Chickpea Dumplings in Curry Tomato Sauce

September 22, 2013


I know you were starting to worry. You were starting to wonder if my diet really could consist of sugar and alcohol based on the recipes that have been posted on VV the last month or so. So, in an attempt to show you a some-what ‘normal’ side of my diet, I’m posting this dumpling recipe which is an evening go-to in our home. Curry is always welcome around here and we tend to make it about once a week in the cooler months. I like this recipe because it breaks up the usual vegetable-sauce-rice ratio and has protein-rich dumplings cooked right in. Also, the best part about the dumpling literally steaming into the sauce is that it doesn’t take any longer than it would for you to simmer a pot of homemade curry sauce.

This recipe is traditionally prepared by frying the dumplings but I’ve chosen to steam them in the tomato sauce instead for both time and health sake. Think of it as an Indian-curry version of chicken and dumpling stew. Except the sauce plays a much more flavorful part than in our traditional comfort stew. The dumplings end up gooey and steaming them in the sauce lends to the dumplings soaking up the flavors around them.

We serve ours over basmati rice but you can make it a little bit healthier by substituting brown rice. We also like to top ours with greek yogurt for an extra creamy consistency but it’s plenty flavorful without the yogurt if you are trying to keep it vegan.


Chickpea Dumplings in Curry Tomato Sauce

adapted from Saveur Issue 156
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (also called Garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt (use soy yogurt to make vegan)
  • 2 serrano chilis, seeds removed and minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated)
  • Cooked rice

Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium. Add coriander, mustard, and cumin seeds; cook for about a minute or until they begin to pop. Add curry powder, one serrano pepper, and 1/2 the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes (with juice from the can), turmeric, ginger, and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for ten minutes or until it has thickened up.

While simmering, combine the rest of the serranos, onions, chickpea flour, cilantro, oil, yogurt, and salt in a bowl. Stir until a thick dough has formed.

Drop a heaping tablespoon of dough into the stew; repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover mixture and let steam / simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Enjoy right away with cilantro and yogurt as garnish.



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  • Reply Sandra September 22, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    sounds and looks delicious! I am drawn to nice warming meals like this now since we like eating outside since most of the bugs are gone.

  • Reply Sarah | The Sugar Hit September 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    This looks awesome. I cannot get enough of indian food – they have the tastiest vegetarian dishes, and this is no exception!

    • Reply Shellywest September 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

      So true! I feel like going to an Indian restaurant is one of the few places where I can pick out more than 2 things on the menu. It’s like a field day for me!

  • Reply Harriet September 22, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Oh – these look so damn tasty. I’m seriously smitten with this idea. Such a fun take on curry. And who doesn’t love a dumpling?

    • Reply Shellywest September 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Exactly. Dare I even say: dumpling > chocolate? I think so.

  • Reply Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) September 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I fell in love with this recipe from Saveur, too! I made it almost exactly as they instruct in the magazine, but your way definitely sounds a little easier and much healthier (and still just as tasty!). since we decided that this recipe is officially a keeper, I will remember your suggestion to steam the dumplings in the sauce instead of frying them, and try that next time. : )

    • Reply Shellywest September 26, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Yay! I rarely go back to a recipe from a magazine more than once but this one has almost become second nature for us. It’s SOOOO good.

  • Reply Grace @ earthy feast September 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    This looks so deliciously beautiful! Making dumplings out of chickpea flour and yogurt is something totally unique and amazing to me! I have most of these ingredients at home – I must make this.

  • Reply Emma Galloway September 25, 2013 at 7:33 am

    LOVE this!Such Beautiful photos too xx

  • Reply phi @PrincessTofu September 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I had this discussion with the bf once… we decided that 2 savories to 1 sweet was an ideal or healthy ratio for blogging (because I end up making it a lot). However, everyone knows that alcohol and alcoholic sweets gets the most attention.

    • Reply Shellywest September 26, 2013 at 10:52 am

      I agree with you on that…that ratio seems about right. My problem is that 9 time out of 10 a big pile of sugary goodness photographs well no matter what. Unlike the savory dishes where I ended up using maybe a 1/3 of the dishes I take pictures of. It’s just SO much easier to dress up a dessert with glazes / sprinkles / cinnamon / etc. to create mouthwatering images. Ya know?

