Of all the sautéed chickpea recipes out there this one, with simple spices and fresh coconut, is my most favorite! Mild and delicious, this easy vegan and gluten free snack will become your favorite too!
Temple foods and foods that are made during festivals have a special charm to them. This carrot salad recipe is one such dish that so simple and unassuming, yet tastes absolutely delicious!
This pan fried chickpeas snack is another such temple food that I love! Also know as sundal from the part of India where I come from, these boiled and sauteed chickpeas, gently tossed in a spice paste made with fresh coconut, chili, cilantro and some simple spices is served as a snack during the festival of Navrathri.
Ingredients for sautéed chickpea recipes
Just 10 simple ingredients - that's all! Fresh coconut is the star of this dish 🥥
See recipe card for quantities.
- Chickpeas: Some of you may know this as garbanzo beans. I use dry ones which have to be soaked in water. Canned chickpeas will work well too!
- Fresh coconut: works best for this recipe. You can use grated-frozen or desiccated (dried) coconut.
- Mustard seeds: Use the regular, brown ones.
- White lentils: Also known as urad dal, you will find these at your Indian grocers. It is ok to skip this ingredient.
- Asafetida: This adds a distinct flavor to the dish and also helps with the tummy related issues chickpeas can cause!
- Green chili: Use as hot or as mild as you can handle.
This recipe is unbelievably simple! And yet it will surprise you with its creaminess, flavors and fragrance. Let's make it.
As always, the detailed instructions and notes are in the recipe card.
Soak the chickpeas: Wash the chickpeas and soak them in water for 6-8 hours (or overnight). Add turmeric to the water.
Cook the chickpeas: Drain the water in which the chickpeas have been soaking and rinse them. Cook them in a pressure cooker (6 to 7 "whistles") or large pot with 2 and ½ cups of water and salt. Chickpeas should be cooked soft and still hold their shape.
Drain the chickpeas. Keep aside.
Do not discard the water. We may need some of it when sautéing the chickpeas. Add the rest of it to your soup, stock or curries.
Grind: Coconut, cilantro and green chili to a coarse paste. Use an electric grinder or mortar and pestle. Keep aside.
Sauté: Place a skillet over medium high heat and add oil to it. Add the spices and fry till they splutter and turn brown in color.
When the lentils are turning brown and the mustard seeds are spluttering, add the paste of coconut, cilantro and chili. Fry for a minute.
At this stage, if you find that things are a bit dry in the pan, add some chickpea water (1 to 2 tablespoons) that you had drained and reserved earlier.
Add the cooked chickpeas and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, while gently mixing till the spices coat them well.
Optional garnishes: Add finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves; grated coconut; a dash of freshly squeezed lime juice.
Serve this as a snack or as a delicious side to this sweet potato soup. Tastes great warm or cold.
Tips and notes
Loving this sautéed chickpea recipes so far? Here are some pro tips and notes for best results.
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans): To save time and effort, it is absolutely ok to use canned chickpeas for this recipe. This recipe will then just require the time needed to put together the dish in the skillet, which is about 5 minutes!
- Canned chickpeas: If using these, drain and rinse them first. Reserve the water - you may require some while sautéing. Add the remaining to your soups and gravies.
- Turmeric: If using canned chickpeas, add the turmeric to the oil along with the other spices. Can you leave the turmeric out? Yes, you can!
- Coconut: You get the best flavor from fresh coconut. You can, however, use grated/ shredded, frozen coconut. If using from frozen, thaw it before grinding. You may also use desiccated (dried) coconut.
Top tip: It is important that the chickpeas be cooked soft and still hold their shape. Chickpeas that are undercooked or overcooked will ruin the texture of the dish.
- Spicy - Increase the quantity of green chilis to suit your palate. Use fresh jalapeno if you have - it will work well!
- Love coconut? - Use coconut oil instead of regular oil for a more intense coconut flavor. See this lentil zucchini recipe on my website!
- Kid friendly - Smash the chickpeas before tossing them in the spices. You kid will love it as finger food!
- Other beans: This recipe works well with black eye beans, brown chickpeas and dried yellow peas.
For cooking the chickpeas: I use the old fashioned pressure cooker - with a weighted stopper and a valve - to cook the chickpeas. (see video) I have grown up seeing my mum cook with it. Use any other type of pressure cooker or instant pot or slow cooker to cook your chickpeas.
