cilantro leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish
cayenne, or to taste
15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
plain whole-milk yogurt, optional
lemon wedges, optional
Film the bottom of a large saucepan or Dutch oven—preferably not nonstick—with olive oil, and place the pan over medium heat.
Add the onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until it is deeply caramelized and even charred in some spots. Be patient. The more color, the more full-flavored the final dish will be.
Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic, stirring, and add a bit more oil if the pan seems dry.
Add the cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds.
Add ¼ cup water, and stir to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Cook until the water has evaporated away completely. Pour in the juice from can of tomatoes, followed by the tomatoes themselves, using your hands to break them apart as you add them; alternatively, add them whole and crush them in the pot with a potato masher.
Add the salt.
Raise the heat to medium, and bring the pot to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, add the cilantro and cayenne, and simmer the sauce gently, stirring occasionally, until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken.
Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Add the chickpeas, stirring well, and cook over low heat for about five minutes.
Add 2 Tbs water, and cook for another five minutes.
Add another 2 Tbs water, and cook until the water is absorbed, a few minutes more.
This process of adding and cooking off water helps to concentrate the sauce’s flavor and makes the chickpeas more tender and toothsome. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Stir in the yogurt, if you like, or garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro. Serve.
tins of ready-boiled chickpeas - rinsed in a colander
tin of chopped tomatoes
large onion chopped into long thin strips
medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
frozen, pre-pulped garlic, ginger and green-chillie
Turmeric (halidi), Garam Masala, Ground Coriander, Salt
Onion seed and Cumin (Jeera) seeds.
Heat the oil in the pot until hot.
Add the onion and cumin seeds and watch them pop and fizzle for around 20 seconds.
Then add the chopped onions and fry until they are lightly browned.
Then add the frozen (and by now thawed) chunks of pulped ginger, garlic and chillie. Stir fry on medium heat.
Then add the tin of chopped tomato and stir-fry for about 5 mins on medium-to-high heat until the oil starts to separate from the onion/tomato mixture - and then add the spices.
Stir it all thoroughly on medium flame.
Then add the chunks of potato - stir until well coated in spices.
Then add around 3 smallish glasses of water into the pot - and put the lid on and bring to boil.
Let it simmer on a very low flame for around 20 mins with the lid on. This will soften the potato.
After about 20 mins - check to see that the potato chunks are soft - and then add the drained (already-boiled) chickpeas
Stir it all up - and add another small glass of water to the pot.
Bring to a fierce boil and then turn the flame down to simmer the pot for a while - with the lid partially on.
After about a further 15 mins of simmering - add some freshly chopped (or frozen) fresh coriander leaf and stir it all in.
Keep it simmering for about 10 mins more. After that - turn off the heat - put the lid on tight - and let it it stand for around 15 mins whilst you make some basmati rice - or warm some pitta bread etc. It’s then ready to serve!