I always have a healthy variety of dried beans on hand and after reading through Pooja's recipe, remembered the rather neglected black chickpeas at the back of the bean and grain shelf. Brown in colour, but commonly referred to as black chickpeas, they are smaller than the more popular yellow chickpea and denser and chewier. This unique dark curry is pungent and aromatic and served with nutty brown rice, a satisfying and balanced Indian vegetarian dinner.
Black Chickpeas with Roasted Coconut and Fragrant SpicesOther Indian chickpea dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Adapted from Pooja's Kerala Kadala Curry with Roasted Coconut and Aromatic Spices
1 cup of black chickpeas
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
1/2 teaspoon of cardamon seeds
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
2 star anise
3/4 cup of dried coconut
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of asafoetida
2 - 3 hot green chilies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
generous handful of dried curry leaves
2 large tomatoes, finely diced
2 1/4 cups of water
sea salt to taste
Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Drain, transfer to a large pot with enough water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and cover and cook until the chickpeas are tender - roughly 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, dry roast the coconut over medium low heat for a few minutes. Add the shallots to the pot and continue to stir and dry roast until the coconut turns a brownish red colour. Grind to a powder and set aside.
In the same pot, dry roast the cinnamon, cloves, fennel, anise and cardamon seeds for a few minutes. Grind to a powder and set aside.
Again in the same pot, heat two teaspoons of sesame oil over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds to the pan and stir and fry until the mustard seed turn grey and begin to pop. Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring often, for about five minutes. Now add the ginger and cook for another minute. Toss in the asafoetida, stir and then add the hot chilies, coriander, cumin, cayenne, paprika, chili powder and turmeric. Stir fry for a minute and then add the tomato, curry leaves, dry roasted ground spices and salt. Cook for roughly 5 minutes, or until the tomato is softened, stirring frequently.
Add the chickpeas to the pot, along with the roasted coconut and the water. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until the sauce is nice and thick.
Black and Yellow Chickpeas in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce
Chickpeas with Coconut Sauce