Apricot and chick pea curry

The sweetness of the apricots offsets the spiciness of the curry in this dish which I am sure has no connection with India at all.   It is a very quick and easy vegan dish.   I usually serve it with brown rice mixed with fried onions and green peas.  I saw this recipe once about 20 years ago, and I’ve been making it from memory ever since. I have no idea if the way I make it now has any connection with the original recipe. But I thought I should write it down while I can remember it.  (If you don’t want to do the spices you can buy a jar of curry paste.  But they don’t sell those here in Addis Ababa.)

Serves 4.

200g dried apricots
100ml orange juice
400g soaked and cooked (or tinned) chick peas
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
3cm ginger
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 tsp garam masala

Slice the dried apricots and soak them for an hour in the orange juice.

Dice the onions, and fry them until they go soft. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne. Fry for 2-3 more minutes.  Add the onion and spice mix to the cooked chick peas.

Pour any surplus juice off the apricots (it is delicious to drink, by the way).  Add the apricots to the chickpeas and onions. Add some water if needed and stir.

Cook on a medium ring for 30 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from burning.

As well as rice, consider serving with a fresh raita (yoghurt and diced cucumber).

Published by Owen Barder

Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen is on Twitter and

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1 Comment

  1. Great recipe. I will try that, but will make some changes. Cant find garam masala in my country.

    Owen replies: you don’t really need the garam masala – I’ve made this often without.

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