John’s Sour Chick Peas

This is essentially a recipe taken from Madhur Jaffrey’s book “Indian Cookery” with a few of my own adaptations. Well, why invent the wheel twice?

Ingredients (Serves 8):sourchickpeas

500g organic dried chickpeas
2 litres water
500g onions, peeled and very finely chopped
1 fresh hot green chilli, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons of very finely grated fresh ginger
5 tablespoons of lemon juice
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 tin of organic chopped tomatoes
1½ tablespoons of ground coriander
1½ tablespoons ground cumin
¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 teaspoons of garam masala
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Soak the chickpeas in the water for about 20 hours in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the chickpeas are tender but still a little crunchy (45 minutes to an hour). Strain the chickpeas and keep 600mls of their cooking water.

Put two tablespoons of the chopped onions, ½ teaspoon of salt, green chilli, ginger and lemon juice into a bowl, mix well and save for later.

Heat the oil in a large pan (I use a big, heavy wok) over a medium heat. When hot put in the rest of the chopped onions. Stir and fry for 8 – 10 minutes or until the onion bits develop reddish-brown spots. Add the tin of tomatoes, mix and continue stirring for about 5 minutes. Put in the ground coriander, cumin and turmeric, stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Now add the drained chickpeas, the 600ml of their cooking water, 1 teaspoon of salt, the garam masala and cayanne. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low and cook gently for about 20 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the saved mixture in the bowl, stir to mix and serve hot or lukewarm.

It’s delicious!