Chickpeas in a spiced curry sauce 

Chickpeas in a spiced curry sauce

This simple recipe is one of the most popular ones at my cooking classes. You can make the curry sauce in bulk and freeze some, so that the next time it will take less than 10 minutes to make this dish. If you cook rice on the side and chop up some crunchy salad, a hearty meal can be on the table within 20 minutes. 

Chickpeas in a spiced curry sauce 


  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp medium chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (see Tips)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves, to garnish 

Store-cupboard staples

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil 
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (see here, or good quality variety from a jar) 
  • salt 

Heat 1½ tablespoons of sunflower oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the onions over a high heat for4-5 minutes until they start to turn golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further 7-8 minutes until they are soft. 

Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for a few seconds, then add the tomato purée and fry for a minute or until well blended. Remove from the heat, carefully transfer the mixture to a blender, add enough cold water to just cover the mixture, then blend until smooth. Set aside.

Heat 1½ tablespoons of sunflower oil in the same pan and add the ground spices. Fry over a high heat for a few seconds until they change colour, then add 3-4 tablespoons of cold water and continue to cook until the water has evaporated. Add the chickpeas and mix well, then cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until the chickpeas have heated through.

Stir in the sauce from the blender and season with salt. Rinse out the blender with 2-3 tablespoons of cold water and add this to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the curry is heated through. Serve hot with plain boiled rice or rotis and garnished with the coriander.


  •  You can use other canned beans here – try butter beans or red kidney beans.
  • This dish can also be cooked with firm vegetables, such as potatoes, cauliflower or broccoli – these will go into the pan first, then the ground spices along with a splash of water. Lastly, the curry sauce can be poured on top and cooked until the vegetables are tender.