Peppery Chickpeas

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6
Recipe may be prepared in advance through Step 2; however, when reheating it, add a little water to keep the chickpeas moist.


Peppery ChickpeasMy father created this simple yet delicious preparation for canned chickpeas. Black pepper, a spice native to Kerala, gives it just the right amount of spark, and we strongly prefer coarsely ground pepper (not preground) for this one.


4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped onions

Ground masala
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon turmeric 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas,
   rinsed and drained (3 -1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


1. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and sauté the onions until light brown. Add the ground masala and stir for 1 minute or until the spices give off their aroma.

2. Add the drained chickpeas, pepper, salt, and about a tablespoon of water. Fry over medium heat, stirring constantly until a few of the chickpeas begin to break down. Add a teaspoon of water at a time if it becomes dry. The curry will have no sauce but it should be moist.

3. Stir in the lemon juice, remove from the heat, and taste for salt. Garnish with the chopped cilantro.


Buy the Book!


Savoring the Spice Coast of India
Fresh Flavors from Kerala

By Maya Kaimal
HarperCollins Publishers, 2000
Hardback, $ 27.50
Color photographs throughout
ISBN: 0-06-019257-7
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Savoring the Spice Coast of India



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