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Sour Chickpeas {Khatte chhole}

26 comments /
This week at IHCC marks the start of a six-month cooking journey with Madhur Jaffrey.  Now, I'm no stranger to Jaffrey.  I first fell in love with her storytelling when I read Climbing the Mango Trees a couple of years back.  And actually, I was so inspired to try more Indian dishes that I threw a Taste of India dinner party.  And no kidding, four or five of those dishes still make regular appearances in my kitchen.  And then last year I revisited my interest in Jaffrey when she appeared on the 50 Women Game-Changers (in food) list.  So, I was excited when she took the vote by storm and I realized that I was going to be able to spend a solid six-month period exploring and re-discovering her food.  And along with that, her stories and food memories.

I decided to kick everything off with something easy.  Because in all honesty, I still wasn't one hundred percent after traveling.  I never realized how much being an international jet-setter could take out of you.  Chickpeas are a sure win in our house.  If only for the hubs and I.  And I find it pretty amazing how adjusting the spices used and the layers of ingredients can transform something we eat on a regular basis into a completely different experience.  Khatte chhole was typically a "street food" or "bazaar food" in India, but many people now make it at home as not only a snack, but a side dish or main part of a meal.   It carries that signature musty earthiness lent by the chickpeas, but also a layer of slow heat and a welcome sourness from the last minute addition of a lemon juice mixture that contains raw onions, green chiles, and ginger.  We actually served it with brown rice and made a meal of it, though I can see tipping it into my mouth from a waxed paper cone as I walk down a colorful, busy street.
If you enjoy cooking with Madhur Jaffrey, feel free to come over and join us at IHCC anytime from now through March.  We'll be there.  Getting familiar with Jaffrey's food, style, and techniques.  And hey, if you're by some chance not familiar with her, then you should really join us.  Six months is a pretty solid introduction and foundation for getting to know any chef or cook.  We choose differently weekly themes, meant to be a source of inspiration or a way of narrowing down your decisions by the week.  And every month we have a Potluck.  That means anything goes (as long as you're cooking with Jaffrey).  We'd love to have you!

Sour Chickpeas {Khatte chhole}

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 1 hour - overnight (soak time)
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Keywords: side snack vegan soy-free sugar-free gluten-free beans legumes Indian

Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 12 oz. dried chickpeas, rinsed
  • 10-11 oz. onion, chopped
  • ~2½ tsp. salt
  • 1 hot green chile, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 6 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 8 oz. tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. ground, roasted coriander
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Instructions
Soak the chickpeas in about 3 pints (6 cups) water overnight or using the quick-soak method (bring to boil for 1 minute, cover and turn off heat, let sit one hour). Drain and replace with fresh water in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer gently until chickpeas are tender, ~1½ hours. Strain chickpeas, saving 14 oz. (400 ml) of the cooking liquid.

In a small bowl or teacup, combine 2 tablespoons of the chopped onion, ½ teaspoon of the salt, the chile, ginger, and lemon juice. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy, wide pot over medium-high. When hot, add remaining onions. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to caramelize a bit, 8-10 minutes. Add tomatoes and continue to saute for another 5-6 minutes. Press down on the tomatoes with a spoon to start breaking them up. Add ground coriander, cumin, and turmeric and saute for 30 seconds while stirring. Add the drained chickpeas, the reserved cooking liquid, remaining salt, garam masala, and cayenne. Stir to combine then bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the mixture you reserved earlier and turn off heat. Serve hot or lukewarm.

notes:
Khatte chhole are traditionally eaten as a snack in India, you can serve these with rice and veggies to make a nice vegetarian or vegan meal. Or you can serve them as a side dish alongside meats.

slightly adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery
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26 comments

  1. This looks fantastic! I will give it a try.

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  2. I LOVE Madhur Jaffrey like crazy. Great dish and beautiful pictures Heather!

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  3. Slurp...I am drooling here..

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  4. Wow! Simply Fab! You got the perfect color without using "Chole Masala".
    The best combination with "Chole" is "Poori"(Deep-Fried Puffy Bread)
    One of the signature dishes in North India is "Chole-Poori", my favorite Sunday Brunch.

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  5. What a great snack! Perfect for controlling blood sugar too. I love vinegar in my flavourings. And I love you, you international jet-setter! ♥

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  6. I LOVE chickpeas like this - full of flavor and spice. Jetsetting rocks....

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  7. Looks so yum and what lovely pictures :) love it


    Priya
    Cook
    like Priya

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  8. Joanne (eats well with others)October 5, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    My mouth is watering at how sour this sounds, but in a good way. A really good way.

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  9. Delicious chana recipe Heather, good with any Indian Flat bread.

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  10. Denise @WholemadeGoodnessOctober 5, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Wow, so glad to find your post (hopped over from Foodie Friday). I've been playing with Indian food for over a decade and would love to join the group at IHCC. Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking" was my original inspiration, but I have of course heard of Madhur Jaffrey and have intended to try her recipes as well. Thanks!

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  11. I like hummus, roasted chick peas and stuff like that so I think I'd like these. Especially with the bit of heat in there.

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  12. I have to give this a try - sounds so interesting with the sour note.

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  13. Interesting. Love Jaffrey and cannot wait to spend 6 months with her recipes.

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  14. ooooh, it so happens that i have everything i need to make this dish, i'm on it!

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  15. I love chole! And yours looks delicious. One of our favourite combinations is chole and samosas.

    Like you, we are no strangers to Madhur Jaffery. We've had An Invitation to Indian Cooking and A Taste of India (both often consulted) for years. And we loved Climbing the Mango Trees.

    What a great choice for IHCC.

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  16. Looks very appetizing
    It certainly sounds like something I'd LOVE

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  17. Camilla @Fabfood4allOctober 6, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    My husband would love this recipe, must make it soon:-)

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  18. Couscous & ConsciousnessOctober 6, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Loving this dish, Heather. I love chickpeas in just about any incarnation, so I definitely have to give this a try. Love that you served it with some rice and made a meal out of it.

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  19. I love chickpeas, one of my favourite snack! I usually love them steamed till tender with some spices added in. Never tried it with lemon juice before, sounds good to me! Looking forward to six delicious months with MJ!

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  20. This sounds delicious. I am hoping to try to change up my husband's lunches for something a bit more healthy and creative, and these could definitely fill that bill. I love chickpeas.

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  21. My spice-aholic family will love these chickpeas. I will pin this. Thanks for sharing the recipe on foodie friday.

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  22. I like that you used dried chickpeas. I think the texture and flavor is so much better. I can't wait to try this spicy snack!

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  23. Ok, you know I'm sold on this dish. The flavors, the texture of the beans, all of it!

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  24. Thanks for this lovely entry Heather. Chickpeas are a staple in our house too and this is one of the best ways to eat them. I have to admit though that growing up in India, I neve ate this from a street vendor. It was one of our favorite dishes to order at a restaurant though. :-)

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