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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!)

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