This sour chickpea dish, also known as khatte chhole, is a tasty recipe for spicy chickpeas in a curry sauce with a chilli, ginger, onion and lemon juice dressing.
It's so easy to adapt the heat levels in these spicy chickpeas!
I've been rather excited recently to discover that both children will eat chickpeas. Well, in limited quantities anyway. As we all love curries these spicy chickpeas are a great choice for us when when we want a meatless dinner.
Not only are the chickpeas in a delicious but mildly spiced curry, the spicy lemon and chilli dressing is poured on at the end to make the sour chickpeas. This means it's a very easy meal if you need to adapt the level of spiciness for different members of the family.
In our house that happens all the time! Our children love curries and will eat spicier foods than a lot of children, but they still need most curries to be toned down a little.
A fiery dressing gives these spicy chickpeas a real kick
This means I am quite used to eating milder curries but with a few tongue tingling pieces of raw fresh chilli pepper dotted throughout. With this recipe, all the strong flavours are in the dressing. You can add as much or as little of it as you like to each portion.
You can stir it in for an even flavour or leave it on the top so you get a big hit of sourness and heat in certain spoonfuls! Mr Searching for Spice and I both really liked the strong flavours of the dressing against the chickpeas. It was certainly the dressing that made the dish special.
I first made this dish five years ago and it was the lemon dressing along with the name, 'sour chickpeas' that caught my eye when I saw it in Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to try that dressing out. I love lemon in savoury recipes. I think it makes a brilliant base for a salad dressing or marinade. But until I came across this I had never made a dressing to pour on top of a curry.
How do you serve these spicy chickpeas?
I love to eat these spicy chickpeas with plain basmati rice but they would also go well with any type of Indian flatbread. If you have the time to prepare some more recipes then why not make a few different dishes? I've got lots more easy Indian recipes I could recommend such as dry curried okra or North Indian chicken curry or lamb meatball curry?
What can you do with the leftovers?
If you have any leftovers then store them in the fridge for up to three days. They will taste even better the next day as the flavours have more time to develop.
I like to store the dressing and the chickpeas separately so I can reheat the chickpeas and then pour the sour dressing on top.
You can reheat the chickpeas in a saucepan. Just keep stirring to make sure they don't stick and add a splash of water if they seem dry. Alternatively reheat in the microwave.
Can you freeze the leftovers?
Yes you can! However, if you want the meal to taste the same when it has defrosted and been reheated, you'll have to make the dressing again.
Alternatively, just stir any leftover dressing into the chickpeas before freezing. Defrost in the fridge overnight or on the kitchen counter. Then reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave. It'll still be a delicious chickpea curry!
Sour Chickpeas or Khatte Chhole
Ingredients for the Dressing
- ½ chilli pepper finely sliced
- ¼ small onion finely diced
- 10 g root ginger finely diced or grated
- 1 lemon juiced
- Pinch salt
Ingredients for the chickpeas
- ¾ onion
- ½ chilli pepper
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 400 g tin of chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Make the sour dressing first. In a small bowl put half of the chilli pepper, the ginger and ¼ of the onion. Pour the lemon juice over the top and add a pinch of salt. Leave until ready to serve.
- Cook the rest of the onion and chilli pepper in a saucepan until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Then add the chickpeas, the spices and about 200ml of water. Bring up to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer about for 20 minutes.
- When ready to serve, either stir the dressing into the chickpeas or serve it on top of the chickpeas.
Pin these spicy chickpeas for later!
How about trying one of these spicy vegan recipes next?
I have lots of meaty and meat-free spicy recipes but here are just some that you might like! Let me know if you try any.