Serves 4

For the spice mix

2 cinnamon sticks
50g/2oz coriander seeds
50g/2oz fennel seeds
50g/2oz cumin seeds
50g/2oz mustard seeds
5 cardamom pods
3 star anise

For the chickpeas

1tbsp of olive oil
25g/1oz unsalted butter
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
A generous bunch of coriander, washed
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1tbsp of spice mix
1tbsp tamarind water
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cans good quality tinned tomatoes
2 cinnamon sticks
400g/13oz cooked chickpeas
100ml/3fl oz maple syrup
100ml/3fl oz tamari or soya sauce
The juice of 2 limes

For the spice mix, place a pan over a medium heat. Once a clear smoke rises, add all the spices and cook, stirring once or twice to toast them. Be careful they do not burn as this will give a bitter taste. This makes more than you will need but it keeps in a sealed jar for about a month.

In another pan, place the oil and butter over a medium heat. Once the butter melts, add the onions and sweat for 5 minutes until translucent. Wash the coriander, separate the leaves and set aside. Chop the root and stalks finely and add to the onions. Add the chilli, garlic, ginger and spice mix. Stir for a minute or two, then add the tamarind water and carrots. Cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cinnamon. Place a lid on and cook over a low heat for an hour.

Next add the chickpeas, maple syrup, tamari and lime and cook for 15 minutes. Taste and season. The flavour should be rich, sweet, salty and sour. Serve with rice that has been doused with butter or ghee.

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