Recipe – Sour Chickpeas

This recipe was adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s excellent cookbook, “Indian Cooking,” that was originally produced in cooperation with the British Broadcasting Corporation.

I’ve been toying with my own version of this for years and it’s very forgiving. Tonight, however, is was noteworthy — not only for the taste, but how little oil actually used.

Serves 6

2 cans chickpeas, drained (retain liquid)

3 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped (preferably with mini- or food processor; the finer the onions, the less oil you can use).

About 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons canned green chili, diced
1 Tablespoon very finely grated fresh ginger
4 Tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (the recipe originally called for SIX!)
2 12-ounce cans of diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 Tablespoon ground coriander seeds
1 Tablespoon ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on taste)

Put two Tablespoons of the chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, green chili, ginger, and lemon juice in a teacup. Mix well and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy, wide casserole type pot (or stew pot) over a medium flame. When hot, put it the remaining onions. Stir and fry for 8-10 minutes or until onion bit develp reddish-brown spots.

Add the tomatoes (plus juice).

Continue to cook another 5-6 minutes.

Put in coriander, cumin, and turmeric (all of which can be purchased cheaply in any store that sells spice in bulk). Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.

Now put in the drained chickpeas, 1 3/4 cups of their liquid, 2 teaspoons of salt, the garam masala (also available in most stores) and cayenne.

Stir to mix and bring to simmer.

Cover, turn heat to low and cook very gently for 20 minutes. Stir a few times during this period.

Add the mixture in the tea cup. Stir again to mix. Serve hot or lukewarm.

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4 comments so far

  1. […] June 16, 2009 Filed under: cooking, food, recipes | Tonight Michael and I had a special treat: Sour chickpeas served over brown basmati rice and accompanied by lightly steamed broccoli and fresh baby carrots, […]

  2. […] the day), will consist of a fairly generous portion of left over Khatte Chhole (otherwise known as sour chick peas), brown basmati rice and a green vegetable of some […]

  3. Patty on

    The recipe sounds good–I was initially put off by the name of the dish. I’m not crazy about “sour” flavors. I prefer spicy. How sour is this dish?

  4. KJ on

    It’s not sour in the traditional sense. It’s very, very good. I’ve never made it for anyone who didn’t love it. Of course the original version skips all the canned stuff, but I’m just lazy! 😉


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