Sweet and Sour Chickpeas



  • 500 g ( cups) chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cm (¾ inch) piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • pinch of chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind purée
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons coriander (cilantro) or mint leaves, finely chopped


Soak the chickpeas overnight in 2 litres (8 cups) water. Drain, then put the chickpeas in a large saucepan with 2 litres (8 cups) water. Bring to the boil, spooning off any scum from the surface. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1-1½ hours, until soft. It is important they are soft at this stage as they won’t soften once the sauce is added. Drain.

Heat the oil in a karhai or heavy-based frying pan. Fry the onion until soft and brown, then stir in the ginger. Add the chickpeas, sugar, coriander, cumin, chilli powder, garam masala and a pinch of salt. Stir, then add the tamarind and tomato and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add 500 ml (2 cups) water, bring to the boil and cook until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the coriander leaves. Serve with rotis.