Description (Some HTML is OK)
This is one of my favourite curries. It’s a wonderful example of how Indian food can have very rich, spicy flavours without being over-poweringly chilli-hot. Made with the amounts of spices given here, it’s medium spicy. It also tastes better if it mellows for a day or so. It's an evolution of a Madhur Jaffrey recipe.
Makes 8 servings
- 5 TBS vegetable oil
- 2 medium-sized onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 TBS ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ - ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 x 390g tins/boxes chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
- 2 ½ x 450g tins chickpeas, drained or /675g home cooked drained chickpeas (225g raw chickpeas will produce 625g cooked chickpeas, and I think it’s well worth the extra effort of cooking your own chickpeas)
- 2 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds
- 1 TBS ground amchoor (ground green mango, substitute lime juice if not available)
- 2 tsp Kashmiri red pepper (substitute sweet paprika if not available)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ - 1 tsp salt
- 1 TBS or more lemon juice
- 1 fresh hot green chilli, finely chopped (use more or less as desired)
- 2 tsp very finely grated fresh ginger
Preparation (Some HTML is OK)
Heat the oil in a wide pot over a medium – high flame. When hot, put in the finely chopped onions and garlic. Stir constantly and fry until the mixture is a rich medium-brown shade. Note: as someone who learnt to cook with the French/Italian method of gently sauting onions, garlic etc until soft, it took me a while to get into the Indian method of cooking onions/garlic until brown and quite crisp. I don’t think I really understood until I saw Madhur Jaffrey demonstrate it on TV. I put the flame on pretty high and constantly stir the mixture. You need to keep going until the onion/garlic pieces are all completely brown. This is when you realize it was important to chop things finely and evenly. If they are not even, you get some small pieces the burn to black and some big pieces that don’t dry out and brown fully. But the wonderful thing is, that if you persevere and get your onion/garlic mixture to this stage, when you then add the tomatoes at the next stage, the onions/garlic completely melt into the tomatoes and you have a wonderful brick red sauce, with no noticeable pieces of onion/garlic in it. So the onion/garlic cooking process can take about 15 minutes.
Turn the heat to medium-low and add the coriander, ground cumin (NOT the roasted cumin seeds!), cayenne pepper, and turmeric. Stir for a few seconds. Now put in the finely chopped tomatoes. Stir and fry until the tomatoes are well amalgamated with the spice mixture and brown lightly.
Add the drained chickpeas and ¼ litre of water. Stir. Add the ground roasted cum, amchoor, Kashmiri red pepper, garam masala, salt and lemon juice. Stir again. Cover, turn heat to low, simmer for ten minutes. Remove cover and add the chopped green chilli and grated ginger. Stir and cook, uncover, for another 30 seconds.