An American’s Take on Curried Chickpeas with Basmati Rice

Growing up, the few times that my parents splurged for take-out, it was always Chinese. Pizzeria’s were a dime a dozen, but my parents didn’t consider pizza to be “real food”. There wasn’t much else offered in our mostly-Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn. In the early 80’s there wasn’t a local place for Thai, Mexican, or Japanese. And Indian cuisine? Indian was far from a standard neighborhood joint.

Curried Chickpeas over Basmati Rice

Curried Chickpeas over Basmati Rice

Initially, I was very intimidated by Indian flavors. I think that I, along with many Americans thought that Indian food was all about hot and spice. Admittedly, I had a closed minded view of a beautiful and complex cuisine. As a young adult, I was introduced to amazing Indian cuisine, first at friends homes and then in the real world. While I still don’t appreciate spicy food, I love Indian flavors.

This recipe is mild and savory. It’s richness bring out the fantastic flavor of a simple chickpea. It will be delicious the day you make it and even better a day later, once the flavors have had a chance to meld.


Simmering beauty

Simmering beauty

Curried Chickpeas

Curried Chickpeas

Curried Chickpeas (overhead)

Curried Chickpeas (overhead)

Curried Chickpeas over Basmati Rice

Makes 6 entree size portions or 8 side dishes

Adapted from Martha Stewart


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons Trader Joe’s crushed garlic (or 4 large cloves, minced)
1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s curry powder
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves (you’ll remove them before eating) or a pinch of ground cloves
3 15oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 cups water
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Optional: Chopped cilantro and lemon wedges, for serving
Basmati Rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 1/4 cups water
pinch kosher salt


1. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes on high heat, until the onion had browned a bit.
2. Turn heat down to medium-high. Add the garlic, curry powder, cinnamon stick and clove. Saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the powder has coated the onions and the remaining items have warmed through.
3. Add chickpeas, ketchup, salt, pepper and water to the skillet. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium/high heat.
5. Add basmati rice and saute. Allow the rice to become coated with the oil and slightly toast. About 3-4 minutes.
6. Add water and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat down to a simmer.  Let simmer for 35-40 minutes.
7. Uncover the chickpea mixture and increase heat to medium high. Let the sauce bubble and reduce for about 10 minutes (it should be sauce-y, not soupy).
8. Top rice with curried chickpeas and garnish with chopped cilantro and a squirt of lemon juice (it will really wake up the flavors).
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s