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All foods Indian please my palate. The spices and colours remain exotic and foreign. I’ve tried preparing Indian feasts under my sister’s guidance, but haven’t really adopted the dishes into a regular repertoire. Perhaps it isn’t too late. This very simple recipe is ready in a jiffy. I usually double it as it tastes great left over.

I remember my mom making us Indian curry with many condiments spinning around on the Lazy Susan; roasted peanuts, coconut shavings, raisins, tiny cucumber cubes and banana slices were all laid out for us to sprinkle on our servings. It’s a jolly way to serve a curry and it allows for individualizing according to each person’s taste.

Spicy Chickpeas


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t tumeric
  • 1/8 t cayenne
  • 1 19 oz can of chickpeas
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 1 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1 small handful chopped cilantro
  • optional toppings; cashews, roasted peanuts, raisins, banana slices, yogourt, coconut slivers, tiny cucumber cubes


Saute onion, medium high, until browned. Add Indian spices, cooking for 1 minute longer. Add chickpeas, salt and pepper until warmed. Add cilantro and lemon juice.

Serve warm or room temperature. Goes well with rice.

Garnish as desired to alter flavour and texture or to bring down the heat.

Special thanks to Judee Ganten for introducing me to this recipe years ago at one of our wonderful pot luck celebrations.

Easy lunch, snack or side dish.

India calls out to me in so many ways. Many of my favorite books take place there, with “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry taking the cake. I love the Bollywood movies, melting over the vibrant colours, the music, dance, pathos and humour. Saris are one of the loveliest garbs ever. I could get whiplash staring at beautifully clad Indian women in their traditional get ups. We are fortunate to be associated with the wonderful Sheela Bal Bhavan home, where we have been paired with a lovely girl whose education we co-sponsor. India is a long, long way away…but worth visiting and revisiting.