I love trying out new ingredients for the first time – you never know how things are going to taste, or even if they are going to work together or what the texture is going to be, etc. I recently discovered black chickpeas or kala chana, which are similar to the more familiar type, but have a rougher, darker coating and hold their shape giving a satisfying nutty texture. This masala is a good alternative if you fancy a non-mushy dhal-type curry. Oh, and it’s very filling!
Serves 4 to 6
200g dried kala chana, soaked overnight
4 tbs sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
10g fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 green chillis, deseeded and finely sliced
3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1 bay leaf
50g desiccated coconut
1 tbs mango chutney
Salt to taste
1. After soaking overnight, drain and rinse the kala chana before adding to a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Boil for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile add the oil to another pan and add the onion, garlic, ginger and chillis and sauté gently for 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, spices, bay leaf and salt and cook for a further 10 minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
4. Add the onion and tomato mixture to the kala chana (keeping the cooking liquid), then add the desiccated coconut and mango chutney. Cover and cook gently for a further 10 minutes until thickened.
5. Serve immediately with rice or chapatis.