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Indian Butter Chickpeas

Make this delicious Indian butter chickpeas, a vegetarian take on the classic butter chicken, with canned chickpeas, coconut milk, and basic pantry ingredients.
Indian butter chickpeas, a vegetarian take on the popular Indian butter chicken.

Indian butter chickpeas, a vegetarian take on the popular Indian butter chicken.

Indian Butter Chicken is one of the most popular Indian recipes, and among one of the most famous curries in any cuisine. This recipe for Indian butter chickpeas is based on the chicken version, but is just as easy and delicious, especially if you start with canned chickpeas.

The spices for an authentic Indian butter chicken/chickpeas are so straightforward I can’t believe I use to buy Indian butter sauce that comes in jars for so long. Now with mostly pantry ingredients and spices that I stock in my kitchen, I can create this dish easily anytime I want.

Ingredients for Indian butter chickpeas: chickpeas, tomatoes, coconut milk, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, smoked paprika, cayenne, and garam masala (coriander, clove, nutmeg, black pepper, cardamom).

Ingredients for Indian butter chickpeas: chickpeas, tomatoes, coconut milk, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, smoked paprika, cayenne, and garam masala (coriander, clove, nutmeg, black pepper, cardamom).

Ingredients for Indian butter chickpeas

We will need chickpeas, unsalted butter/ghee, onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, coconut milk, salt, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne powder, garam masala, cinnamon, and cilantro.

Garam masala

If you are running out of garam masala at home, you can make a simple version of garam masala from coriander, clove, nutmeg, black pepper, and cardamom.

Instead of 2 teaspoons of garam masala, you can use 1 teaspoon coriander, 14 teaspoon clove, 14 teaspoon nutmeg, 14 teaspoon black pepper, and 14 teaspoon cardamom. If you stock cardamom pods instead of ground cardamom, use about 3 cardamom pods.

Coconut milk vs. yogurt

It is more common to prepare Indian butter chicken/chickpeas with yogurt. I am using coconut milk since I am trying to make this recipe as pantry friendly as possible. Feel free to use yogurt if you have it at home.

(1) Sauté onion and salt. Follow with garlic, ginger, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, garam masala, and cinnamon. (2) Add tomatoes, salt, and coconut milk. (3) Add chickpeas. (4) Stir in cilantro.

(1) Sauté onion and salt. Follow with garlic, ginger, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, garam masala, and cinnamon. (2) Add tomatoes, salt, and coconut milk. (3) Add chickpeas. (4) Stir in cilantro.

Step-by-step to prepare Indian butter chickpeas

Start with melting butter/ghee in a pot over medium heat. Sauté onion with 12 teaspoon salt until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger, and cook for 1 minute. Then, add cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne powder, garam masala, and cinnamon. Stir for 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, coconut milk, and the remaining 12 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Finally, add chickpeas and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender and the sauce is thick.

Turn off the heat, stir in half of the cilantro. Transfer the finished dish to a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining cilantro, and serve with steamed basmati rice or naan bread.

Indian butter chickpeas, garnished with cilantro.

Indian butter chickpeas, garnished with cilantro.

Other chickpeas and beans recipe to try

For more chickpeas and beans recipe, you can give the following a try:

Serve Indian butter chickpeas with steamed basmati rice or naan bread.

Serve Indian butter chickpeas with steamed basmati rice or naan bread.

Indian Butter Chickpeas

5.0 from 6 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Courses:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Diets:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 8

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter/ghee
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger (~ 1 tablespoon), minced
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala (Note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 400-ml can coconut milk
  • 2 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained (Note 2)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Melt butter/ghee in a pot over medium heat. Sauté onion with 1/2 teaspoon salt until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne powder, garam masala, and cinnamon. Stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add chickpeas and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender and the sauce is thick.
  6. Turn off the heat, stir in half of the cilantro.
  7. Transfer the finished dish to a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining cilantro, and serve with steamed basmati rice or naan bread.

Notes

  • (1) Or use 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon clove, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (about 3 cardamom pods).
  • (2) Or use 1/2 lb of dried chickpeas, soak overnight in water, then boil until soft for about 1 hour.

Comments

  • georgie georgie says:

    this looks fab! I'm always on the hunt for easy, veggie meals and this looks gorgeous! I love Indian food too so I love that I can make a healthier version of my favourite dish!

  • Jessie Jessie says:

    I have to say I have never had much Indian food and I have never made it, but this sounds amazing!

  • georgie georgie says:

    this looks fab! I'm always on the hunt for easy, veggie meals and this looks gorgeous! I love Indian food too so I love that I can make a healthier version of my favourite dish!

  • Andrea Metlika Andrea Metlika says:

    This sounds wonderful! I can't wait to try this chickpea version.

  • Nart at Cooking with Nart Nart at Cooking with Nart says:

    This looks delicious. I love chikpeas so I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  • Abi Abi says:

    I'm trying to be vegetarian so this is perfect for me! I have one question. I'm not the biggest fan of cilantro. Is it okay to skip it? Is there an alternative for it? Thanks!!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Abi, you can skip the cilantro. Or you can use other herbs, like chopped parsley.

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