Amritsari chana masala
- 5tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium-large tomatoes, quartered
- 18g fresh ginger, finely grated (peeled weight)
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 1⁄2tsp ground turmeric
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1tbsp ground coriander
- 1⁄4-1⁄2tsp chilli powder, or to taste
- 11⁄2tsp garam masala (see recipe, right)
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- 2 x 400g cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1⁄4tsp dried pomegranate
- powder or tamarind paste
- handful coriander, chopped
- 10g cinnamon sticks
- 10g cloves
- 10g green cardamom pods
- 10g black cardamom pods
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 7g black peppercorns
- 3 pieces mace
- 10g cumin seeds
- 1⁄2 nutmeg, grated (optional)
- knob unsalted butter
- small knob ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
- red onion, peeled and finely chopped
In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion and a little salt then cook until it has browned on the edges. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes with a little water until they are smooth.
Add the ginger and garlic to the cooked onion and sauté for 1 minute or until they are just colouring. Add the ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli powder and garam masala and cook for 20-30 seconds before adding the tomatoes. Cook over a medium heat,
stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until the oil is released into the pan.
Meanwhile, toast the cumin seeds in a small pan, stirring often, until they have darkened and smell aromatic, around 40 seconds. Grind to a fine powder and add to the pan. Add the chickpeas and a little more salt and stir well.
Pour in enough boiling water to come to the top of the chickpeas then bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.
Taste and add the dried pomegranate powder or tamarind paste: you will need less if your tomatoes were sour or more if they were sweet.
Finish with the chopped coriander, taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with a small knob of butter, the ginger and a scattering of red onion.
To make Garam Masala:
Place all the spices except the cumin seeds and nutmeg in a large frying pan over a low heat. Stir often so that the spices dry out but don’t toast, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cumin and nutmeg and toast for 30 seconds.
Pour straight into a spice grinder and grind until fine. Pass through a sieve over a bowl and discard any coarse pieces.
Place these coarse pieces back in the grinder and grind again until fine. Store in an airtight container away from light.