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vegetarian indian chickpea curry recipe

July 3, 2009

I only go food shopping on Sundays -as the week gets older my food stash grows utterly and pathetically small.  Case in point:  my fridge is currently empty (save for some homebrew, Yuengling, ketchup, and the like), and yet my stomach knows no difference.  The lazy me screams takeout while the thrifty one says cook a MacGyver meal with what’s lurking around the apartment.  Ten minutes of procrastination and contemplation pass before I finally choose the latter.

Okay, hurdle one accomplished.  Now, the $10,000 question is what exactly can I make with such a random stash of items that, by themselves, can’t be considered food.  Hum.  Ten more minutes and many second guesses pass before I recall that I have quite a bit of Indian ingredients and spices in the cupboard care of the unemployed Indian feast from a couple of weeks back.  Then, glancing over at my assortment of never to expire canned items, the obvious answer is vegetarian Indian chickpea curry.


2 TBS vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 medium onion, diced

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp yellow curry powder (madras)

1 TBS garam masala –an Indian mixture of spices

1 jalapeno, finely minced (I always have hot peppers laying around)

3 minced cloves of garlic

Julienne (cut into thin little strips) a 1 inch piece of ginger.  Use about 10-15 of these strips.

5 roma tomatoes peeled and cut into small little pieces.  Substitute w. canned tomatoes if you wish, which is what I did

1 15-16 oz can of cooked chickpeas, drained

A handful of chopped cilantro

Salt to taste

1 TBS butter (optional but recommended)


Add half the oil and the cumin seeds to a skillet over medium heat.  Toast the seeds for 1 minute to release their oils.

Cumin seeds in pan for indian chickpea curry

Add the onion and a bit of salt.  Cook for 10 minutes.

Move the onions to one side of the skillet and on the opposite side add the remaining oil.

And the ground coriander, curry, cumin and garam masala to the oil pool and stir for 2 minutes.  Then,  incorporate into the onions .  NOTE:  don’t have coriander, cumin, or garam masala lying around?  No worries –just use the curry powder.  It’ll turn out just as good.

The smells of downtown Bombay on a hot, humid day

The smells of downtown Bombay on a hot, humid day

Add the jalapeno, garlic, and ginger and mix everything together.  Cook for 2-4 minutes.

Smells great -too bad my nose has stopped working at this point.

Smells great -too bad my nose has stopped working at this point.

Add the tomatoes, drained chickpeas, a bit of salt, half the cilantro, and about a third a cup of water and mix together.  After 5 minutes cover and turn the heat to a low simmer -the goal now is to break down the tomato and have all the flavors jibe with each other.

Everybody playing nicely together.

Everybody playing nicely together -time to cover.

After 10 minutes taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.  Turn the heat off, add in the butter and the remaining cilantro, and serve.

*The result?:  This vegetarian Indian chickpea curry is well balanced, smooth, authentic, and addictive.  You’d be foolish not to try.

Serve with:

Palak paneer, rice, naan, Kingfisher, and generous amounts of Freida Pinto.

Finished indian chickpea curry

Finished indian chickpea curry

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2009 3:41 pm

    This looks great. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe very soon. Keep up the good work.


  1. dozens » Blog Archive » Cumin

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