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Chickpea curry

Serves 4

600g/21oz dried chickpeas
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
5 cardamom pods
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
1 small bunch of coriander, roots included
1 red chilli
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and diced
3 tbsp maple syrup
The juice of two limes
3 tbsp soya sauce
Two jars of good-quality tomatoes
50g/2oz unsalted butter

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain and place in a large pot of cold water. Add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Cook over a medium heat for around 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

To make the base of the curry, warm up the spices in a small pan, being careful not to burn them, as this will result in a bitter taste. Grind using a pestle and mortar.

Add the vegetable oil to a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients comfortably and place over a medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the onions and cook for five minutes to soften them. Chop the coriander and the chilli very finely and add to the pot along with the garlic and the spices.

Add the diced carrots and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the maple syrup, lime juice and soya sauce, stirring well to combine the flavours, and cook for another few minutes. Add the tomatoes and turn up the heat slightly. Cook for 15 minutes to thicken the sauce.

At this point it should taste hot, sweet and slightly sharp. Keep the pan over the heat until the carrots are cooked through but still firm. At this point, add the chickpeas and the butter.