Kabli Channa

Kabli Channa (kah-blee chunn-nah) are whole dried chick-peas, boiled until tender, drained and then cooked with spices.

Serve them with a dry curry, chappatis and fresh chutneys. Reduce the number of chillis used by half or more if a milder residt is required, or remove and discard the seeds.

8 oz. dried whole chick-peas, soaked overnight

1 pint water

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into julienne strips

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

4 green chillis, whole but slit open

1 large tomato, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and cut into strips juice of lemon

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves

Drain the chick-peas and put them in a large saucepan. Add the water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring the water to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook the chick- peas for 1 ½ hours, or until they are very tender.

Drain the chick-peas and reserve 10 fluid ounces of the cooking liquid.

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Add the ginger and fry for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin and ground coriander and, stirring constantly, fry for 5 minutes. If the mixture is too dry, add a spoonful or two of water.

Add the chillis, tomato and green pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the drained chick-peas and, stirring occasionally, cook for 7 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid, the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and the lemon juice. Bring the mixture to the boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Spoon the mixture into a heated serving dish. Sprinkle the garam masala and the coriander leaves on top and serve immediately.

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