Chick-pea Curry (chenna Dal)

Course : Indian
Serves: 6
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1/2 pound chick peas
1 stick cinnamon -- (2 inch)
1 teaspoon salt
2 ounces ghee -- (or cooking oil)
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 medium green pepper
4 medium dry red chilies
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon fenugreek seed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons tomato puree
4 whole cloves
4 pieces cardamom
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 tablespoons fresh mint -- chopped

Preparation / Directions:

Wash the chick peas well, using at least three changes of water. Pick them over and remove any with blemishes. Cover well with cold water and leave overnight to soak. The next day, wash the chick peas again and put into a saucepan with enough water to cover them. Add the cinnamon and salt, bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours until the chick peas are soft. Add extra water if need be to prevent them from sticking. Depending on the state of ripeness of the chick peas more or less boiling will be necessary to make them soft. Once the chick peas are soft, drain and put them to one side. Heat the ghee or cooking oil in a heavy saucepan and peel and chop finely the onion and garlic. Remove the seeds from the green pepper and chop finely. Add the onion, garlic and pepper to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes. Crumble in the dried red chilies and stir for a further 30 seconds. Add the turmeric, fenugreek seeds, cumin and coriander powder and stir in well. Now add the tomato puree, cloves and cardamoms. Stir well and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the chick peas and a little boiling water, keep stirring and turning the chickpeas until they are fully mixed with the spice mixture. After 10-15 minutes, add the garam masala and the chopped mint. Continue to stir and boil off any excess liquid to leave a very dry sauce with the chick peas. Serve piping hot.

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