A south Indian style chickpea and potato curry with tamarind extract served with a bowl of warm rice is naturally gluten-free and vegan curry. A recipe very close to my heart is from my favourite Kasargod family in Khobar. Thank you, UmmRaima.
This chickpea potato curry with no fancy ingredients, no packaged spice blends, no garam masala, no coconut milk, not even onion but will win your tummy! Uses the standard pantry spices or are easily available in the market. The chickpea and potato are cooked in a sauce that is finished off with the sweet, tart, sour flavour from tamarind extract.
During our years in Yanbu, we used to take every opportunity to drive or fly down to Khobar to spend the holidays with this loving family. On one of the trips, her mother had come to live with her and yeah, you guessed it - she fed us well! I mean, I never had any prior knowledge of Kasargod food or their sweet dialect! I love to listen to them talk even though I would miss the point and look stupid. 😁 I watched her mom make this chickpea curry and after we wrapped up, she was kind enough to help me write the recipe down too! This chickpea potato curry was probably the first few curries I made in my Yanbu kitchen and it goes well even with ari dosha and kalthappam (savoury).
- Chickpeas: I have used dried chickpea so had to soak and pressure cook. You may use canned chickpea with water.
- Spices: You will need red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and cumin powder
- Rice flour: Rice flour is added with the spice powders and water to make the curry paste. Rice flour acts as a thickener in this curry.
- Tamarind pulp: Soaked in hot water and strained to get rid of any impurities.
- Cooking oil: I have used coconut oil.
- Mustard seeds
- Curry leaves
- Red onion: The original recipe did not call for onions but I sometimes add for flavour. This is optional.
- Ginger garlic paste
- Potato: I have always only tried with the usual potato but I am sure this will be equally good with sweet potato.
How to cook dried chickpea?
If using dried chickpeas like me, make sure to soak them in plenty of water for more than 6 to 8 hours. If you need it sooner, you may soak it in hot water for 3 to 4 hours. But it is always best to let the chickpea soak overnight. Pressure cook with enough water and salt. Adding salt while cooking the chickpeas will help to hold their shape, else it may get overcooked and become mushy. Pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles or pot cook until the legume is cooked through. Chickpea is cooked if you can easily squish it between your fingers or with the back of the spoon. If you don't have a pressure cooker, you may use instant pot or use canned chickpeas.
How to make
Heat oil in a deep saucepot on a medium flame. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Next, add the curry leaves and fry to crisp. Then, add chopped onion if using and saute until translucent. Next, add ginger garlic paste or freshly chopped and saute until no longer raw. Dump all the boiled chickpeas along with enough water from the cooker. Bring this to a full boil. Reduce the flame to low and stir in the prepared curry paste along with the chopped potatoes. Add more water if required and boil until the potatoes are cooked through. Stir in the prepared tamarind extract juice and salt to taste. Bring to boil, simmer for a few minutes and switch off. Serve hot with rice. Refrigerate any leftover in an airtight container.
Chickpea Potato Curry in Tamarind Extract
Pressure cook chickpeas
- 1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight, washed and drained
- 1½ cup water to pressure cook
- Salt to taste
For the curry paste:
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ tablespoon cumin powder
- ½ tablespoon rice flour
- ½ cup water
For the tamarind extract
- 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
- ½ cup hot water
For the curry
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or any cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- curry leaves
- 1 medium-sized red onion chopped finely (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 large potato chopped into chunks
- Salt to taste
- Add the chickpeas, water and salt into a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles on medium flame. Boiling in a pot will take more time and more water. You may use 2 cups of canned chickpeas with the water. You may skip this cooking part and use roughly 2 cups of canned chickpeas.
Prepare the curry paste
- Add all the spice powders along with the rice flour in a small bowl. Stir in the water and mix thoroughly to a smooth paste. Keep this aside for later use.
Prepare the tamarind extract
- Add the tamarind pulp into a heatproof bowl and pour hot boiling water over it. Keep covered until required. Strain and use in the curry.
Prepare the curry
- Heat oil in a deep saucepot on a medium flame. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Next, add the curry leaves and fry to crisp. Then, add chopped onion if using and saute until translucent. Next, add ginger garlic paste or freshly chopped and saute until no longer raw.
- Dump all the boiled chickpeas along with enough water from the cooker. Bring this to a full boil.
- Reduce the flame to low and stir in the prepared curry paste along with the chopped potatoes. Add more water if required and boil until the potatoes are cooked through.
- Stir in the prepared tamarind extract juice and salt to taste. Bring to boil, simmer for a few minutes and switch off.
- Serve hot with rice, air dosha or savoury kalthappam. Refrigerate any leftover covered.