For grinding: On days when it is convenient for me (and I have the time!), I use the good old mortar and pestle to grind the coconut-chili-cilantro paste. On most days, I do it the quick way - by using an electric grinder.
For sautéing: I love using my well-seasoned cast iron pan for this. You can use any heavy bottomed skillet / frying pan that you have with you.
Store the leftovers in a glass container with a tight fitting lid. Good for 2-3 days.
Meal prep tip: Double or triple the quantity of chickpeas. Cook them and store them in the fridge to make this recipe another day. Good for 3-4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chickpeas are like a blank canvas for flavor! They taste good with almost all spice combinations:
cumin, ginger and garlic;
coconut, chili and cumin;
garam masala and ground coriander;
curry powder and lime juice
- these are some of the spices that work well with chickpeas.
Yes, absolutely! Sauteed garbanzo beans taste delicious!
Use a heavy bottomed skillet / frying pan, add oil of your choice.
Saute the chickpeas with spices to your liking.
If using dried chickpeas, soak them before hand and boil them before sauteing.
If using canned chickpeas, drain the water, rinse and then sauté them with the spices.
You can cook chickpeas in 20 - 25 minutes when you use equipment such as pressure cooker or instant pot.
If using the stovetop method, add the soaked chickpeas to a pot with lot of water (at least 4 times to the quantity of chickpeas), add salt and cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until you get the desired softness.
I hope that of all the sautéed chickpea recipes, you like this one as much as I do! If you have made it, please take a moment to leave a comment and /or a rating below. This will make me super happy and motivate me to create more good content for you! xx Padma
Easy Sautéed Chickpeas Recipe (Vegan, GF)
- 1 pressure cooker or saucepan
- 1 sieve
- 1 skillet
- 1 spatula
- 1 mixer grinder or pestle and mortar
To soak the chickpeas
- 1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 4 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
To cook chickpeas
- 1 and ¼ teaspoons salt (adjust to taste)
- 2 and ½ cups water
- 6 teaspoons grated fresh coconut
- 1 green chili (or 2 if you like it spicy!)
- 1 stalk fresh cilantro (stem + leaves)
- 1 teaspoon neutral oil
- 1 teaspoons white lentils (urad dal)
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon powdered asafetida (hing)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chickpea water (only if needed)
To finish off (optional) - any or all of them
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon grated coconut
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Soak the chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- Wash the chickpeas and soak them in water for 6-8 hours (or overnight). Add turmeric to the water. Adding turmeric at this stage with give the chickpeas an even yellow hue.1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans), ¼ teaspoon turmeric, 4 cups water
Cook the chickpeas
- Drain the water in which the chickpeas have been soaking and rinse them. Doing this will help reduce the tummy problems that chickpeas can cause! We also want to remove the turmeric from the water. The chickpeas have soaked up all the turmeric they can and that is good enough.
- Place the soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker with 2 and ½ cups of water and salt. Cover and cook for 6 to 7 "whistles". Chickpeas should be cooked soft and still hold their shape.1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans), 2 and ½ cups water, 1 and ¼ teaspoons salt
- When the pressure cooker has cooled down and the pressure released, drain the chickpeas. Keep aside.Do not discard the water. We may need some of it when sautéing the chickpeas. Add the rest of it to your soup, stock or curries.
- Make a coarse paste of the coconut, cilantro and green chili. Keep aside.6 teaspoons grated fresh coconut, 1 green chili, 1 stalk fresh cilantro (stem + leaves)
Saute the chickpeas
- Place a skillet over medium high heat and add oil to it.1 teaspoon neutral oil
- Add the spices and fry till they splutter and turn brown in color.1 teaspoons white lentils (urad dal), ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds, ¼ teaspoon powdered asafetida (hing), ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- Now add in the coarsely ground past of coconut, chili and cilantro. Fry for 1 minute. At this stage, if you find that things are a bit dry in the pan, add some chickpea water that you had drained and reserved earlier.1 to 2 tablespoons chickpea water
- Add the cooked chickpeas and fry sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, while gently mixing till the spices coat them well.
- Finish off (and this is totally optional) by adding finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, grated coconut and a dash of freshly squeezed lime juice.2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon grated coconut