Black Chickpeas with Roasted Coconut and Fragrant Spices

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
In addition to cookbooks, one of the greatest sources of culinary inspiration is certainly fellow bloggers. I've printed off, bookmarked and starred literally hundreds of recipes that I've come across since I started Lisa's Kitchen just over two years ago. While it is certain I will never manage to cook each recipe that catches my attention (there are simply not enough meals or time in a day), it sometimes happens that I am trying out a blogged dish within days of discovering it. This was the case with Pooja's Kerala-style Chickpea curry, a dish we are told is commonly eaten for breakfast along with steamed rice cakes in that region.

I always have a healthy variety of dried beans on hand and after reading through Pooja's recipe, remembered the rather neglected black chickpeas at the back of the bean and grain shelf. Brown in colour, but commonly referred to as black chickpeas, they are smaller than the more popular yellow chickpea and denser and chewier. This unique dark curry is pungent and aromatic and served with nutty brown rice, a satisfying and balanced Indian vegetarian dinner.

Black Chickpeas with Roasted Coconut and Fragrant Spices

Adapted from Pooja's Kerala Kadala Curry with Roasted Coconut and Aromatic Spices

1 cup of black chickpeas

2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
6 cloves
1/2 teaspoon of cardamon seeds
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
2 star anise

3/4 cup of dried coconut
2 medium shallots, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of asafoetida
2 - 3 hot green chilies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
generous handful of dried curry leaves
2 large tomatoes, finely diced
2 1/4 cups of water
sea salt to taste

Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Drain, transfer to a large pot with enough water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and cover and cook until the chickpeas are tender - roughly 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, dry roast the coconut over medium low heat for a few minutes. Add the shallots to the pot and continue to stir and dry roast until the coconut turns a brownish red colour. Grind to a powder and set aside.

In the same pot, dry roast the cinnamon, cloves, fennel, anise and cardamon seeds for a few minutes. Grind to a powder and set aside.

Again in the same pot, heat two teaspoons of sesame oil over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds to the pan and stir and fry until the mustard seed turn grey and begin to pop. Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring often, for about five minutes. Now add the ginger and cook for another minute. Toss in the asafoetida, stir and then add the hot chilies, coriander, cumin, cayenne, paprika, chili powder and turmeric. Stir fry for a minute and then add the tomato, curry leaves, dry roasted ground spices and salt. Cook for roughly 5 minutes, or until the tomato is softened, stirring frequently.

Add the chickpeas to the pot, along with the roasted coconut and the water. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until the sauce is nice and thick.

Serves 4.

Other Indian chickpea dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Black and Yellow Chickpeas in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce
Channa Masala
Chickpeas with Coconut Sauce


A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Black chickpeas curry looks absolutely delicious..I have never tried makin it coconut..sounds interesting, will give it a try.

Parita said...

I love black chick peas, love the spices used in the curry, looks tasty, my type of dish!!

MeetaK said...

i really like black chickpeas but they are not as readily available here in germany. brilliant combination!

Preeti Singh said...

Your dishes are interesting and fabulous... you are very creative...this one sounds interesting too.

Aruna said...

Lovely i give you a high five for this dih. 'M here for the first time. :-)

Pooja said...

truly yummy !

Happy cook said...

Just looking to the pic makes me homesick, we had this almost everyweek.
One of the dishes we had with rice, or puttu ( kerala speciality) appom etc....
Yours look yummy delicous.
Back in Kerala we always used balck chick pea, it is only when i was a teenager mom started using white one.

Usha said...

Black chickpeas in coconut gravy sounds really inviting, this one is definitely a must try :-)

Nithya Praveen said...

Wonderful one...yummy.I wud love to have this with steamed rice or even kerala puttu:)

Pooja said...

Wow Lisa the chickpea curry has turned out perfect! Thanks a lot for trying it out and I'm really glad that you liked it :)

iRaw said...

This dish looks fantastic!

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Should have been a very aromatic black chickpeas curry!!! Looks very yummy

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo delicious! I love things with coconut. I've never used black chickpeas before.

Renu said...

i can already smell the flavors!! good job!

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rekhas kitchen said...

It's my favorite too looks so delicious yum yum.

figtreeapps said...

Does it get any better than this?? Thanks Figtreeapps

Aparna said...

Lisa, this "kadala"(chickpeas in Kerala) curry is something that makes it to our breakfast table at least once a fortnight!

It tastes good with rice, but is better with chappathis or naan and excellent with bread.

Gattina said...

I love Kerala-style of dishes... I will look for this chickpea at store next time.

Red Chillies said...

Very nice recipe with black chickpeas. I have limited idea of using the chickpea and this is a fragrant curry.

Vidya said...

lovely. Our favorite breakfast dish.

Michelle Pinner said...

I look forward to making this, not sure for breakfast though! I have an abundance of dried black chickpeas given to me by an Indian friend who returned to India in February. Sounds yummy!!