Chickpea-balls in tomato sauce

Vegan wholewheat pasta with chickpea balls in tomato sauce


  • 400 grams cooked chickpeas (one can or jar) rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup (Panko) breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red Jalapeño peppers (or green, or two chili peppers) diced
  • 4 tbsp plant based unsweetened yogurt
  • 3 cm. fresh ginger peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp Isot pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 6 firm sweet tomatoes (plum tomatoes i.e.)
  • 2 red onions halved and sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika paste (or use tomato paste)
  • 200 gr. tomato sauce (pommedori)
  • 250 ml water
  • oil for baking (I use coconut oil)
  • salt and pepper


Place the drained chickpeas, diced Jalapeños, breadcrumbs and Isot pepper in a food processor and pulse until the chickpeas and the other ingredients form a crumbly substance. Transfer into a mixing bowl, add the yogurt, olive oil, 3/4 cup of chopped cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients with a spatula. Form little balls with your hands and place the balls on a tray covered with baking paper. (they should be sticky enough to hold, if not add some yogurt or wet your hands a little). Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the sauce by frying the onions and the chopped ginger in a bit of oil. Mix in 1 tsp of cumin powder, 1 tsp of mustard powder and fry for a minute while stirring. Add the paprika paste and fry for a minute more. Add the water and stir through. Chop up the tomatoes and add to the sauce as well as the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer. Mix in two tsp of smoked paprika powder, the other tsp of mustard powder, cumin powder and the coriander powder. Mix in well and continue to simmer on low heat. Season if necessary with salt and pepper. I always like to add a drop of Ume sauce (available in organic stores) which creates the right balance in sauces etc.

Lower the heat to a minimum and take the chickpea balls out of the fridge. Heat a frying pan with just a little bit of oil. Start frying the balls for only a couple of minutes. The point is to give them a bit of colour. Since the chickpeas are already cooked there is no need to bake them completely. When they turn brown toss them around so all the sides get a nice golden colour. Transfer them into the sauce, add the rest of the fresh cilantro and let simmer until the pasta is cooked. (I use fresh vegan, wholewheat pasta which is available in my supermarket and only takes 4 minutes to cook.)


  • preparation time: 45 minutes
  • serves: 4-5 persons