Kerala Chickpea Curry

By • July 20, 2015 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Chickpea curry is used as a dip and side with rice crepes (appam) and dosa in central Kerala. This recipe is from my mom. Written down by my wife. I updated it to fit the format of this web site.

I optionally add veggies that do not have strong flavor and do not need long cooking time to this dish towards the end of the preparation.

Pardon my vocabulary.


Serves 5

  • 1 cup Brown chickpea
  • 1/8 Coconut
  • 1 Sweet red onion
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1 piece Ginger (about an inch long)
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Clear coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
  1. Soak chickpea in 8 cups of water overnight.
  2. Remove water from chickpea. Transfer the chickpea to a pan or pot and add salt and water to cover the chickpea.
  3. Bring the water to boil on high heat and then reduce the heat to medium and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  4. While chickpea is cooking, prepare the ingredients: Cut onions in to thin long slices.
  5. Cut coconut in to 1/10" thick and 1" long slices. These are available in some Indian grocery stores in small packs. They will be in the freezers. If you have them, use a handful of those slices.
  6. Cut peeled ginger and garlic in to tiny granules. Cut the tomato in to 1/2" pieces.
  7. Wait for the chickpea to finish cooking.
  8. In a separate pan or pot large enough to hold chickpea, add coconut oil and heat on medium flame. I use olive oil as a replacement but the taste is quite different.
  9. Once oil is boiling, add mustard seeds. Wait for the seeds to finish popping.
  10. Add coconut and wait for it change the color to light brown. Watch for the heat. If the oil is drying up too fast, you may to reduce the flame a little.
  11. Add curry leaves if available and let the water dry out of them. Curry leaves adds a subtle flavor.
  12. Add onion pieces, ginger and garlic and continue frying until everything is light brown and there is no more water.
  13. Add tomato pieces and continue frying until the water from tomato is not popping any more and tomato pieces are mixed well into the ingredients.
  14. Add turmeric powder and chili powder and fry for about a minute.
  15. Add the cooked chickpea along with the water
  16. Add garam masala powder. Cook for 20 minutes on low flame. Longer if you like the chickpea to be soft.
  17. Optional: Add a cup of canned green bean midway through the previous step. Remove the water from canned bean before adding.

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