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Chana bhaja (spicy fried chickpeas with minted yogurt)

Chana bhaja (spicy fried chickpeas with minted yogurt)

By Shahnaz Ahsan
For me, this is the taste of Ramadan. After a tiring day of fasting, it is – with the use of canned chickpeas – mercifully simple to prepare. Serve warm in small bowls with a dollop of the minted yogurt on top.

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  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare15 mins
  • Cook20 mins
  • Total time35 mins

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  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 green or green Thai chilli, slit down the middle, deseeded if liked (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • 2 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 25g coriander, leaves only, finely chopped
  • Steamed basmati rice, to serve (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 50g coriander
  • 50g mint
  • 1 lime, juice
  • ½ green or green Thai chilli (optional)
  • 150g Greek yogurt


  1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan; add the shallots. Fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes until just golden at the edges. Add the salt, chilli powder, green chilli (if using) and turmeric. Fry for 1 minute more, then add the tomato. Stir well and cover. Turn the heat to low; cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomato starts to break down.

  2. Add the chickpeas and stir well. Cover and cook for a further 6-8 minutes until they soften. Meanwhile, prepare the yogurt. In a blender, whizz the herbs, lime juice and chilli (if using) until they form a purée. In a bowl, beat 1 heaped tsp of the purée into the yogurt and season with salt. You can add more purée to taste. (Unused purée will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days; try it drizzled over roasted vegetables or fish.)

  3. Gently stir the coriander through the chickpeas and serve in bowls with basmati rice, if liked, a dollop of the mint yogurt and lime wedges to squeeze over.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,187kJ/ 519kcals



Saturated Fat












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