  • Reply Katie @ 24 Carrot Life September 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    This looks amazing. Do you think you could use regular chickpeas instead of chickpea flour? I suppose you might have to use less greek yogurt so it is not too watery.

    • Reply Shellywest September 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Hmmm… I’m thinking you would want to substitute for another flour (maybe whole wheat flour since it’s higher in protein?) instead of straight up chickpeas. Or you could make your own chickpea flour with dried chickpeas? I think that the consistency might be off and the dumplings won’t properly stick together if you just smash up regular chickpeas.

      Hope that helps!

      • Reply Katie @ 24 Carrot Life September 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm

        Thanks Shellywest. I think maybe if i get around to it I’ll try a few different substitutions and let you know what works best. thanks for the great recipe!

  • Reply alixx October 1, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    THis looks beyond good. I am so excited to make it! I wanted to ask though, if you were going to serve this to a group for a dinner party or something, what else would you pair with it to make it more of a whole meal? i am bad at pairing things with indian-infused flavors.

    • Reply Shellywest October 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Oh! Hmmm… I would say you should make some ‘fancy’ flavored rice…like saffron infused rice or garlic cilantro lime rice (making flavored rice is SO easy and it sounds fancier than it really is). And then there is always large quantities of naan you could serve along with it and maybe even some little shooter glasses of mango lassi? And vegetable pakora or samosas if you have the energy. Hope that helps!

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  • Reply Carol December 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I made it this evening and it turned out fantastic. I couldn’t find non-dairy yogurt at either grocery store I went to, so I ended up using nondairy coconut creamer and it held together just fine.

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  • Reply Holl January 4, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I made these last night, using vegan yogurt, the dumplings tasted like a mouthful of wet flour. I am an excellent home cook and followed directions exactly, disappointed! need some leaving perhaps?

    • Reply Shellywest January 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Bummer! Super sorry to hear these didn’t turn out for you – did you use chickpea flour? We’ve made these dozens of times and always end up with a delicious dumpling stew.

  • Reply Naomi January 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

    So I am in the middle of making this ha!! The dumplings have been simmering for over 10 mins… they look nothing like these pictures ha!! used greek yog and the right flour and everything! What texture are they supposed to have?!

    • Reply Shellywest January 22, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      They should be a little doughy like a dumpling but not falling apart.

  • Reply Ginny February 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    These were fabulous. I cooked the tomato sauce a bit longer and added some broth for a richer flavor. I also put the dish under the broiler before serving to brown the dumplings. I served it over brown rice and bulgur pilaf. Divine!

    • Reply Shellywest February 13, 2014 at 7:58 am

      So glad they were a success for you! Love the idea of sticking it in the broiler for a few minutes – will have to try that next time for sure!

  • Reply Sarah T February 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    If I were to substitute another kind of oil, what would you suggest?

    • Reply Shellywest February 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Hmmm – I would say maybe either olive or canola oil because you’ll want to keep the flavor neutral.

      • Reply Susan Robinson August 9, 2014 at 12:10 pm

        I think the peanut oil was essential, because it was a part of the overall flavor. Olive oil would not be appropriate at all, but would certainly be healthier, as would coconut oil. However, you would miss the incredible and well balanced medley of flavors.

    • Reply Susan Robinson August 9, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      coconut oil would be appropriate and combine well with the flavors

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  • Reply Katherine March 12, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    I just made this and it is sooooooo good! Thanks for the recipe! I added broccoli, and used water instead of oil in the dough. It worked a treat!

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  • Reply Marin May 22, 2014 at 11:52 am

    We made these last night and they were delicious! My husband had seconds! I did have to steam the dumplings for twice as long as the recipe suggests (10-14 mins versus 5-7) but once they were done they held together, were still moist, and the entire dish was extremely flavorful. Thank you!!

  • Reply Susan Robinson August 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I made this dish for company last night and it was incredibly delicious! I think for some people, gathering all the spices together would be bothersome and YOU NEED THE RIGHT SPICES! I cook a lot of international recipes and just happened to luck out with every spice required. However, my mustard seeds were black mustard seeds and that did not seem to matter. I would suggest turning down the HEAT and using only one hot pepper though. You want to taste the delicious flavors before burning out the buds!

  • Thoughts?!