Sour Chickpeas

12 oz. chickpeas, dry
3 pints water
10-11 oz onion, very finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 – 1 fresh hot green chilli, finely chopped*
1 T peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 T vegetable oil
8 oz. tomatoes, finely chopped
1 T ground coriander
1 T ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Put the chickpeas and their soaking liquid in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat, and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Strain the chickpeas and save the cooking liquid.

Combine 2 T onion, 1/2 tsp salt, green chilli, ginger, and lemon juice in a teacup. Mix well and set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy, wide pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining onion and saute for 8-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Continue to stir and fry for 5-6 minutes, mashing the tomatoes with the spoon. Add the coriander, cumin, and turmeric and cook for about 30 seconds.

Add the drained chickpeas, 14 oz of reserved cooking liquid, remaining salt, garam masala, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook very gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the mixture in the teacup. Stir just to blend. Serve hot or lukewarm.

From Madhur Jaffray’s Indian Cooking. Good with basmati rice and a vegetable (cabbage and peas, or green beans and tomatoes).

*Depending on your chilis, a whole one can be really really spicy. I regularly halve the amount of chili and cayenne and then add more if I want it.

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