chickpea curry (channa bateta)

in an attempt to eat more beans, i tried my hand at a vegetarian dish that i’ve had several times at indian restaurants: chickpea curry.

my first attempt didn’t come out exactly like i’ve had it before. i overcooked the potato and there was less sauce but the flavor was pretty good. i bumped up the spices so it is hotter. yum!


  • 2 lbs of red potatoes (about 3-4 large potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 6-7 curry leaves, optional
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chickpea flour (also known as gram or besan flour) – or –
    1-1/2 tablespoons whole wheat flour + 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 2-3 tablespoons of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato puree (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup water (or more as required)
  • 16-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tablespoon concentrated tamarind paste – or –
    1/2 cup tamarind and date chutney
  • 1/2 lemon (optional)


Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and boil until cooked but not soft. Drain and cool to room temperature.

In a large pot, heat oil on medium. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves, if desired. When mustard seeds pop, add flour and cook until light pink (about 3 -5 minutes).

Add crushed and pureed tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes, turmeric and cumin, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup water to thin the tomato mixture. Add potatoes and chickpeas and mix well. Cook for 4 minutes and add up to another 1/2 cup water, or as much as needed.

Add tamarind sauce and cook for a further four minutes.

Tamarind sauces vary in potency and thickness. Use the tablespoons of pure tamarind sauce (which is thick and the color of molasses) or 1/2 cup of the tamarind and date sauce (which is sweeter, lighter and thinner). If you don’t know what you have, begin cautiously, and add to taste. If you add too much tamarind, you can use molasses or honey to balance out the sourness.

Add ground flaxseed and mix. If you desire some additional tartness, add the juice of one lemon.

original recipe from Treat a Week Recipes: Tamarind Chickpea Curry (Channa Bateta)


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