simply satisfying: Indian Sour Chickpeas

This is what I made for a “celebration of life” pot-luck dinner last Saturday.

adding the reserve mixture
adding the reserve mixture

Edna (the lovely woman who passed away) had quite the reputation for her love of cooking, doing it amazingly well and of course, she had a repertoire of recipes, many of them Indian.  We were requested to cook & bring one of her recipes.

rinsed & waiting
rinsed & waiting

I love Indian but hadn’t made a vegetarian Indian dish in a long time.  I must admit that this one didn’t sound especially appealing at first but trust me, the end result was so delicious….especially when all the flavors from the spices melded together.  The end result was more like a chickpea stew and you could taste the ginger and lemon which I love. It’s healthy too! I served it alongside cut up pieces of Naan bread.  I didn’t change a thing about the recipe (as I wanted to re-create it exactly as she had) but I think it would look nice with a few sprigs of cilantro sprinkled over top for garnish. Oh, when I went back to the buffet table for a second platter (remember, they were mostly her recipes) it had vanished.  So Enjoy!

After a bit of research I found out that the origin of this recipe is Delhi street vendor style.


Use either ¾ lb. of dried chickpeas or 1 x 16 oz. can.  If using dried, cover them with water and bring to a boil, and let sit for an hour.  If using canned, rinse well and soak them overnight.

3 pints water (6 cups)

3 or 4 very finely chopped onions

2 ½ tsp salt

1 finely chopped hot chili

3 or 4 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

4 tbsp lemon juice (from two small lemons)

1/3 cup cooking oil (preferably coconut, or canola)

2 or 3 chopped tomatoes

1 ½ tbsp ground coriander

1 ½ tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

3 tsp garam masala (see recipe below)

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Bring peas and water to a boil, and let simmer till beans are tender, approx. one hour.  This is for both dried or canned.

It should look like this
The reserve mixture should look like this.

Meanwhile, mix 2 tbsp chopped onion, ½ tsp salt, chili, ginger and lemon juice in a small cup or bowl.  Set aside.

Heat oil in heavy pan on medium heat and add remaining onions, stirring and frying till they have reddish brown spots (about 10 minutes). Add tomatoes, stir and fry another 4 or 5 minutes. Add coriander, cumin and turmeric and stir and cook for about half a minute. Add drained chickpeas, about a cup of the cooking liquid, 2 tsp. salt, the garam masala and cayenne, stir and simmer very gently for about 20 or 25 minutes.

Add the reserved onion mixture and stir to mix. Serve hot or lukewarm.chickpea1TIPS:  onions should be soft & nicely browned.  It should turn out quite lemony & very well cooked.  I used a 19 oz. can of chickpeas for this and 1 red thai chili (but you can use any hot chili).

I made my own blend Garam Masala (a warming spice mix) from an Indian cookbook so I used that, but of course they sell it already packaged.  I just thought it would be cool to make my own.  Should you feel so inclined I’ll share the recipe:

Garam Masala from scratch:

8 Cardamon pods (remove the seeds from the cardamon pods).

2 Indian bay leaves (cassia leaves) – break them into small pieces.

1 tsp. black peppercorns

2 tsp. cumin seeds

2 tsp. coriander seeds

5 cm. (2 in.) cinnamon stick

1 tsp. cloves

Put everything into a spice grinder (or pestle and mortar) and grind to a fine powder.  Store in a small airtight container until needed.

Now make something to go with it.

Food board on Pinterest:




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