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Kadala Thel Dala- Sri Lankan Spicy Chickpeas

Kadala thel dala (deviled and fried chickpeas), as it is called in Sri Lanka, is a very quick, high protein dish that is typically served for breakfast, or as a snack. I recommend canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) because it will save you the time required to soak and cook the chickpeas in advance. As with most Sri Lankan dishes, feel free to increase the level of heat (in this case crushed or whole dried red chilies), and other spices to your taste. This cooks very quickly (around 10 minutes), so keep an eye on the pan!


1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained ½ tsp black mustard black seeds (bit more if you like) 5-7 curry leaves, ripped (more if you like and if you can’t find fresh, you can find dry curry leaves at Curio Spice) Half of a small red or yellow onion, thinly sliced, and slices halved ¼-½ tsp of crushed red chili flakes or 1-2 long dried red chilies (to your preference) Sea salt to taste


Over medium-high heat, add 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the curry leaves and mustard seeds and temper for around 30-seconds, or when the mustard seeds begin to pop.

When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onions and the chilies, stir, and turn down the heat to medium.

Add the chickpeas and salt, and stir everything to combine the ingredients and sauté for a couple minutes.

Once the chickpeas are heated through and the onions are light golden and soft, remove from the heat.

Serve hot (I like mine with Tabasco sauce!)




I’m placing an order for some dried curry leaves through the source you recommended. Inquiring how much of the dried I would use compared to fresh leaves in your kadala recipe? Also, out of curiosity, any source for organic dried curry leaves?

Thank you for sharing your recipe!


Replying to

Hello! That’s wonderful! I would add maybe 3-5 extra to start. To be honest, this recipe works well with extra curry leaves. The frying takes away the sharpness and the mustard seeds round out the flavour. I will have to get back to you about the organic dried! Thanks for trying my recipe!


Hello. I can't wait to try this recipe. It sounds delicious!

I live on Mercer Island and would like to talk with you about possibly doing a virtual presentation for the Mercer Island Women's Club. Our group is a social as well as philanthropic group of roughly 250 women who live on Mercer Island.

I'm not sure how to proceed as I'm hesitant to post my personal contact info on your website. And I've looked but cannot find a "Contact" button on your website or blog.

If you wouldn't mind, please reach out to Michelle at, and our President will forward your email to me.

I look forward to hearing from you, and to trying your delicious recipes!


Replying to

Hello! My apologies for the delayed response! I am interested indeed and I will reach out! Of note there is a “contact” page now active. Please feel free to reach out any time!

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