Without fail, tinned chickpeas offer a dinner solution when pressed for time, ingredients and motivation. And when combined with a few glorious spices, a tin of toms and a bit of time, you have a very fine dinner indeed. This is very, very loosely based on the Punjabi chana flavour profile. Serve it with steamed rice and the addition of fried curry leaves and coriander seeds for some midweek dinner zing, and winning leftovers for lunch the next day.
1 tbsp ghee (or flavourless oil)
1 red onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
5cm knob ginger, chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400g can chopped tomatoes
1–1½ cups vegetable stock
¼ cup coriander leaves, firmly packed, chopped
juice of ½ lime
salt to season
½ cup Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp garam masala (or to taste)
1 tsp ghee
8-10 fresh curry leaves
2 tbsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
coconut rice, to serve
1. Add the tablespoon of ghee to a large frypan or Dutch oven and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant. Add the ginger, chilli flakes and spices and stir to coat the onion in the spice mixture until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring to coat, then add the chopped tomatoes and 1 cup of the stock.
2. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, adding more stock as needed to prevent burning. When ready to serve, the sauce should be thick. If needed, uncover the pan and allow sauce to reduce for a few more minutes. Stir through the coriander leaves and season with salt and lime juice to taste.
3. Combine the garam masala and yoghurt in a bowl, set aside.
4. Place a small frypan over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of ghee and once hot, add the curry leaves and coriander seeds and cook until leaves have darkened and are intensely fragrant.
5. To serve, scoop the chickpea mixture over rice. Drizzle with garam masala yoghurt and spoon over the curry leaves and coriander. Serve piping hot.