Stellar Chariot

By Arun Neelakandan

A South Indian Chickpea Korma

South Indian Style Chickpea Korma on plate
Serving suggestion: with pototates and brinjals/eggplants on rice
South Indian Style Chickpea Korma in a kadai/frying pan
Bubbling with glory and aroma

This recipe has its roots in south India, likely influenced by cuisine from Bangalore and Vellore.

Cooking Time

About 20 minutes (assuming the chickpeas have already been soaked)


  • 200g chickpeas (white)
  • 2 medium-sized onions (chopped)
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste
  • Coconut milk to taste (say, about 200ml)
  • ½ tablespoon chilli power (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Some coriander leaves (for garnishing)
  • Some oil (e.g. vegetable or sunflower oil)
  • Some water (about 3-4 cups should do)
  • Some table salt (seasoning)

Optional Additions

Usually some vegetables are added as desired. In my household, a few small potatoes, brinjals/eggplants, cauliflower and green beans are typically added.


Chickpea Preparation

  1. Wash the chickpeas.
  2. Soak chickpeas for about 5-6 hours in water (room temperature).
  3. Boil the chickpeas until cooked and somewhat soft.


  1. Add about a tablespoon of oil in a kadai or frying pan. Add the cinnamon sticks and cloves when the oil reaches a medium temperature.
  2. Add the chopped onions.
  3. Throw in the ginger-garlic paste once the onions are slightly cooked (takes a couple of minutes).
  4. Add the tomatoes, cook for a moment (about a minute or so), then add your choice of vegetables until they’re slightly cooked.
  5. Add in the chilli, coriander and turmeric powder.
  6. Cook until the smell of the chilli powder has disappeared and the brilliant aroma starts to emerge. This usually takes about a couple of minutes.
  7. Season with table salt (about a teaspoon of salt).
  8. Add the water to the kadai/frying pan. The vegetables should be submerged in the water so as to cook them thoroughly. Cover the kadai or frying pan with a lid.
  9. After about a couple of minutes when the vegetables are starting to cook, put in the chickpeas and the coconut milk. Season with salt to taste (about a couple teaspoons should do.
  10. Close the lid and let it simmer in the medium flame for about 2-3 minutes.
  11. Done! Serve with rice, rotis/chapathis, parottas, puris or some other base.