Roast the whole cumin seeds and the dried red chilies (if using) in a small skillet, for about 1 minute, until fragrant and smoky. If you are using the red cayenne pepper do not add to the skillet, just roast the cumin seeds.
Place the cumin seeds and chilies or cayenne powder and black peppercorns in a spice grinder and grind to a powder.
Place in a small mixing bowl. Add in the tamarind paste or lemon juice and the salt and mix well and set aside. Add about 2 tablespoons of water if needed.
Boil the potatoes until they are soft. Cool and dice and place in a large mixing bowl.
Add in the chickpeas, onions and the green chilies and mix well.
Toss with the tamarind dressing. Cool thoroughly. It is a good idea to chill this for about an hour.
Toss with the cilantro and peanuts if using.
Serve as a snack with your favorite rejuvenating beverage.
The prep time includes an hour for chilling.
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