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dry chilli chana with quinoa

Chilli Chana

Shilpa Joshi
Chilli chana is a popular Indian-chinese appetizer. Crunchy chick peas are tossed in a spicy sauce with capsicum, onions and garlic. While it is traditionally deep fried, this recipe offers a pan fry and bake option to make a healthier version.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine indian chinese, indian fusion
Servings 8
Calories 415 kcal


  • Pot
  • large pan


  • 3 cup chick peas canned
  • ¾ cup besan 85 g (fine chick pea flour)
  • ¾ cup oil


  • 6 tbsp garlic 36 g - minced
  • 3 tsp green chillies crushed, paste
  • 1 medium onion 128g - minced
  • bell pepper 200 g - (capsicum)

Sauce mix

  • 3 tsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsp crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp chilli garlic sauce prefer sambal olek, can use sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • 4 spring onion greens chopped , for topping
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews optional


  • cup water
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water mix with arrowroot powder to make slurry


  • Wash and dry chick peas. Toss to coat in besan.
    Note: If you want to bake chickpeas instead, see recipe notes.
    besan coated chick peas
  • Heat oil in pan on medium high. Add besan coated chick peas to oil, turn gas to medium. Pan fry chick peas until browner in spots being careful not to burn. Turn off gas.
    crispy chana
  • Mix ingredients listed under sauce mixture in a bowl. Set aside. Mix arrowroot powder and 3 tbsp water to form a slurry. Set aside.
    hot sauces mixture
  • In large pan, add 2 tbsp oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. Then add garlic, green chillies and capsicum. Cook on medium while stirring about 3 minutes.
    sautee capsicum, onion, garlic and onions
  • Add sauce mixture and mix. Add water and arrowroot or cornstarch slurry. Let it simmer 3 minutes.
    sauteed vegetables with hot sauce mixture
  • Add pan fried chick peas to pan and toss to coat. Cook 2 minutes and turn off gas. Top with spring onion greens and optionally roasted cashews.
    crispy chana chick peas into spicy veg sauce
  • You can serve chilli chana on its own as an appetizer. I enjoy having it with some cooked, salted quinoa to turn it into a meal!
    crispy chilli chana not deep fried


If you prefer a baked chick pea option:
  1. Wash, drain chick peas. Remove skins.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil then toss to coat in besan. Add to parchment lined paper.
  3. Bake in oven at 425F for about 25 minutes, or until crisp.
  4. Continue following recipe above, step 3
Note, this is usually served as a deep fried appetizer. You can also deep fry if you would like. 
I prefer the pan fried method as it uses less oil and takes less time then baking.


Calories: 415kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 11gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 873mgPotassium: 446mgFiber: 8gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 733IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 3mg
Keyword chilli chana, dry chilli chana, indian chinese
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