Chickpeas with Cilantro and Coconut

We first ate this delicious dish at a southern Indian restaurant, where we were told that these piping-hot, perfectly spiced chickpeas are served in brown paper cones as a beachside snack in certain parts of India. From the minute they appeared, we knew we were headed to the magical land of culinary bliss! This dish features so many beloved spices and ingredients that are also common to the Caribbean islands—grated coconut, green mango, fresh cilantro—that we had to create our own version. Whether taken to the beach for a picnic or eaten straight out of the pot, it’s simply perfect.

Serves 2.

Recipes excerpted from Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking—150 Vegetarian Recipes by Michelle Rousseau and Suzanne Rousseau. Copyright ©2018. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 small red chili peppers (whole)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Scotch bonnet peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon diced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 10-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, some reserved for garnish
  • 1/2 “turned” (not quite ripe) mango, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 “turned” papaya, peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons grated dry coconut (unsweetened)
  • 4 limes, cut into wedges


Step 1

In a sauté pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the red chili pods, onion, Scotch bonnet pepper, ginger, chili powder, and turmeric. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the chickpeas, and sauté until all the ingredients are combined and the chickpeas are well coated with seasonings. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 2 minutes more. Season to taste with salt. Stir in the cilantro, reserving some for a garnish. Serve topped with the grated mango and papaya, coconut, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges.

photo by Ellen Silverman

From the Kitchen

How other cooks made this recipe

Not to be a total American Millennial about it, but I added avocado (in place of the papaya) and because I canNOT take the heat, I took out all the heat. Honestly, it's so addictive that I craved it after eating it for dinner.