Spicy Sour Chickpea Masala

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
spicy sour chickpeas

This is a slight variation on one of the earliest recipes featured here on Lisa's Kitchen. That was back in March of 2007, the very first day my blog went live.

Why do I continue to do so? I'm certainly not getting rich from it, except if you consider many of the lovely folks I have met through my ventures here. The food — that's what it is all about. Of course, I don't make something different each time I cook, but starting Lisa's Kitchen certainly expanded my horizons. So while pursing my passion for cooking I am able to share with others who also believe a healthy vegetarian diet is important, but it has to be delicious too.

spicy sour chickpea masala

Before I started blogging, this recipe was often on the menu, and if there is one regret that I do have about maintaining this space is that many cherished tried and tested recipes don't make their appearance on the table as often any more — oh, and I often have to wait for dinner because I am trying to take photos of the food. But one can only eat so much in a given day, and with all of the cookbooks lining my shelves and bookmarked recipes from other sites, well, nothing more needs to be said really, except that this is a classic recipe that works especially well if you make your own garam masala and chat masala.

That is another thing that I have learned from years of cooking Indian food — there is no comparison between store-bought spice blends and ones that are made in the comfort of your own kitchen.

What I especially like about this simple and flavorful dish, apart from the spicing, is the sour and tart flavor from the lemon, onion and ginger. Adding most of the onion, chilies, ginger and the juice at the end enhances the dish further in terms of texture and flavor.

Spicy Sour Chickpea MasalaSpicy Sour Chickpea Masala
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on May 27, 2014

Classic spicy chickpea curry with a bold, fresh, tart and sour flavor from adding onions, chilies and ginger marinated in lemon juice at the very end

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 fresh green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • juice from 1 large or 2 small lemons (3 tablespoons)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 medium vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium vine ripe tomato, seeded, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon homemade garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon homemade chat masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak overnight in several inches of water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added to help break down the peas. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid.

  • In a medium bowl, combine half the chopped onions with the salt, chilies, ginger and lemon juice. Set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds to the pan and stir and fry until they begin to splutter and pop. Stir in the remaining onions and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until they begin to brown on the edges. Toss in the coriander, cumin and turmeric, and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir for 6 minutes or until the tomatoes are reduced and thickened.

  • Now add the chickpeas, 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid, garam masala, chat masala, amchoor if using, and cayenne. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more of the reserved cooking liquid if desired.

  • Remove from heat and add the onion, salt, chili, ginger and lemon juice mixture. Stir to combine and serve hot.

Makes 8 servings

sour chickpeas

Other spicy Indian chickpea dishes to try from my vegetarian kitchen:
Kashmiri Chickpeas with Mushrooms
Chickpeas Smothered in a Tangy Tomato Gravy
Chickpeas in a Creamy Coconut Tamarind Gravy
Chickpea Vindaloo

On the top of the reading stack: Gogol

Audio Accompaniment: Higher Intelligence Agency


Anonymous said...

A lovely version which I must bookmark. I love well considered versions of this dish and this on elooks excellent.

Joanne said...

I rarely make a meal twice, as much as the.boy wishes I did! It's fun to resurrect old favorites, though! I love that sour touch in my curries. Sounds like a great one!

Unknown said...

Lovely to read about how long you've been sharing your recipes for and that you've held onto the love. Your recioe reveals that x

Carole said...

Just popped by to let you know you,ve been featured today over at Carole's Chatter. Cheers

CC said...

This sounds lovely