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Chickpea Masala

Episode: KCTS 9 Cooks on the Side

Make this dish a day ahead to let the spices blend in. Delicious as a side with turkey.

serves 6 to 8


  • 2 16-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • kosher salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups tightly packed baby kale or baby spinach leaves


Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add oil, then cumin seeds; cook, stirring, until seeds start to crackle and pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion. Cooks for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix garam masala, ginger, turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt with 3 tablespoons water to make a slurry. Let stand for 5 minutes, add to the onions and cook mixture for 5 minutes longer. Add chopped tomatoes, and jalapeno, if using, and stir in. Add chickpeas and stir to coat. Add a pinch of salt and enough water to almost cover the chickpea mixture. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes; if mixture seems too liquid, turn up the heat a bit.

Stir in kale or spinach right before serving; the leaves should be just wilted.

Note: Buy garam masala in the bulk spice section of your local market. This becomes a heartier side dish with the addition of chopped cooked turkey or chicken.


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