Chickpea Curry


  • 2 large onions finely sliced
  • 1 inch chunk of cassia bark or cinnamon
  • several peppercorns
  • 2 black cardamoms 
  • 3 bayleaves
  • 1/2 tin tomatoes and some of the juice
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp of chilli powder
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch chunk ginger, minced
  • 1 whole green chilli
  • 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cummin

At the end add:

  • pinch of garam masala
  • chopped coriander leaf
  • 1 whole green chilli
  • generous pinch each of cumin and coriander


Throw the two chopped onions and the whole spices (cassia or cinnamon, peppercorns, black cardamoms and bayleaves) into a heated wok with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Black cardamoms are an interesting addition as they impart a distinctive but not overpowering, smokey aroma to the dish.
Lightly caramelise the onions… this should take around 10 mins on a medium heat. Be sure to stir regularly to prevent burning.
Add 1/2 tin (about 3 medium tinned tomatoes) and some of the juice, 1 tsp turmeric and 1/8 tsp chili powder (more if you like it spicy).
Stir well and allow to cook for about 10 mins.
Soon you’ll be able to see that the oil separates from the rest if the sauce.
Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for a couple of minutes before adding the 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds and the whole green chili .
Now it’s time to add the two tins of drained chickpeas and the 1/4 tsp each of cummin and coriander.
Add 500ml of hot water, give a quick stir and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium, cover the pan and simmer for at least 45 minutes.
The sauce should reduce somewhat and the chickpeas soften.
When the chickpeas are soft enough, bring the heat up and reduce the sauce to your desired consistency.
At the end add:

A generous pinch of garam masala
Chopped coriander leaf (I omitted as my children don’t like to see the ‘green bits’ on their curry)
1 whole green chilli (Again, omitted for the sake of the children)
A generous pinch each of cumin and coriander

Put the lid on and leave on a very low heat to allow the flavours to infuse.