800g. chick peas, boiled and drained
2 tbsp sunflower oil or light olive oil
2 one-inch pieces of cinnamon
6 green cardamom pods, bruised
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, chopped (and de-seeded if preferred)
2 tsp ginger puree
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp chillie powder or to taste
225g/8 oz. chopped canned tomatoes, with the juice
1 tsp salt or to taste
300ml (1/2 pint) warm water
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped or 1/2 tsp dried mint
Heat the oil gently. Drop the cinnamon sticks on the oil, followed by bruised cardamom pods and cloves. Allow the spices to sizzle for about 15 seconds.
Then add the onions (have to be finely chopped so that they will result in a smooth sauce) and fry till they shrink to half the original quantity (to get rid of the moisture and allow the dish to last longer, upto 3 or 4 days). You can turn the heat up to medium-low range when frying the onions.
Add 1 1/2 tsp ginger puree and green chillies. Blend these two with the others and cook well. Add ground cumin and ground fennel (fennel is used in this dish to help digest the chick peas). Then add turmeric and chillie powder.
Now to introduce moisture, add the tomatoes. Keep cooking until the tomatoes shrink and oil starts to seep out.
Then introduce the chick peas and salt. Use the right amount of salt in order to get the balanced flavour.
Then add warm water. The water has to be warm so that the spices don’t lose their flavour.
Allow the curry to simmer for about 10 minutes so that the chick peas can absorb the flavour and the sauce can thicken.
Finish off by adding chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves and stir well.