Tamarind Chickpea Curry

  • 4 lbs of red potatoes (about 6-8 large potatoes)
  • 4 tablespoons canola or corn oil
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 12-15 curry leaves (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chickpea flour (also known as gram or besan flour)
  • 4-5 tablespoons of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup water (or more as required)
  • 2 16-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons concentrated tamarind paste
  • 1 lemon (optional)


1. Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and boil until just soft. Cool to room temperature.

2. In a large pot, heat oil on medium. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When mustard seeds pop, add chickpea flour and cook until light pink (about 3 -5 minutes).

3. Add crushed and pureed tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes, turmeric and cumin, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

4. Add 1/2 cup water to thin the tomato mixture. Add potatoes and chickpeas and mix well. Cook for 4 minutes and add up to another 1/2 cup water, or as much as needed.

5. Add half the cilantro and tamarind sauce and cook for a further four minutes. Tamarind sauces vary in potency and thickness. Use 1 or 2 tablespoons of pure tamarind sauce (which is thick and the color of molasses) or 1 cup of the tamarind and date sauce (which is sweeter, lighter and thinner). If you don’t know what you have, begin cautiously, and add to taste. If you add too much tamarind, you can use molasses or honey to balance out the sourness.

6. Add juice of one lemon for tartness.

7. Garnish with the remaining cilantro.

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