Spicy Chickpea and Sour Tomato Curry with Noodles

By • January 27, 2014 22 Comments

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Serves 6

  • Two 14 1/2-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate mixed with 1/2 cup of water (more tamarind will make the dish more sour)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder, or your favorite kind
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely ground
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cilantro, green onion, or both
  • 1 pound thin long noodles: wheat or rice or gluten free, use whatever floats you boat
  1. Place a 3 1/2-quart heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil to the pot and then the onions. Season the onions with salt. Cook the onions, patiently, until they begin to brown and become deeply colored. Stir them often enough that the onions on top brown at the same pace as those on bottom. Don’t do this too fast; you want melted, gooey onions, not seared onions. Take your time; it takes a while.
  2. Once the onions are browned to your liking, add the garlic. Once you smell the garlic, add the turmeric, curry powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Give it a stir then add the tamarind, tomatoes, chickpeas, and ginger. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer. Taste the sauce for salt and adjust as necessary.
  3. Cook the noodles.
  4. Once the noodles are done, drain them, and put them on a platter. Top the noodles with the chickpea stew and top with green onions or cilantro or both. Serve.

More Great Recipes: Curries|Beans & Legumes|Entrees|Tomatoes

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Comments (22) Questions (1)


29 days ago nannydeb

Finally made this and everyone raved about it, including me! Delicious!


7 months ago jungli_beleza

i made it, i liked it. i'm indian, the flavors are indian - it's a comfortable dish for me. I used extra tamarind sauce and you can avoid the sourness with a pinch of sugar ( just enough to balance out the taste). i did variations - one day with rice, another with rice noodles, and to finish off, added coconut milk and made it to a soup. nice to be able to change it up when you cook for one.


9 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have been staring at this recipe since you posted it, and I finally made it yesterday - what took me so long? It's easy and delicious and I will be making it again as soon as I can get to the store for more chick peas. I took it to a pot luck (of Food52-ers!) and it was a huge hit.


10 months ago mklug

This was really, really fantastic and now a regular for us! My husband's trying to stay dairy free, which is fine except that I could live on saucy, cheesy pasta dishes. On my night to cook I found this and we were both happy as could be--I am also a confirmed fan of rice noodles. Tons of flavor and easy. What could be better? Of course every single Thirschfeld I've ever tried has gone off without a hitch. Not only do I get to eat great food, but I also get a boost of confidence: "I can do it! I can cook something like this!" Thanks again for this!


10 months ago thirschfeld

mklug, I am so happy to hear how much you enjoyed this! Of course you can do it. If I can I know anyone can.


11 months ago Veekeec

Hailing from Australia, when you say 'tomato sauce' are you referring to ketchup or tinned tomatoes (I'm hoping the latter)? Thanks, can't wait to try the recipe!


11 months ago thirschfeld

Tinned tomatoes, no ketchup


11 months ago Kimberly

This looks outstanding! I am going to give it a try tonight, modified to adjust for ingredients I don't have on hand (I work late and don't want to hit the grocery store afterwards). But I think it will be amazing, even as modified by my humble talents...


over 1 year ago cooking in the canyon

This recipe is outstanding! Very simple to make and looks like it will be a great portion-and-throw-in-the-freezer lunch. This will definitely become part of my "bean rotation." I can't wait to serve this to friends. It's spicy, but not rip your face off hot, which is my usual M.O. The tamarind is really nice, and this dish makes me realize I don't use it often enough. What I like about the tamarind is that is does give that sour taste, but also provides some depth and richness, which lemon, lime or vinegar just don't do.


over 1 year ago S.v. Halona

I could not purchase Tamarind Concentrate locally. Purchased a bag of pods instead. Took a long-ish one ( about 9" ) and stripped the husk, put into 2 cups of boiling water and simmered for 20 minutes, while slowly turning down the heat. In the end, after straining, I had a quarter cup of pulpy mash. I added just enough water to make the 1/2 cup and went with it. Came out great.


over 1 year ago uberhealthyhomesteader

Love the site/ recipes! Made this with sprouted chick peas (don't 'do' can foods/BPA) & used GOYA Tamarind Nectar that I reduced (don't know how it compares to concentrate, will order some online), & brown rice noodles ~ Super YUM! (now, looking for a good Pad Thai recipe, ..SO Miss NYC food living upstate NY in the boonies (where one becomes a good cook out of necessity!..BUT, our water is the best! Purest Mountain spring, not well..) Thank U!


over 1 year ago jmarvel

How much tomato? fresh or canned?


over 1 year ago FoodFanaticToo

I would also like to know? Does "tomatoes" mean "tomato sauce"? Thanks!


over 1 year ago M. Burke

Made this tonight for dinner - DEELICIOUS! I even got some help making tamarind paste from the Food52 Hotline. Turns out, it's super easy. As my wife finished her last bite of curry she said, "This is going to become one of our go-to meals." Hot damn I love this website!


over 1 year ago Shalini

Tom, was this too spicy for the kids? Or could they enjoy?


over 1 year ago thirschfeld

Shallini, as is it has some heat. For my kids I would tone it down, omit the cayenne and find a mellow curry.


over 1 year ago Marsha Gainey

If you can't find tamarind concentrate, could some kumquat puree be a good sub? Thanks!


over 1 year ago Wendy

When do you add the chickpeas?


over 1 year ago thirschfeld

Step two


over 1 year ago Wendy



over 1 year ago Robert F Hemphill

i think the tomatoes have been left out of the recipe ingredient list.


over 1 year ago thirschfeld

thank you for catching that omission.