Chickpeas and Pumpkin Pindi style

References to Rawlpindi always take me back to some of the first books I ever read set in India like Paul Scott’s the Raj Quintet, and of course the English in India, partition, and all that that brought with it.

So why have I just made and eaten this dish?

I’ve been practising Yoga at home and taking a few classes, and after every session I’m ravenous! When I took yoga classes in India, they were always early morning sessions, where you wouldn’t eat anything before exercising then afterwards I’d go to a cafe and have a fresh fruit juice, like pineapple swiftly followed by something like Massala eggs or a chickpea curry served with some chapatis, or a poori.

In order to reproduce that taste memory and assuage my hunger with something other than bread, I made a big batch of this so I can freeze some. The amount here would make about 3 – 4 portions.

I took the original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey and she describes it as being “known in Pakistan, all of the Punjab as Pindi Chana. This gingery dish has a lovely dark aromatic flavour, which comes from the roasted spices.”

I varied the recipe by adding some winter squash into the dish – largely because it needed using and plus I fancied some fresh vegetables with the chickpeas. Either way it is a very simple and tasty dish.  It can be eaten on its own or with breads like chapatis or stuffed in a pita, alongside a yoghurt dish like a Raita.

Chickpeas and Pumpkin Rawlpindi Style

Ingredients ~

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp of coriander seeds
  • 1 dried red chiili
  • 1 – 2 tbls vegetable oil
  • 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 oz of ginger, peeled and finely cut into Julienne style strips
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbls ground amchoor

Method ~

  • Drain the chickpeas, but keep the liquid.
  • In a heavy frying pan dry roast/fry the cumin, coriander seeds and chilli until they start to change colour and a beautiful aroma fills the room. Let them cool for a minute or two and then grind them in a coffee grinder or spice mill.
  • In a large pan (I use a wok) heat the vegetable oil and add the chopped onions, fry until they start to brown.
  • Add the ginger and fry for a minute
  • Add the drained chickpeas and the all the spices, stir and mix well and cook for about 5 minutes, until all the spices are well cooked
  • Add the chickpea liquid and approx. 8floz of water, turn the heat down, cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes.

Cooking notes and options –

  • I added a piece of pumpkin, which I’d peeled and diced into chunks and cooked it in with the chickpeas.
  • You could add 2 chopped tomatoes, or add another vegetable like spinach
  • You can add some diced potatoes to make the dish more substantial for a main meal.

Gardening Notes ~

I used a piece of Tromba D’Albegna, a wonderful Italian squash that can be eaten young as a summer squash or left on the plant to mature and be used as a winter squash. The taste reminded me a bit of butternut squash.

And conveniently all the seeds are at the bulbous end of the squash, so no scraping squash seeds out. It is also fairly thin-skinned so is easy to peel.

A word of warning though for when you are growing it, you may get the odd “fruity” comment as, well, it kind of looks a bit like ….. hmmm…..


  • the recipe sounds great! And the garden looking wonderful 🙂 I have just passed on an award to you …

  • Ooh er missus!! Very funny but then I have a childish sense of humour at times. Love this dish as I am a huge fan of chick peas. Am off to google amchoor as have never heard of it. Have a great Easter – wherever you are!

    • He, he, he – that’s a Britsih upbringing for you! We just can’t help ourselves 🙂
      Uusing Lemon and that’s a great substitute! Happy cooking and I hope there are some lovely Easter Eggs waiting for you this morning !

  • Thanks! I’m always looking for another way to stuff chickpeas into my family and I have found this weeks method!

    Squash only proves that Mother Nature still has a school-girl giggle. 🙂

  • Um…it looks like a TROMBONE…what were YOU thinking, m’girl? 😉
    Sounds yummy…Hubby would want me to “Just put a little lamb in it…”
    Wish I could convince him he wasn’t going to die of malnutrition if he didn’t have meat at every meal.

    • Nothing Me Lord, Honest!!
      Ah the old suffering from malnutrition worry, I have a friend who is a bit like that, he says things like “delicious, it would be nice with some chicken in it” !! But the dish would work with lamb in it for sure, it would make it nice and rich. Happy Easter

  • Lots of curry on a few blogs this morning.. and I’m off to yoga in an hour or so.. this would be so good after.. I will just have to pick up the ingredients once I’m done!! xo Smidge

    • I hope the yoga went well! It was a great holiday, yoga in the mornings followed by food and lazing around, I remember that I read a ridiculous amount of books that holiday 🙂

  • Aren’t daffodils great? Gotta love ’em! The recipe sounds delicious, as does each of the variations you listed. I’ve never seen a garden that needed a NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) rating. 🙂

    • He, he Not Suitable For Work D) Maybe we should have an online non-competition later this year to see who can grow the most ridiculous, misshapen or funny veg! Now that would definitely be a “look away now” moment 🙂

    • Thanks Sharyn, it seems Indian food is appreciated. I hop eyou are having a lovely weekend, I must pop over and see what you have cooking and painted 🙂

  • Adore the ease and simplicity of the recipe! A recipe that is flexible enough to add a few more ingredients that need to be used is a keeper!

    • The suggestions are my own, but that’s me, I always end up playing with a recipe, but I guess that’s why we cook and blog 🙂 Wishing you a Happy Easter Deb

  • My father used to grow squash and gourds of various types and the shapes that they sometimes assumed were quite humorous. I enjoyed reading about your latest Indian dish as I am always trying to add new dishes to my Indian repertoire. Fortunately I have a great Indian grocery store nearby (5 min drive away) so getting any new ingredients is never a problem. Getting myself OUT of the store without buying any freshly made samosas, pakoras, jalebis, gulab jamun or any other sweets as well as packages of snacks or pappadums to fry up IS however.

    • I’m envious of your great Indian store, I tend to have to London (60 miles away!!) if I want to go to a really good Indian store – to pick up things like fresh curry leaves. But things are looking up we have a couple of small shops now in Hastings and I can get most things, but not the fresh produce like samosas and jalebis, which might not be a bad thing 😉

  • Wonderful garden you have… The recipe seems so nice too… You are amazing in doing these things, garden and kitchen… Thank you dear Claire, Happy Easter, with my love, nia

    • Happy Easter to you too. The weather hasn’t changed here in the Alps to light snow, we’ve had some beautiful warm sunny days and now I’m contemplating wearing thermals again 🙂

  • Your conclusion gave me a good laugh! I love Indian spices and I’m encouraged that it can be frozen. It would travel well to work for a reheat, too. I practice yoga three times a week and I’m just a week bit envious that you practiced in India! I have a feeling you have a lot of stories that would be interesting to hear 🙂 Debra

    • I love going to a yoga class, but sometimes it’s tricky for me to fit one in, but they are so good for me as they push me and stop me getting into bad habits! And yes there are a few stories, not too many as I’ve never visited an Ashram, but stories all the same! I hope you have a great week Debra 🙂

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