Khatte Chole (Sour Chickpeas curry)

One of K’s favourite things to eat is Chole. The Tamilian boy has found at least one north indian dish he truly loves 🙂 We cook it at least twice a month and if I’m not at home, he has been known to either cook chole for himself or order in the dish. He can eat this pretty much everyday!

With something we eat so often, just one go-to recipe won’t work, right? So I have been trying different ways to cook chickpeas to give us some variety and to help me learn more. One such experiment led me to this dish – Khatte Chole. Sour, tangy, spicy and super delicious!

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One of my favourite things about my home style chole is the slight sourness it has. In this recipe, I’ve taken that sourness to whole new level. Tomatoes and dried mango powder (amchur) are accompanied by tamarind paste, lemon juice, dried pomegranate seeds (anar dana) to make this dish lip smackingly good!

The sourness is balanced with a range of simple spices and a nice punch of chilli. All in all, a pretty hearty, wholesome, flavourful curry which makes for the perfect meal.

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I’ve cooked this dish for family and for friends and each time it has been received with happy smiles and full bellies. Best sign of a good meal, right? 🙂

I always think I making a lot and can take some to work the next day, but that rarely happens. Even if the rice gets over, this gets eaten up as is! Trust me, you want to try this recipe. It will become a regular part of your menu or even be the one simple dish you wow guests with 🙂

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Once the spices have been cooked with the tomatoes and onions and the chickpeas have been added, you can adjust the sourness and spiciness to your preference. Then just leave it cook for about 30-40 minutes. The flavours intensify, the curry thickens and each bite will be pure joy!

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Khatte Chole

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


2 cups (400g) chickpeas (chole)

1 tea bag (Assam Tea)

1/2 tsp black salt

1/4 tsp carom (ajwain) seeds

1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds

1 tsp coriander (dhania) seeds

3 cloves (laung)

3 green cardamoms (choti elaichi)

1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)

1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)

4 peppercorns

2 big onions – blitzed

4 big tomatoes – blitzed

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

3 green chillies – slit length wise

1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

1.5 tsp tamarind paste

1 tsp dried mango (amchur) powder

1 tsp dried pomegranate seeds (anar dana)

2 tbsp kasuri methi

2 tsp lemon juice

3 tbsp fresh coriander – chopped

1 tbsp ghee

salt to taste


  1. Soak the chickpeas for at least 8 hours/overnight.
  2. Drain and place in a pressure cooker with 4 cups water, 1 tea bag and black salt. Close the lid and cook on medium heat for 6-7 whistles (25-30 minutes). Release the pressure and open the cooker. The chickpeas should be mostly cooked through (not  very soft or mushy). Set aside.
  3. Heat a small pan and add the spices (carom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, pepper). Dry roast the spices for about 1 minute till they get toasty and aromatic. Be careful not to burn. Switch off the heat and let them spices cool to room temperature.
  4. Put the roasted spices in the grinder and make into a powder
  5. Heat a large pan. Add the ghee and let it melt and become hot (about 30 seconds).
  6. Add the blitzed onions and cook for 3-4 minutes till they become soft and golden brown.
  7. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute. Add green chillies and cook for a minute.
  8. Transfer the ground spices into the pan, mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Add turmeric powder and cook for 30 seconds.
  10. Pour the blitzed tomatoes into the pan and add a pinch of salt. Mix well and cook for 8-10 minutes till the colour darkens and oil released from the sides.
  11. Add the cooked chickpeas and 1.5 cups of the stock it cooked in (Add more stock if you want a more liquid gravy).
  12. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes.
  13. Add the tamarind paste, dried mango powder and dried pomegranate seeds. Mix well and cook for 15 minutes.
  14. Add red chilli powder and adjust salt. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes.
  15. Add kasuri methi and cook for 5 minutes.
  16. Add the lemon juice and fresh coriander. Serve hot with rice or chapattis.


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A baker, a dancer, a marketeer. Sometimes lazy. Always up to try new food, read interesting books and meet amazing people :)

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