• May 13, 2011

    Chickpeas in Star Anise

    0 0 vote
    Article Rating

    I love Indian flavours, and no one has mastered them more beautifully than my chef crush Vikram Vij. I could prattle on and on about how incredible his recipes are. But the experience is really the thing that will convince you, so I think you should find out for yourself; either by visiting one of his restaurants, or by buying his gorgeous cookbooks!

    In his latest masterpiece, Vij’s at Home, Vancouver chef Vikram Vij defines a masala as “a mixture of spices, either dry or wet. A dry masala consists of the dry spice mixtures – for example, a garam masala. A wet masala is the mixture of the dry spices with tomatoes, onions, garlic etc.”

    This dish is not a typical chickpea curry, in which the chickpeas are smothered in sauce. It is a saute of chickpeas with a masala of tomatoes and onions, in an aromatic blend of spices. At Vij’s restaurant, I first had these chickpeas served over grilled kale – which, if you’ve never tried it, sounds humble but tastes incredible!

    The sweet dates and anise go beautifully together, and they nicely balance the fiery heat of the cayenne. I served it with homemade naan as a main course, but Vij serves it as an appetizer.

    The entire meal takes about 20 minutes to make – this, combined with the fact that is both healthy and delicious, plants it firmly into my regular rotation.

    Chickpeas in Star Anise and Date Masala

    From Vij’s at Home cookbook

    • 3 15-oz cans chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cup raw chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled)
    • 2 cardamom pods
    • 1/3 cup cooking oil
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (1 medium-large)
    • 2 tbsp chopped garlic (6 medium cloves)
    • 2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
    • 6 fresh or dried dates, pitted and chopped
    • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 tsp salt (or 1 tsp if chickpeas are salted)
    • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1/3 tsp ground star anise, or 2 whole star anise
    • 1/2 cup water

    1. Drain chickpeas and set aside. With a knife, lightly crack the cardamom pods. With your fingers, peel back the shell to release the seeds; discard shells.

    2. Heat oil in a medium pot on medium-high for 45 seconds. Add oinion and saute for 6 to 7 minutes, or until browned. Stir in garlic and saute for 1 minute, or until browned. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in tomato paste. Add dates, cumin, salt, cayenne, black pepper, star anise and cardamom sees and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and water and heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until masala is well mixed with chickpeas. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.

    0 0 vote
    Article Rating

    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

    Notify of
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments


    Thanks for signing up! Check your inbox to confirm.
    Curried Cauliflower and Quinoa Soup Recipe April 29, 2020
    Curried Cauliflower and Quinoa Soup

    This Curried Cauliflower and Quinoa Soup is such a cozy and satisfying vegetarian meal.

    Coconut Squash Soup March 6, 2019
    Easy Coconut Squash Soup with Turmeric and Ginger

    This easy coconut squash soup is big on flavour. Ginger and turmeric bring warm, curried spice to this healthy squash soup recipe. (Bonus, it’s vegan!)

    Chicken Samosas February 14, 2019
    Chicken Samosas

    Unbelievably delicious chicken samosas. The crispy, golden exterior breaks into shards giving way to the tastiest warmly-spiced minced chicken filling.

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x