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Chick Pea Curry with Green Pea Pilau

chick pea curry with green pea pilau rice

30-40 min


  1. 240 g dried organic chickpeas, soaked overnight
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  4. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  5. pinch asafoetida
  6. 5 cm piece of ginger, chopped
  7. 2 red chillies, seeds in, chopped
  8. 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  9. 1 tsp sea salt
  10. 1 tsp ground turmeric
  11. 400 g can organic chopped plum tomatoes
  12. 500 ml water
  13. 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  14. 1 tbsp garam masala
  15. 2 tbsp groundnut oil

For the green pea pilau

  1. 375 g basmati rice
  2. 100 g fresh peas (use frozen if not available)
  3. 1 onion, chopped
  4. 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  5. 5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  6. 2 green chillies, seeds in, chopped
  7. 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  8. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  9. 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  10. 1 litre water
  11. 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  12. 2 tbsp ground nut oil

To garnish

  1. 1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped


  1. Drain the soaked chickpeas and place in a pan with a litre of water over a high heat. When it reaches the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and leave the chickpeas to simmer for an hour, until just tender. Drain and set to one side.
  2. Combine the chillies, ginger, garlic and sea salt into a thick paste using a pestle and mortar or an electric chopper.
  3. Heat a heavy bottomed pan over a high heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and stir. After 30 seconds they will start to pop. Now add the asafoetida, stir and after a further 30 seconds add the onion and cook, stirring, until they are soft and beginning to brown, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli, and ginger paste, the chopped tomatoes, the turmeric, salt and water. Stir to combine.
  4. Now add the drained chickpeas and stir. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove the lid, add the garam masala and the chopped coriander and cook, stirring, for a further minute then remove from the heat.
  5. While the chickpea curry is cooking, make the rice. Rinse the rice in a sieve under running water until the water runs clear. Put the garlic, chilli and ginger into an electric chopper or a pestle and mortar and combine to a thick paste.
  6. Heat the ground nut oil over a high heat in a large, heavy bottomed pan with a lid. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. They will begin to pop after about 30 seconds, at which point add the onion. Continue to cook on the high heat, stirring every so often until the onion has softened and is starting to catch and turn brown at the edges. Now add the garlic, ginger and chilli paste and stir it in. Finally, add the turmeric, rice, peas, sea salt and water. Stir and bring to the boil.
  7. Leave the rice to cook, uncovered for ten minutes then reduce the heat to its lowest setting and place the lid tightly on the saucepan. Cook for a further five minutes then remove from the heat, leaving the lid on, and leave to rest for 10 minutes. After this time the rice should be perfectly cooked. Remove the lid and stir in the fresh coriander 8. Serve a portion of the rice with a portion of the chickpea curry and scatter a little chopped fresh coriander over the top.

Recipe & photo from Steve Dent AKA The Circus Gardener’s Kitchen