Tamarind chickpeas

Tamarind chickpeas

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(19 ratings)

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 chillies, 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, questions and tips

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11th Aug, 2016
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.
11th Jan, 2014
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.
17th Feb, 2013
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 !
4th Oct, 2012
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
26th May, 2012
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.
1st Nov, 2011
Really lovely and tasty.
15th Aug, 2011
Re: my last comment - obviously spinach is already in the recipe - I was thinking of something else!
15th Aug, 2011
Re: my last comment - obviously spinach is already in the recipe - I was thinking of something else!
15th Aug, 2011
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.
29th Nov, 2010
This is my favourite chickpea curry recipe. I usually cook it without spinach, and have another vegetable stir-fry as a side dish.


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