Tamarind chickpeas

Prep: 5 mins - 10 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 2
Tamarind and fennel seeds complement each other in this vegetarian dish from Uttar Pradesh

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal334
  • fat11g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs45g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre9g
  • protein16g
  • salt1.34g
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  • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds (look for these in supermarkets)
  • 1½ tsp fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 1 medium onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 3 green chilli, seeded and cut into qurters lengthways



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 2-3 tsp light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 1 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 410g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste



    A seed pod from the tamarind tree that is used extensively in South-East Asian and Indian…

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • half a 250g/9oz bag baby spinach leaves
  • natural yogurt and chapatis, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, fry the nigella and fennel seeds for about 10 seconds. Add the onion and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until golden.

  2. Mix in the tomatoes, chillies, sugar, paprika, turmeric and chickpeas. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the tamarind and coriander. Add the spinach leaves and stir gently until they’ve just wilted. Serve with yogurt and chapatis.

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Comments (20)

Mirandamom's picture

It says it in the intro, but I didn't realize until I tried it how complementary the flavors of fennel and tamarind are. My only quibble with this recipe is that I couldn't taste the nigella seeds. So, the next time I make this, and I'm certain I will, I'll use a bit more nigella.

freshcream's picture

mmm...delish! i loved the sweet n sour flavour, and so did my kids - my son isnt really into Indian/Pakistani food but even he enjoyed it with chapati and a dollop of thick organic yogurt. I didnt add the spinach though, but added parsley instead of coriander. I also used demerara instead of muscovado because its all I had. It needed a cup of water though to make a nice sauce, felt too dry otherwise.

seamstress_star's picture

We love this recipe and it is also ideal as part of a Fasting Day. Another recipe that we keep the ingredients handy for, love it !

taracox's picture

I was not a fan but I used a smaller quantity of a tamarind concentrate rather than tamarind paste as that's what I had. Still think I'll look for another recipe to use up the remaining tamarind

dutes8080's picture

Served this as an accompinying dish to Home-style chicken curry and it worked perfctly although I did substute borlotti beans for chickpeas as my wife is not at all keen on the latter. Worked very well indeed.

jenniferatkinson's picture

Really lovely and tasty.

jogirl's picture

Re: my last comment - obviously spinach is already in the recipe - I was thinking of something else!

jogirl's picture

Re: my last comment - obviously spinach is already in the recipe - I was thinking of something else!

jogirl's picture

This was a good, quick, easy meal. I have since tried it with other beans instead of the chick peas: borlotti beans were particularly good. The last time I made it I also stirred a handful of baby spinach in at the end until it wilted, which went really well.

gangajay's picture

This is my favourite chickpea curry recipe. I usually cook it without spinach, and have another vegetable stir-fry as a side dish.

clur79's picture

I love this recipe, its really tangy, spicy and fresh.

janelovestastyfood's picture

I made this when the recipe first came out in 2003 and have been making ever since. Great as a starter (I have added prawns and it's a bit of a twist on prawn puri!!)

heidigough's picture

My tesco sells Tamarind in blocks. Try the world foods section as well as the ingredients section.

I think Nigella and black onion seeds are the same thing.

On the nutritional content question, normally anything which says "to serve" after it is not included.

ummyusuf's picture

This is yummy. Tamarind goes really well with the chickpeas. Top tip: go to an asian shop for the unusual ingreds......they stock everything and it's at a fraction of the supermarket prices.

cmlaragh's picture

Didn't have any nigella seeds but it was lovely. Will definately be making it again.

helenproctor's picture

can anyone tell me where i could get tamarind paste from, I have looked in supermarket but cant find it, supermarket also doesnt stock nigella seeds!! Maybe an asian shop would?? Thanks

alexandra_legs11's picture

Really easy, fast and yum!
And hearty for vegetarians too. Have made it many times already.

sookypooky's picture

This makes a great light supper and works well cold for a lunch box the next day. Easy and tasty!

orla01's picture

Hi, Can you tell me if the calorie information given includes the yoghurt and chapati?

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