Afghan Chickpea Curry

This was our second attempt from May’s Cookbook Club selection, Parwana, by Durkhanai Ayubi. The first, Afghan Lamb & Root Veggie Aush, was a big hit. We have about 80% of the recipes in this book earmarked to try. I was also very encouraged when I was picking this book up at the library and the librarian told me that he hoped I enjoyed cooking from it, as he finds it a very good representation of the food of his country.

This recipe is easier and more subtle than the first recipe we tried from this book. The meal comes together easily, good enough for a weeknight meal. It’s also hearty, while meatless, perfect for those of us trying to eat more vegetables or less meat. The flavors are fairly subtle and develop more if you save some for leftovers.

Afghan Chickpea Curry

(Parwana, by Durkhanai Ayubi)
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • Pinch of ground clove
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • Salt
  • Fresh parsley
  1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and garlic. Stir to coat in the oil. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened and fragrant.
  2. Add the cinnamon sticks, spices, sugar, and bay leaves. Stir well and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the spices are fragrant.
  3. Meanwhile, blitz the tomatoes in a blender or food processor until nearly smooth. Add these and the vinegar to the pot. Simmer for ~10 minutes, as the sauce thickens slightly.
  4. Add the hot water and chickpeas. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chickpeas are softened and hot. Taste and add salt to your liking.
  5. Serve over rice, as a side, or with naan, with fresh parsley on top.

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