Chickpea Curry Recipe

Chickpea Curry Recipe

Prep Time : 9 hrs
Cook Time : 30 mins
Total Time : 9 hrs 30 mins


For soaking & pressure cooking chickpeas

  • 1 cup dried white chickpeas (kabuli chana or safed chana) – 180 grams
  • 3 cups water – for soaking
  • 3 cups water – for pressure cooking
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For toasting or roasting spices

  • ½ cup fresh grated coconut – tightly-packed
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
  • ½ tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 dry red chilies or 3 to 4 chillies – would make the dish spicy. remove the seeds.
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 to 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 small piece stone flower (dagad phool, pathar phool), optional

Other ingredients to make curry

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf), small-sized
  •  cup onions – finely chopped, 50 grams or 1 medium-sized
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste or 2 to 3 small to medium, peeled garlic cloves and ½ inch peeled ginger crushed or made into a paste in mortar-pestle
  • ¼ or ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing), optional
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • ½ cup tomatoes – finely chopped, 80 grams or 1 medium-sized
  • 1 cup water or add as required
  • 1 green chilli – slit
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (cilantro) – chopped, for garnish
  • salt as required


Cooking chickpeas

  • First rinse the dried chickpeas for a couple of times in water. Then soak the chickpeas in 3 cups of water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.
  • Drain the water. Rinse the chickpeas again for a couple of times.
  • Again drain all the water and add the soaked chickpeas in a 3 litre stovetop pressure cooker.
  • Add ½ teaspoon salt and 3 cups water. Stir to mix.
  • Pressure cook the chickpeas for 20 to 22 minutes or 18 to 20 whistles on medium to high heat.
  • If cooking chickpeas in a pot, then add about 3.5 to 4 cups water and salt to the chickpeas. Cover and cook the chickpeas till they softened.

Making curry paste

  • When the chickpeas are cooking, you can roast or toast the spices. Gather all the spices you will need and set them aside.
  • In a pan or skillet, on a low heat dry roast the spices except coconut – listed under the “toasting or roasting the spices” heading above, till they become fragrant.
  • Take care not to burn them, so roast them on low heat and stir often.
  • Remember to roast all spices except coconut.
  • Once the spices smell fragrant, add the fresh grated coconut to the spices and begin to roast or toast on low heat.
  • Note you could use either fresh grated coconut or frozen shredded coconut and even ⅓ cup of unsweetened shredded or desiccated coconut.
  • Stir continuously while roasting the coconut, so that there is uniform and even cooking.
  • Roast till the coconut become golden. Remove the pan from the stovetop allow the this mixture to cool at room temperature.
  • Once the coconut-spice mixture is cooled, add them to a high-speed blender or mixer-grinder.


    Make a note to remove the husks from the black cardamom and just add its seeds in the blender or grinder.

  • Add ⅔ to ¾ cup water and grind to a smooth and fine consistency making sure the curry paste does not have any small chunks or bits of the spices and coconut.

Making chickpea curry

  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pan. Keep heat to a low or medium-low.
  • Add the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle. Then add tejpatta and stir.
  • Next add the finely chopped onions. Stir and sauté on low to medium heat till the onions turn translucent and soften.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric power, asafoetida and curry leaves.
  • Stir and sauté for a few seconds on low heat till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes. Sauté on a low to medium heat, for about 2 to 3 minutes till the tomatoes soften.
  • Add the ground coconut and spices curry paste. Stir very well to combine.
  • Then add the drained and cooked chickpeas. Stir again well and saute for a minute.
  • Now add 1 cup of water and 1 or 2 slit green chilies.
  • Season with salt as required.
  • Give a boil first and then simmer the curry for 10 to 15 minutes on a low to medium heat or till the gravy thickens a bit and you see some oil floating on top. 
  • Mash a few chickpeas with the sides of the spoon to thicken the gravy. Check the seasonings and add more salt if you prefer.
  • Switch off the heat. Lastly add chopped coriander leaves. Stir well.
  • Serve Chickpea Curry hot with chapati, poori, bread or steamed rice accompanied with lemon wedges and thin onion slices or a side of vegetable salad.

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