Joan's on Third's Curried Chickpeas

December  7, 2015
7 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4 (about 3 cups of salad)
Author Notes

This protein- and flavor-packed lifesaver of a salad comes together in 20 minutes and gets better as it sits—the caramelized onions, the deep spices, and the bright lemon and cilantro cozying together with the chickpeas. From Joan's on Third in Los Angeles, who has so many good salads (I will get that Chinese Chicken Salad recipe one day!). —Ali Slagle

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 4 teaspoons best-quality olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
  • Salt
  1. In a large sauté pan heated over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until deep golden and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic and lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chickpeas, cilantro, and lemon juice and continue to stir to develop the flavors, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste.
  4. Cool the salad, then transfer it to a container, cover, and refrigerate until chilled before serving, at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning and lemon juice as desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alex Orr
    Alex Orr
  • Linda Molenaar
    Linda Molenaar
  • Suzanne Goodwin Wang
    Suzanne Goodwin Wang
  • Rhonda35
  • msmely

46 Reviews

Alex O. September 21, 2022
Ehhh... Not sure why folks are so crazy about this recipe. Honestly, it tastes like chickpeas right out of a can with some cilantro and the barest hint of vaguely defined "curry" flavor. Maybe it's because the majority of food I cook is Indian, but this just seemed REALLY bland, and texturally kind've dry. Honestly, the difference between this recipe and just eating plain chickpeas from a can is pretty thin.
Linda M. February 5, 2022
I LOVE this salad! We like it spicy, so I either double the onion & spices or just use 1 can of chickpeas. Excellent served warm over arugula!
lauriberney October 18, 2021
I’m obsessed with this recipe! Delicious!
PLNelson March 20, 2020
Sounds delightful, am social distancing, have it all but lemon... going to try with some of Ottolenghi's Preserved Lemon diced in....jar in fridge :)
Laura415 March 21, 2020
That will be great! I'm always dipping into my preserved lemon "juice" It's salty and acid and adds great things to everything it touches. Just adjust the salt in the dish cos preserved lemons add plenty of salt.
Suzanne G. November 8, 2019
First, I would roast the chick peas in olive oil. Then add the caramelized onions and spices as directed by the recipe after removing the roasted chickpeas from the oven. It would give a very nice crunchy bit to the salad!
Katherine April 28, 2019
I am going to try this recipe. But I wonder why, with taking the time to caramelize onions, one would use canned chickpeas. I have fallen in love with my Instant Pot ever since I put my first bag of dried beans into it. With pressure cooking you have delicious, tender, evenly cooked beans every time. No or low salt or other additives are in them. They taste fresh and wonderful. I have shifted from beans are OK to beans as a main course. And I bet I will love this salad.
Rachel September 19, 2018
Amazing!! So easy and delicious. I got stuck eating them hot out of the pan like a commenter down below. Addictive! I'll be making this many many times to come.
Wiesiebooluck July 17, 2018
I love this recipe and turn to it often....Add some fresh sweet corn to the pan, and it is even more out of this world!
Kensi July 10, 2018
I followed this recipe exactly and I found it to be quite tasty. Nice bright flavors...great for lunch. There is a fine line between charred and burnt onions and this one pushes it close to the edge of bitterness, but as long as they don't actually burn, flavors are great. Mine was not nearly as bright yellow as the pick...much more muddy in color, but tastes great.
Rhonda35 January 3, 2018
SO GOOD! Followed the recipe except: no cilantro bc none in the fridge - so I used 1 T each of parsley and mint - not a substitute in any way, yet delicious all the same. Loved this recipe. Served it over arugula. Added a bit of acid in the form of an extra 2T of lemon juice once off the heat.
BearMayor January 2, 2018
I thought this was going to be hella bland, but it was surprisingly very tasty. I did use only one can of chickpeas like a previous commenter, which I recommend. I also used ghee instead of oil.
BearMayor January 2, 2018
Sorry, also no coriander, because blech.
msmely June 18, 2017
Made it in the instant pot: fry an onion on sauté mode as in the instructions, add the spices. I used 1 tsp whole cumin (left whole) and 1 tsp coriander seed (pounded up) plus cayenne and turmeric. Used 3/4 a cup of dried chickpeas (about half the chickpeas overall suggested in the recipe but I wanted a more spice-forward dish) and cooked with 1.5-2 cups of stock for 40 minutes. Let pressure dissipate naturally and then drained. I wiped out the instant pot then threw the peas back in for a brief saute with leftover harissa marinade from some pork loin chops. Finished with the lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, and more like 3-4 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro. Served with the aforementioned harissa-marinated pork chops.
msmely June 18, 2017
I should mention I used the beans/chili program on the IP.
jamiesmithva May 2, 2017
FINALLY made this recipe and was not disappointed! lovely flavors and a bit of heat. this one is going into regular rotation. many thanks!
V. April 13, 2017
I made this this weekend ( substituted shallots for onion because it was what I had), and ate it with some naan bread. Yum!!
trixie February 26, 2017
The header for this describes carmelized onions, but the recipe says cook til crisp. Carmelized onions, traditionally, aren't crisp -- they're very soft, but not mushy. Do you mean carmelized onions --which can take up to 45 minutes, or crispy onions, which take half the time?
Jenny January 22, 2017
I liked it the first time I made it, but wanted more seasoning, onions & fresh cilantro. So I made it again, but substituted a sample from Penzey's, Turkish seasoning (salt, garlic, cumin, pepper, oregano, paprika, sumac, cayenne, cilantro) for the cumin & coriander, doubled the onions and cilantro, but used just one can of chickpeas...oh my delicious! My mostly meat eating husband said he could easily eat this every week. That's a good thing, because we're on week 4 of enjoying these curried chickpeas with no end in sight. They're really good on a salad, as a side with chicken curry, in a warmed flour tortilla, or my favorite, straight from the bowl! Thank you for a great recipe and wonderful inspiration 😋
Jennifer G. January 5, 2017
Terrific recipe. Really great over mixed greens tossed with a bit of balsamic dressing and topped with a fried egg!
Tara October 8, 2016
WOW! So delicious and super easy. I think they are good alone and of course in salads, will now be a staple in my household!
Kitspy September 18, 2016
This is currently cooling while I eat spoonfuls directly from the pan. Delicious. I threw in a couple handfuls of raisins with the chickpeas.
Mother_of_plants May 24, 2016
was out of cilantro so had to substitute parsley. it turned out a little dry, but I didn't follow the timing well; next time may add a cube of frozen vegetable stock. Delicious and not too spicy. Had it over pasta sprinkled with parmesan.