Spiced and tangy chickpea stew


I’m a huge fan of batch cooking and since I have a long commute to work during the weekdays (an hour each way), batch cooking is an essential part of my weekend routine.

Today, I want to share this chickpea stew – taken from the fabulous book, and my go to at the moment, Maunika Gowardhan’s Indian Kitchen – with a few added ingredients from me.

Like all stew dishes, this is very easy to prepare – by throwing in a bunch of ingredients and allowing it to do its thing – with minimum supervision. It’s also perfect for a wonderfully spiced, yet slightly tangy and wholesome dish that can be turned into many different meals.

The fact that it has protein from the chickpeas but is light, yet filling, I’ve made it more than a few times to pop into containers and straight into the freezer, taking one out here and there to have after work with very little effort to put together something quickly and tastes fantastic.

See the recipe for this chickpea stew below, where the additional ingredients I added have (optional) stated next to them.


500g canned chickpeas, drained

2tbsp vegetable oil

1 ½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)

¼ tsp asafoetida

1 onion (about 100g), finely chopped

8-10 fresh curry leaves (I used dried)

200g tomatoes, finely chopped (I used tinned)

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or mild paprika

1 tsp ground coriander (optional)

1 tsp ground cumin (optional)

2 tsp tamarind paste

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp garam masala

Grounded sesame seeds (optional)

Lemon juice to taste

Salt to taste

Chopped fresh coriander



Put the chickpeas in a large pan with enough water to cover and boil over a low heat for 20 minutes, or till soft when pressed between your fingers.

Place a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add the mustard and (if using) cumin seeds, asafoetida and allow the seeds to splutter. Add the onion and fry for about 7 minutes till softened, then lower the heat and add the curry leaves, frying for 20 seconds. Add the tomatoes, cooking and stirring for 2-3 minutes.

When the chickpeas are ready, drain them but reserve 300ml of the cooking liquid. Add the chickpeas to the onion mix, then stir in the ground spices (except the garam masala), tamarind and sugar.

Stir well then add the chickpeas and allow the raw spices to cook out. Add the reserved cooking liquid and mix well. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, ensuring that the sauce is thick and gravy like. Add the grounded sesame seeds (if using), to make the sauce thicker, or mash some chickpeas with the back of a spoon to create the thick gravy.

Turn off the heat and the garam masala, lemon juice and salt to taste. Garnish with coriander.

See below some ideas on what to serve the stew with…

PS 3

Served with dhal, rice, chapatti and poppadum for a full blown Indian meal


As Maunika suggests in the book, served with potato cakes (which you can have spices and coriander in) and yogurt, with my addition of nigella seeds


When there’s only a bit left – the pauper’s way – with some hearty sliced bread and butter 🙂

I can’t rant on enough about this dish, so I’d love for you to give it a go and tell me what you think – especially if you do add the additional ingredients that I used to make it a bit more to my taste. 🙂