Street-Style Spicy Black Chickpea Masala


Street-style spicy black chickpea masala
I discovered this dish in western India while sampling local street food. Inspired, I conjured up similar flavors at home, but substituted dark red chili powder for a delectable smoky flavor. Use regular red chili powder if the Mexican variety is not available. Dried black chickpeas require a trip to an Indian grocery store—the canned variety is hard to find.


        1½ cups (270 g) dried black chickpeas, rinsed, soaked overnight and drained; 5 cups (1.25 liters) water

        Salt, to taste; 3 tablespoons clarified butter

        1 teaspoon cumin seeds; 2 onions, chopped; 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

        3 fresh green chili peppers, deseeded and minced; 1 cup (225 g) finely-chopped tomatoes

        5 green onions (scallions), finely chopped; 1 tablespoon ground coriander

        ½ teaspoon dark red chili powder; 1 tablespoon garam masala

        ¼ cup (10 g) fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped

        1 small red onion, thinly sliced; 3 to 4 lime wedges, for garnish.


Step 1:
Combine the chickpeas, water and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and reserve.

Step 2:
Heat the clarified butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds; they should sizzle upon contact with the hot oil. Add the chopped onions and cook until dark golden brown, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add water if necessary.

Step 3:
Add the ginger and green chili peppers, tomatoes and green onions, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in the ground coriander, dark red chili powder, and garam masala.

Step 4:
Add the chickpeas and cook on high heat until all the water evaporates and the chickpeas are glazed with a dark brown coating, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve topped with the fresh coriander, red onion slices, and lime wedges.

Food: Street-Style Spicy Black Chickpea Masala

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