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Cholay (Curried Chickpeas)

Adapted from a recipe by Baba108

This is a North Indian recipe I’ve adapted. It’s usually eaten with fried bread like bhatura or puri. I like to serve it over rice for a very filling meal. You can also try it as a quick snack over toasted bread. This recipe is much quicker to make if you use precooked canned beans, but I like to think that the authentic flavour comes from doing it the hard way!

2 cups water
1 tea bag
1 bay leaf
2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained
1 onion, sliced
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
1 onion, finely chopped
ground cayenne pepper to taste
1 pinch garam masala (optional)

1. Place the 2 cups water, tea bag, and bay leaf into a pot, and bring water to a boil. Reserving about 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, stir the beans into the boiling water. When beans are heated through, discard the tea bag and bay leaf. Remove from heat.

2. Drain the beans, reserving water, and set aside. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, and sauté the sliced onion until tender. Remove from heat, cool, and mix in the reserved garbanzo beans, 1 tomato, and 1/2 the cilantro leaves. Set aside.

3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Toast the coriander, cumin seeds, ginger, and garlic by cooking and stirring for 10 to 15 seconds, until lightly browned. Mix in the turmeric. Stir the chopped onion into the skillet, along with a tablespoon of water if need to prevent sticking, and cook, stirring constantly, until tender. Mix in the remaining tomatoes. Season with salt, cayenne pepper, and garam masala.

4. Bring the tomato liquid to a boil, and cook about 5 minutes. Stir in the boiled garbanzo beans/sliced onion mixture, and enough of the reserved water to attain a thick, gravy-like consistency. Continue to cook and stir 5 minutes. Garnish with the remaining cilantro leaves to serve.

If you are using dried garbanzo beans, soak a generous cupful overnight (about 8 hours) and cook them in boiling water (enough to cover the beans) along with the bay leaf and tea bag until the beans are soft enough to mash between finger and thumb but still hold their shape. Discard the tea bag and bay leaf once the beans are cooked.

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