What with one thing and another over the "stupid season", I haven't managed for the last couple of weeks to join in with my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs where we are cooking the food of Madhur Jaffrey. Time now that all the busyness is out of the way to join back in.
Our theme this week is "Appetisers", and it seemed like the perfect time to try this recipe for Sour Chickpeas that I've had earmarked for sometime now. These sour, spicy chickpeas are classic street snack food found all over northern India. Madhur says, in her introduction to the recipe, "although Khatte Chhole are generally eaten as a snack in India, I serve them at my lunches and dinners, with vegetables, meats and rice". I'm inclined to agree. I enjoyed them as a bit of a snack served with some crisp triangles of toasted pita bread, but I liked them best over rice for a light lunch.
Now, you will have observed already that this dish suffers photographically from the DBFS (dreaded brown food syndrome), but trust me when I tell you that it tastes a lot better than it looks. There is certainly plenty of spiciness in this dish, and the sourness (although I think initially somewhat foreign to European palates) works really well with the delightful nuttiness of some steamed Basmati rice.
Sour Chickpeas (Khatte Chhole) Recipe
Adapted slightly from recipe by Madhur Jaffrey from
Would serve 4-6 as a snack or accompaniment or
Serves 2-3 as a light meal
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
2 cups cooked chickpeas
(canned are fine, but if you cook your own save the cooking liquid)
2x shallots, peeled and very finely chopped
1x green chilli, finely chopped (deseed if you like less heat)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
juice of 1x lemon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1x large or 2x medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Put one of the chopped shallots in a small bowl, together with the chopped chilli, grated ginger, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix together well and set aside.
Now heat oil in a heavy based, deep pan over medium heat. Once oil has heated, add the remaining chopped shallot to the pan and fry, stirring from time to time, until the shallot becomes fragrant and begins to turn golden brown. Add the chopped tomato and continue to cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato has "broken down", and has become like a thick sauce. Add the coriander, cumin and turmeric, and stir to combine everything well. Add the chickpeas to the pan, and stir to coat well with the spice and sauce mixture. Now add 400 ml (14 fl oz) of water, or reserved chickpea cooking liquid if you have it. Add the garam masala, cayenne pepper, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Stir to combine, and then bring up to the boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mixture of shallots, chilli, ginger and lemon juice. Mix well and remove from heat.
Serve immediately, or cool to luke warm. (I actually liked it best at room temperature).
If you would like to get to know Madhur a little better, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all cooked up ...
... or check out Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking and many of Madhur's other great titles available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK or Fishpond NZ.
I'm sharing this post at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace; at Gallery of Favourites hosted by the equally lovely April at The 21st Century Housewife and Alea at Premeditated Leftovers; and at My Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya at My Sweet and Savory.