Mommy Cafe

Vegetarian home cooking, kid tested and approved

Chickpea Jalfrezi

I love curry.  Any kind really, just give me something curried!  So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered Indian food and its array of curry dishes.  I also discovered that the local grocery chain carries a variety of Indian sauces.  These jarred sauces are a little pricey for my budget, but my stomach insists on more, more, more!  So I did a little window shopping and wrote down the name of every sauce in the ethnic foods aisle, then rushed home to do a little research.  What do you know?  The sauces are so easy to make at home– and cost a fraction of the canned variety.  Sometimes the ingredient lists seem daunting, but you don’t get a complex flavor without just a few spices.  Don’t worry though; chances are you already have the majority of the spices you’ll need.  And if you don’t already have them, you should!

Here is the first of (hopefully) many Indian recipes to come.  The original recipe came from and was made with chicken.  Apparently jalfrezi was a way of using up leftover meat once upon a time.  I substituted chickpeas for the chicken and couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.  The leftover jalfrezi is even better as the spices get a chance to blend together overnight.

Make this meal even less costly by using your dried cooked chickpeas.  I used 2 cups of chickpeas thawed from the freezer.  The original recipe also called for ghee (clarified butter), but I didn’t have any and was too lazy to make it.  So I just stirred in a pat of butter toward the end to give it a hint of buttery flavor.  Leave out the ghee or butter for a vegan dish.

Approx prep and cook time: 30 minutes    Estimated cost: $3 to 4

Chickpea Jalfrezi

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 T ghee
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 3 tsp coriander
  • 2 T freshly grated ginger root

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and add onions and garlic, cooking for about 2 minutes.  Add turmeric, chili powder, and salt, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in chickpeas and undrained tomatoes.  Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.  Uncover and let simmer another 10 minutes.  Add ghee, cumin, coriander,  and ginger, and simmer an additional 5 to 7 minutes.

Serve over rice or with naan or poori bread

Serves 4


February 5, 2011 - Posted by | Learning to Love Chickpeas, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Yay!!! I am totally in the “market” for Indian food recipes. Like you, I shrink from the pricey sauce jars at Wheatsfield. (I do make Thai green curry from the jar + coconut milk, however.) I made a “curry” the other night from uninformed guesswork that was deemed not spicey enough. It didn’t taste “complex” as you say. No coriander and too little turmeric, and the ginger wasn’t fresh. Bring on more curry recipes (the one I made had butternut + peas + onions as the veggie components).

    Comment by Greta | February 6, 2011 | Reply

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