My Thambapu Kadala or Sri Lankan Boiled and Tempered Chickpeas

By Home cook Sharmini Jayawardena

This makes a great 👍🏽 vegetarian breakfast meal. It is high in vegetable protein and minerals. as a snack eaten in what is known as kadala gotu, meaning chickpeas eaten off of a conical shaped pouch.

The chickpea preparation goes well mashed, as a base filling, for tortilla wraps.

2 cups dry chickpeas
Enough cold water to cover the chickpeas

1 large onion sliced
5 dry red  chilies broken into 1/2” pieces
Leaves of 2 sprigs of curry leaf
1/2 tsp dry mustard seeds
4 medium green chilies sliced
2 tbl spoons coconut oil
Fresh coconut pieces or scrapped coconut
Sea salt to taste


1.Wash the chickpeas three times in running water.
2.Add enough water to cover the chickpeas and some. Soak over night in cold water. Do not drain the water. My mum told me that the water in which the chickpeas are soaked contains vitamin B that is released in the process of soaking.
3.Boil the chickpeas on high flame at first and bring it down to low flame. There will be some froth appearing while boiling the chickpeas which can be skimmed with the spoon if necessary. I do not do this. Cook until it’s soft.
4.Add salt to taste at this stage, and remove from fire.

To temper-

1.  Add coconut oil to a wok and heat it on low flame. Add the mustard seeds.
2. Once the mustard seeds pop, add half the sliced onion to the heated oil.
3. As the onion starts to caramelize, add the dry red chili, followed by the curry leaves. Let it fry.
4. Add the boiled chickpeas to the fried ingredients, to temper.
6. Remove from fire and add the rest of the sliced onion and green chilies to the chickpeas and mix well.
7. Serve immediately with fresh coconut pieces or scrapped coconut.

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