten with spicing them up. When I cook them, I always boil up more than I need for the dish as I can never resist snacking on them just as they are while I complete my dinner prep.

I tend to eat small meals throughout the day, but this longtime favorite dish is one that I am tempted to eat just a bit more than maybe I am accustomed to at one sitting. But so long as I am not too stuffed, I don't feel guilty in the least. Despite its relative simplicity, or perhaps because of, it's a signature dish that I have perfected over the years. If you like a thick and spicy chickpea curry with a tangy and tart flavor, consider this as a meatless alternative to your usual fare or another recipe to add to your vegetarian or vegan repertoire. Give this one a try. You won't be disappointed.

Chickpeas Smothered in a Tangy Tomato GravyChickpeas Smothered in a Tangy Tomato Gravy
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on April 5, 2013

Tender chickpeas simmered in a thick, rich and tangy spiced tomato gravy

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  • 1 1/4 cups chickpeas (3 1/2 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 black cardamon pods, crushed
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • a few handfuls of dried curry leaves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chat masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • pinch of asafetida
  • 3 large tomatoes, partially seeded and finely chopped
  • handful of fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the turmeric and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside.

  • Wipe the saucepan dry and add 2 tablespoons of the ghee or oil. Heat over medium heat, then add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and stir for 30 seconds or until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Add the ginger, cardamon and chilies to the pan and continue to stir for another 2 minutes.

  • Add the curry leaves, ground cumin, amchoor powder, garam masala, chat masala, chili powder, cayenne, asafetida and the remaining turmeric. Stir once, then add the tomatoes. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes thicken, stirring occasionally.

  • Add the chickpeas and the reserved cooking liquid, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water as necessary or desired.

  • Stir in the remaining tablespoon of ghee or oil, most of the parsley or cilantro, and lime juice. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Serve hot or warm, and garnish each portion with some of the remaining chopped parsley or cilantro. Serve with fresh hot cooked basmati rice, a vegetable dish and some homemade chapatis.

Makes 6 servings
spicy chickpeas in a tangy gravy

More chickpea recipes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Avocado Chickpea Hummus
Chickpeas with Mushrooms
Shredded Paneer with Tomatoes, Chilies, Mushrooms and Chickpeas
Tamarind Chickpeas

On the top of the reading stack: Savory Pies: Delicious Recipes for Seasoned Meats, Vegetables and Cheeses Baked in Perfectly Flaky Pie Crusts

Audio Accompaniment: Tim Hecker


Claire said...

This looks so good, Lisa! I can't resist a spicy dish. Would you believe I don't have a chickpea curry recipe in my repertoire? I must fix that and make yours soon.

Gujarati Zaika said...

yummy curry,nice click dear...

Unknown said...

Unfortunately this was way too tangy for me. I found the mixture of tomato, amchor and lime too much. It's a pity as the spice mixture was nice.

Lisa Turner said...

I like things tangy, and so that I why I included the amchoor, in addition to the lime, but that could easily be left out. As always, my recipes are guidelines and adjustable according to the taste of the cook. I'm delighted you enjoyed the spice mixture and hope that with some adjustments that this dish will be one that you find memorable and worth revisiting often, as I do.