January 16, 2011

Chickpeas Stir-fry — Spicy Kabuli Chana — Vella Kadala Upperi

It’s a sunny day. A Sunday. Weekday in Qatar, weekend for most of the world. There’s nothing like a sunny day and good food to chase away the winter blues, don’t you agree? But the thing is I don’t feel like much activity today. I just want to have some quite time, go back to bed, pull up the sheets, and rest my eyes and my thoughts. Ah, a lazy Sunday.
So here I am with a simple recipe. Simple it is, at the same time nourishing and delicious too. Yes! Whenever life is simply too busy, or I’m simply too lazy, and yet looking for a healthy and flavorful meal option, making a chickpea stir-fry becomes a great choice. Armed with a tin of chickpeas, it really works like a charm.

Chickpea, also know as garbanzo bean, is rich in proteins, dietary fiber and antioxidant nutrients. Besides, it is low fat and highly filling, so possibly your best bet for weight management. You know, using canned beans is as good as cooking with dried beans. Oh yeah. Canning does not damage the key nutrients—man, makes life so much easier! The dried beans require a long cooking time so it is in fact a smart choice to use canned beans.

Chickpeas was brought to India by the Portuguese explorers and now, India is the largest producer of this legume, followed by Pakistan. When I was a young girl, I loved to munch on crispy roasted beans. I also liked having puttu and kadala (steamed ground rice with chickpeas) for breakfast. These days I’m big on hummus and falafel.
This recipe is so versatile: you can serve it as an appetizer to kick off your dinner party, a side dish to accompany a bowl of rice or bread, or use it as a healthy and filling snack when you are famished.

Chickpeas Stir-fry — Spicy Kabuli Chana — Vella Kadala Upperi


400g canned chickpeas (I usually use California Garden)
1 ½ tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 teaspoon dry red chili flakes
½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
½ cup onion, quartered and finely sliced
10 curry leaves
Salt, to taste

For garnishing
Squeeze of lemon
Few sprigs cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoon onion, chopped

Remove beans from can, place in a strainer and rinse to remove any additives; drain.

Heat oil in a wok or large nonstick pan, over medium-low heat. Add mustard seeds and cook until they crackle, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chili flakes, curry leaves, and chili powder. Toss for 10 seconds, and then add onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft. Now tip in the drained chickpeas, mix well, and simmer for 3 minutes. Season. Serve hot with a bowl of steamed rice.

Topped with a sprinkle of chopped onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime, this makes a nourishing and delicious appetizer or snack.

I hope you like it.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous pictures.. Beautiful !!!

  2. Thank you, Pavithra, for stopping by and for your kind words!

  3. Nice recipe, I love chickpeas.

  4. Hey thank you, Najwa! I'm glad you stopped by and were thoughtful enough to comment. You have a lovely space with stunning pictures and nice recipes. I'll keep visiting for more...:)

  5. looking very gorgious!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I just stumbled on to your page and was going through your recipes... I'd love to try nearly all of them! My goodness, so delicious. I traveled to India (Madras/Chennai) for the first time a few months ago to visit my husband's family, and I was blown away by all the different cuisines, like Kerala's for example. So this blog is a real treat to have found...

  7. Aww, I'm so happy to hear this Alya! Thanks for stopping by, and hope you get to try some of my recipes :) See ya around!


A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi