LISTEN: Hrishikesh Hirway joins Jesse Sparks to talk about this recipe on The One Recipe.

This simple and delicious chickpea recipe is the dish Hrishikesh requested every year for his birthday and also, the first thing he learned to cook. His mother was a formidable cook, cooking Indian food every night for her family.  and her recipe could not be simpler; chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and spices that use whatever you have on hand.

Time: 10 minutes prep, 15 minutes cooking, 25 minutes total

Serves: 2-4 


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds, optional

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds, optional

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 green thai chilies, or serrano chilies, or ¾ of a jalapeño, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • half a thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced 

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp turmeric

  • ½ tsp garam masala

  • ¼ tsp red chili powder

  • 2  15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained

  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes

  •  1 tbsp kosher salt 

Optional toppings:

  • finely chopped red onion

  • chopped coriander leaves 


Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the black mustard seeds and cumin seeds, if using. When the seeds start to pop, add the chopped onions. Cook the onions until they start to get translucent, about 2-3 minutes. 

Add the garlic, ginger, chilies, and spices. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. If it’s too thick, you can add a splash of water until desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt if needed. Serve with rice, and topped with optional red onion and chopped coriander.