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Yogurt Chickpeas with Indian-ish spices

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In the summer, I love to make the sort of meals that can be tossed together in a big bowl and served at room temperature.  

I get cranky in the heat, and it’s better for everyone if I don’t spend much time standing over a hot stove.

It’s better still if, after everything is done, I can step away from the kitchen with a cool drink in my hand and relax for a while before eating.

Chickpeas in a bowl

These yogurt chickpeas with Indian-ish spices are perfect for days like that.

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s something special. It’s fragrant with aromatic spices and creamy from the yogurt sauce.

The chickpeas make it feel substantial but the lemon and fresh herbs keep it light. It’s been a staple in my summer kitchen ever since I first learned about it on Dana’s site back in 2009.

It shares some characteristics with a more traditional chana chaat, and I’m sure it would be delicious with the full chaat treatment with various chutneys and crunchy bits of sev and a sprinkling of chaat masala. But this dish is meant to be doable on a weeknight for people who don’t have access to an Indian grocery store. (But if you want to go all out, by all means, do so!)

It’s incredibly simple to throw together. A kicky blend of brown mustard seeds and cumin and fennel seeds get heated with some coconut oil to make a spice infused oil.

Yogurt, mint, measuring spoons, a lemon and spices in bowls

(Basically, a tadka, which is an excellent technique for getting more flavor from your spices.)

Then the oil and spices get poured over a waiting bowl of chickpeas. Some cooling yogurt and a squeeze of lemon juice go in next, and then the whole thing gets topped with a flurry of sliced green onions and mint.

I usually serve this with some fragrant basmati rice, but it’s also great on it’s own or with some naan or tucked into baked sweet potatoes or as a component alongside other Indian-inspired dishes, like these curried sweet potato latkes.

Chickpeas in a spice-infused oil

I’ve done some variations on this, sometimes adding cucumber slices or tender leafy greens like spinach. I sometimes add cilantro along with or instead of the mint.

I usually use scallions, but because I had some milder green spring onions on hand I used those this time.

I like it best with coconut oil, but I’ve also enjoyed it with peanut oil and canola oil and safflower oil, and although I’ve never used it in this, I’m sure ghee would also be delicious here.

Don’t use olive oil in this one. As much as I love it, the flavor is all wrong for this dish.

Chickpeas in yogurt with a bunch of sliced scallions on top

And it holds up well for leftovers, which makes it a great make-ahead lunch or dinner for later in the week.

It’s an incredibly flexible dish with a great reward to effort ratio.

And, even better, it can wait patiently on the kitchen counter while you pour yourself a cold drink.

Yogurt Chickpeas with Indian-ish Spices
Yield: 4 servings as a main, more as a side

Yogurt Chickpeas with Indian-ish Spices

Yogurt Chickpeas with Indian-ish Spices

These chickpeas are a regular in my summer kitchen.

The brown mustard seeds give it a subtly spicy kick, the yogurt gives it a creamy richness, the lemon and mint brighten the flavors.

I like this with coconut oil, but any neutral oil will work.

It will taste best with full fat yogurt (of course) but it’s also still really good with low or no fat yogurt. I usually make it with Greek yogurt, but it’s also good with thinner yogurt varieties, which simply make it saucier.

I usually serve this with basmati rice, but it’s also great with naan or as part of a larger spread of dishes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes


  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained, from about 1 cup dried or 2 15-ounce cans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, or peanut oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • handful of mint, thinly sliced


  1. Place the chickpeas in a large heat safe mixing bowl. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mustard seeds and cook for about one minute or until they begin to pop. Add the fennel and cumin seeds and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and immediately pour over the chickpeas. Stir to coat. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, and salt, and stir until the chickpeas are coated. Add the green onions and mint and fold in gently.
  2. Serve at room temperature. (This can be stored overnight in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.)

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 630mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 4gSugar: 23gProtein: 7g

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Saturday 20th of June 2020

TIL that there is a difference between scallions and green onions, although I have no idea what it is. Also, this looks amazing, and I will be going out to buy some scallions/green onions right now.

Mary Kasprzak

Saturday 20th of June 2020

Green onions can refer to any young onion with green stems—it's a broad category. Scallions are the most commonly available green onions in the US.


Tuesday 26th of March 2019

Bravo! What a great idea! Love this. I’m sure this is incredibly delicious!


Monday 26th of October 2015

This looks super delicious. What a great snack idea!


Tuesday 27th of October 2015

Thanks! I think it makes a good meal or side too.

Christine | Vermilion Roots

Monday 26th of October 2015

One word: Yes! :-)


Monday 26th of October 2015



Monday 26th of October 2015

Oh yum, I know what I'm making for dinner tonight! Chickpeas are a fav around my home! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!


Monday 26th of October 2015

Thanks, Ashleigh! Let me know how it turns out!

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