Chickpea Dumplings in Curry Tomato Sauce


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.





  • Sandra
    September 22, 2013

    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.

  • Sarah | The Sugar Hit
    September 22, 2013

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

    • Shellywest
      Sarah | The Sugar Hit
      September 26, 2013

      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!

  • Harriet
    September 22, 2013

    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?

    • Shellywest
      September 26, 2013

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

  • Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)
    September 23, 2013

    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. : )

    • Shellywest
      Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)
      September 26, 2013

      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.

  • Grace @ earthy feast
    September 23, 2013

    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.

  • Emma Galloway
    September 25, 2013

    LOVE this!Such Beautiful photos too xx

  • phi @PrincessTofu
    September 25, 2013

    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.

    • Shellywest
      phi @PrincessTofu
      September 26, 2013

      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?

  • Katie @ 24 Carrot Life
    September 26, 2013

    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.

    • Shellywest
      Katie @ 24 Carrot Life
      September 26, 2013

      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!

      • Katie @ 24 Carrot Life
        September 26, 2013

        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!

  • alixx
    October 1, 2013

    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.

    • Shellywest
      October 2, 2013

      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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  • Carol
    December 15, 2013

    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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  • Holl
    January 4, 2014

    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?

    • Shellywest
      January 4, 2014

      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.

  • Naomi
    January 20, 2014

    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?!

    • Shellywest
      January 22, 2014

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

  • Ginny
    February 10, 2014

    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!

    • Shellywest
      February 13, 2014

      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!

  • Sarah T
    February 21, 2014

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

    • Shellywest
      Sarah T
      February 24, 2014

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

      • Susan Robinson
        August 9, 2014

        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.

    • Susan Robinson
      Sarah T
      August 9, 2014

      coconut oil would be appropriate and combine well with the flavors

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  • Katherine
    March 12, 2014

    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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  • Marin
    May 22, 2014

    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!!

  • Susan Robinson
    August 9, 2014

    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!

  • SabbyHomeEconomist
    November 18, 2014

    Garbanzo bean flour….wow..who knew!? I use chickpeas in alot of dishes n make my own white bean yogurt dip but never knew it came in flour form…Sold!

    • Shellywest
      November 20, 2014

      It does and it has a whole lot more protein than all-purpose flour! You can also make your own from dried garbanzo beans and a coffee grinder if you have trouble finding it at your local store!

  • flynneous
    January 13, 2015

    This was a great dish. I made the dumplings just bigger than meatball size and baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes. Worked great for a little more crunch instead of mush. Very flavorful.

  • Hannah
    April 13, 2015

    I am going to try this tonight in the red lentils I already have made. Yum.

    • Shellywest
      April 16, 2015

      Hope it was a success!

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  • Nina
    September 24, 2015

    Wauw, this looks amazingly tasty and it’s great photography, so lovely.

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    November 3, 2015

    Awesome idea. I have never seen that recipe before. Those would be perfect on a nice autumn Sunday afternoon!

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    Wow, Looking so great! Last Sunday I have given a birthday party to my friends. I made curry tomato sauce as a birthday recipe. You know? All my friends are praising me for this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  • Claire
    October 23, 2016

    I was really disappointed by this recipe, especially after being so excited about it conceptually. First off, the dumplings were hard, dense, and oily – using a quarter cup of oil and yogurt as the wet component made the dough much more like a paste, and they came out heavy and solid; none of the fluff you expect from a dumpling. Second, considering the whole base of this dish is tomatoes, I think that canned tomatoes are the wrong move; the curry tasted metallic and stale (and I used good-quality San Marzano tomatoes). I think cooking down fresh tomatoes would have been best here.

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