Ginger Tomato Chickpeas (Chole)
Chickpeas simmered in a richly seasoned tomato base are an Indian vegan staple to master; spiked with a little bit of pomegranate and they really sing. They’re excellent simply served with rice or bread, or as a basis for other meals.
Tip: It’s really worth your time to make chickpeas from scratch for this one! But if you would rather used canned, you’ll need about 6 cups of cooked chickpeas (three 14 ounce cans). Drain and rinse chickpeas and add 2 cups of water when adding chickpeas to tomato sauce.
1 pound dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
3 hot green chile peppers, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 fourteen ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or pomegranate concentrate
1 bay leaf
Handful of chopped cilantro for garnish, if desired
1. If using dried chickpeas, sort beans for any debris and place in a large bowl. Cover with 4 inches of cold water and soak for 8 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, drain soaking liquid and rinse chickpeas. Place into a large 4 quart pot with 6 cups of water; add salt and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook until chickpeas are very tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes, then drain cooking liquid and set aside 2 cups. Grind fenugreek, cumin, coriander seeds in a spice grinder.
2. In a large pot heat oil over medium heat add onion, garlic, ginger and chopped chiles and fry until onions are softened, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in turmeric and ground spices and fry for another minute, then stir in diced tomatoes, pomegranate molasses, and the bay leaf. Simmer for 1 minute then stir in chickpeas plus reserved cooking liquid. Bring everything to a simmer, reduce heat and let cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, remove bay leaf and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Before serving, garnish with chopped cilantro.