Chick peas in ginger sauce (safaid channe)

Serves 4-6
Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

With some poori or naan bread, this is a meal in itself. Or you could match it with a selection of other Indian dishes, vegetarian or otherwise.

If you're using dried chick peas, buy the best quality you can as they should need less soaking. The Formesina brand from Spain is the one I always look for. Use plenty of water too as they really soak it up - check them after a few hours and top up the water if necessary. Ideally it's best to soak them for about 24 hours, and then to cut down on cooking time a pressure cooker is invaluable. But then again you could always speed things up by simply opening a can ...

800g cooked chick peas, canned, or soaked and cooked
60ml of vegetable oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2tbsp finely grated root ginger
2tsp ground coriander
Seeds of 10 cardamom pods
1/4tsp cayenne pepper
1/4tsp ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lime
125g canned, chopped tomatoes
Salt to taste

to garnish

1 red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 green chilli, thinly sliced

Drain the chick peas and rinse under the cold tap if using canned.

Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan and gently cook the onions for 3-4 minutes until soft, stirring every so often until lightly coloured.

Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, cardamom, cayenne and black pepper, and continue cooking on a low heat for a couple more minutes. Add the lime juice, tomatoes and chick peas, salt and cover with water and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has virtually evaporated

Serve scattered with the red onion and chilli.