• Rajani Katta MD

Chickpea Curry

Indian cuisine has a strong focus on the use of aromatics and spices to create a rich flavor profile

This is one of my all-time favorite skin-saving recipes because it packs in so many powerful nutrients.

The base of the recipe is a flavorful combination of tomato sauce, onions, and spices. Tomatoes are known for their ability to protect the skin from the visible effects of UV radiation and have even been shown to impact the skin on a cellular basis. Onions are a great source of Quercetin, which is a potent collagen-saving little chemical. Onions also serve as prebiotics, which help encourage the growth of the good gut microbes that have so many skin and health benefits.

The spices in this recipe are also potent anti-inflammatory ingredients, from turmeric to cumin seeds to mustard seeds. This recipe also uses garam masala, which is a mixture of ground spices. While everybody’s recipe for garam masala is different and personal, this specific recipe contains cloves. In one study, cloves had the highest antioxidant capacity of all the foods studied.


Flavor Base

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp of each: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, white lentils

1 onion, chopped

2 cans of tomato sauce [8oz cans]


1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

4 tsp garam masala [purchased or homemade]

Main Ingredients

2 cans [16 oz each] of garbanzo beans [also known as chickpeas]


1. Add oil, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and urudal to saucepan. Heat on medium-high. Cook for 1-2 minutes. [Note: watch closely, since spices may burn quickly.]

2. Add onion, tomato sauce, and spices

3. Lower heat to low and simmer until tomato sauce thickens

4. Add chickpeas and cover

5. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

6. When ready to serve, add fresh chopped cilantro (1/4 bunch, leaves and stems chopped)

Dr. Rajani Katta is the author of Glow: The Dermatologist's Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet. To receive future updates on preventive dermatology and the role of diet, sign up here.


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© Rajani Katta MD