Balti Chole

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This stunning recipe is by Gurd Loyal from his book, “Mother Tongue”.
Serves 4

oil of your choice
3 larges shallots, finely chopped
2″ fresh ginger, finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
4 cloves
2 black cardamom pods
3 star anise
1 tbsp amchoor powder
1 tsp mace powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
4 tbsp tomato purée
100ml water
800g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 ½ tsp salt
3 tsp brown sugar
800g chopped tomatoes
20g fresh mint leaves
¾ tsp tamarind concentrate

– Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, black cardamom, and star anise to a hot pan, and toast lightly for 1-2 minutes. Stir regularly to avoid burning.

– Transfer the toasted whole spices to a pestle and mortar, and grind them down to a fine powder.

– In a bowl, add the amchoor powder, mace powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida, chilli flakes, dried fenugreek leaves, and the ground toasted whole spices.

– Add the tomato purée, and water, and mix well to form a paste.

– Add 3/4 tbsp oil to a hot pan. Add the shallots and cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes until golden and translucent.

– Add the ginger and garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add the spice paste, stir through, and cook for 1 minute.

– Add the chickpeas, stir through, and cook for 1 minute.

– Add the salt, sugar, chopped tomatoes, and 100ml water. Mix well, cover, and cook for 12 minutes.

– Add the mint leaves, tamarind concentrate, and 50ml water to a blender and blitz into a paste.

– Add the paste to the pan, stir through, and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Option to garnish with finely chopped red onion and some fresh mint leaves. Enjoy with some piping-hot basmati rice, chapatis, or homemade puris!