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Indian Butter Chickpeas

Indian Butter Chickpeas

Course: Recipe


Active Time


Total time


Cost Per Meal/Person


I got this recipe from the Richmond Times Dispatch Sunday newspaper on January 8, 2020. We love Indian flavors and wanted to try this meatless meal! If you like chickpeas, you will love this. We didn’t love them served over rice, but we made this again and substituted tofu for the chickpeas, which was tasty. 

If using tofu instead of chickpeas: Before you start cooking, prepare your tofu. Drain on paper towels with something heavy on top to release the moisture, then cut into 1-inch cubes.  Season with salt & pepper.  Cook separately in a pan in olive oil on medium high heat.  After 5-7 minutes, flip the tofu cubes to brown the other side. Add into dish during step 4 in place of chickpeas. Image from the NY Times.


  • 4 TBS butter

  • 1 large onion, minced

  • 1 1/2 TSP salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 TBS grated fresh ginger

  • 2 TSP ground cumin

  • 2 TSP paprika

  • 2 TSP garam masala

  • 1, 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 15 oz can coconut milk

  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas

  • Ground cayenne, optional

  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  • Melt butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion and ½ tsp salt. Cook until golden and brown around the edges, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up higher than medium. Keeping it on medium ensures even browning without burning the butter).
  • Stir in garlic and ginger and cook one minute. Stir in cumin, paprika, garam masala and cook 30 seconds more.
  • Add tomatoes with their juices. Using a large spoon or flat spatula, break up or smash the tomatoes in the pot. Stir in the coconut milk and the remaining 1 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and continuing to mash up the tomatoes, if necessary to help them break down.
  • Stir in chickpeas and pinch of cayenne, if you like. Bring the pot back up to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes more. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Total Cost of meal

  • 2 cans chickpeas = $1.25 
    Can of tomatoes = $1 
    Coconut milk = $1.50 
    Onion, garlic, ginger, spices = $1 
    2 cups cooked white rice = $0.75 
    Total cost of 4 meals = $5.50
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