Usually eaten at banquets, this Indian vegetarian side dish is a great alternative to rice. This recipe features nutty black chickpeas which have great body and could be used as an alternative to meat in curries.






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (17 votes)


  • 65 g (⅓ cup) kala chana (black chickpeas) (see Note), rinsed, soaked overnight 
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds 
  • 2 cardamom pods 
  • 300 g green beans, trimmed, long ones cut in half on the diagonal 
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 4 cm piece ginger, cut into julienne 
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 1 tsp ground chilli 
  • 1 tsp ground paprika 
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You'll need to soak the chickpeas overnight.
Drink match 2010 Laurance Rosé.

Rinse chickpeas under running water. Place in a saucepan with 1 litre water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours or until tender. Drain, reserving 2 tbsp cooking liquid.

Heat a small frying pan over low heat and cook fennel seeds and cardamom pods for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add beans and cook for 3 minutes or until just tender.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, ginger and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant and garlic starts to soften. Add chickpeas, beans and reserved cooking liquid, and stir until combined. Stir in toasted spices, turmeric, chilli, paprika, garam masala and tomatoes, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.


• Kala chana, also called black chickpeas, are actually brown. They are well suited to curries because they have a slightly stronger flavour than regular chickpeas. Available from Indian food shops or spice shops.



Photography by Rob Frith.


As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.