Chickpea Curry
Chana Curry

Mamta Gupta

This is a favourite of my daughters Kavita and Neeta who love it served with freshly made poori or roti. It is not very highly spiced though spices can be adjusted to make it hotter.

It can be a quick dish, if you use tinned boiled chick peas. Left over can be frozen. Serves 7-8


400 gm. dry or 800 gm. tinned chickpeas in brine
1/4 tsp. or a large pinch of soda bicarbonate (optional)
2 medium to large onions, peeled
1/4 inch piece of ginger
2-3 cloves of garlic (optional)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped finely or 200 gm. tinned tomatoes. If tomatoes are unavailable, 1/2 cup of natural yoghurt can be used instead
1 tbsp. cooking oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 small pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. chilli powder
1 tsp. of coriander powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
A small bunch of coriander leaves, washed and chopped finely
1 cup of water


1.Clean, wash & soak chickpeas overnight in water, to which soda bicarbonate has been added. Soda bicarb makes the chickpeas softer faster, but is not essential.
2.Boil the chick peas in the same water, in a pressure cooker for 15-20 minutes, or boil briskly for 1 to 1-2 hour, until soft. If using tinned chickpeas, drain and rinse them (these don’t need boiling).
3.Crush the chick peas slightly by pressing with a ladle so that some are broken/crushed. This will make the gravy thicker.
4.Peel, wash and chop onions, ginger and garlic in a food processor or (finely) by hand.
5.Heat oil in a pan.
6.Add cumin seeds and a pinch of asafoetida and let the seeds splutter.
7.Add onions, ginger and garlic & fry until golden to dark brown (not burnt).
8.Add all powdered spices except garam masala and salt. Stir for 10 seconds to release flavours.
9.Add tomatoes and stir fry until oil separates.
10.Add chick peas, stir and add water. How much gravy you want is a personal choice. I usually have it with a curry like gravy.
11.Adjust salt and chilli to your own taste and likes.
12.Cook briskly for 15 minutes
13.Take off the heat and add garam masala and coriander leaves, saving a few leaves for garnish.
14.Serve hot with Poori or Plain Paratha or Nan or Tandoori Roti or Chapatti, garnished with remaining coriander leaves.
15.You can garnish with fried onion slices.


South Indian Style Curry): At step 5 and 6, change the 'tarka' like this; Heat oil. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and a handful of curry patta (curry leaves). When mustard seeds splutter, add onion, ginger and garlic and proceed as above.
You can add a couple of boiled potatoes cut into bite size pieces, towards the end.
You can also serve it wih one egg per person, cooked on top of each chickpea portion, see picture.
Slow Cooker Chickpeas: To make chickpeas curry in a slow cooker or crock pot, you need to boil them first. Put the soaked and drained chickpeas, water and a little salt in the cooker. Leave to cook on ‘high’ for 4-5 hours, until chickpeas are cooked. Meanwhile, make the masala mix as in steps 5 to 9. Add this to the slow cooker, mix, add water if they look dry. Leave to cook on 'low' for further 4-5 hours, until chickpeas are quite soft. Mash a few with a masher or spoon. This will make the gravy thick.


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