Eggplant and Chickpeas in a Tamarind based Gravy

8:33 PM

I have come again with yet another recipe using the chickpeas. Yes, i love the black chickpeas or kala channa over the white variety. Adding them to soups and curries or making a salad or just snacking  on them, i can have them in any form. There was some chickpeas left from making soup the other day, well i intentionally wanted some leftovers.

Anyways, talking about this curry, i always love tamarind and coconut based curries, they are like comfort food for me, when mixed in hot rice with a dollop of ghee you're in food heaven. I had a huge eggplant sitting in the fridge and i don't really make anything besides this puzhi Kuzhambu ( a tamarind based curry) with the vegetable. Since i had some chickpeas, i added it to the gravy along with the eggplant and it turned out super delicious. I also added some coconut paste to thicken the gravy.

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Eggplant and Chickpea Gravy

Chickpea Quinoa Soup with Kale and SpinacBy Sathya Sankar 
Serves 2-3 people

  • 1 medium sized eggplant, cut into cubes
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup black chickpeas or kala channa or kondakadalai, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds or methi seeds
  • curry leaves, a hand full
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon thick tamarind pulp
  • salt, to taste
  • water, needed for the gravy


  • Make the tamarind pulp by soaking a lemon sized ball of tamarind in hot water for 10minutes. Squeeze out the pulp and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the mustard seeds, once it splutters add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves and then add the onions and garlic to it.
  • Saute the onions until they start to soften,now add the tomatoes and sauce till tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  • Throw in the spice powders and mix well.
  • Add the diced eggplant along with the chickpeas and mix well to incorporate.
  • Now, add the tamarind pulp along with salt and water, mix well and let it come to a boil. Cover with lid and let it cook on medium flame for about 15 minutes or until the eggplant is cooked through.
  • To make the coconut paste, add the coconut and fennel seeds along with enough water to make a paste into a blender, blend to a paste and add it to the gravy.
  • Check for salt and it to a boil for 5 minutes or until the gravy thickens, remove from heat.

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  • Using black chickpeas is totally optional and you can make the same gravy just with eggplants.
  • Adding some boiled peanuts instead of chickpeas will also taste great.
  • Adjust the spice powders according to your taste, the amount i have given will make a medium spicy gravy.
  • Coconut paste is totally optional, but if you want a good thick consistency then i will recommend adding it.
  • The gravy goes well with hot rice and chapati and dosa.
  • Adjust the level of tamarind according to your taste, mine will be not be so tangy so i added a lemon sized.

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