Sri Lankan Devilled Chickpeas Recipe and Food Photography by Shika Finnemore,

Sri Lankan Devilled Chickpeas (Kadala Thel Dala)

If you’re a fan of chickpeas then prepare to be instantly hooked by this healthy snack with a spicy kick. Sri Lankan Devilled Chickpeas aka Kadala Thel Dala are extremely addictive – be warned. My family easily get through four tins worth in like ten minutes. There have even been many times we’ve made a second batch straight away because we just can’t get enough!

The smell of the delicious spices wafting into the air as you cook this will want you eating them straight away. I definitely prefer eating Sri Lankan Devilled Chickpeas hot off the pan but you can enjoy them cold too.

As well as being an amazingly nutritious and deeply satisfying snack they also work great served as a starter or side to a delicious curry like my popular Sri Lankan Coconut Lentil Curry.

If you’re travelling around Sri Lanka, you can buy Devilled Chickpeas at food carts wrapped in little paper cones. We were so grateful to find them being sold at the only little tuck shop in Horton Plains. After a 9km trek into the clouds,  which I highly suggest doing, I could not be happier to demolish a bag of these.

If you try this recipe out, be sure to tag me using #thebellephant on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Sri Lankan Devilled Chickpeas Recipe and Food Photography by Shika Finnemore, The Bellephant

Sri Lankan Devilled Chickpeas

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 8


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Handful of curry leaves (10-15 leaves)
  • 4 dried red chillies, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1kg tinned chickpeas, (drained weight)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Fry the mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and chillies for around 30 seconds until you hear the seeds pop.
  3. Add the onions and cook until soft and golden.
  4. Stir through the chickpeas and add salt to taste. Sauté for a few minutes until heated through.
  5. Serve warm as a delicious snack or as a side to your meal.

Tip: If you don’t like dishes too spicy, adjust the amount of chillies to suit your tastebuds. You can use chilli flakes or fresh chillies as a substitute for the dried chillies.


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