Chana Masala

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350g chickpeas
80g yellow split peas
1 black teabag
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped and crushed
2 cm fresh ginger
1 tsp paprika
1½ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp amchur powder
½ tsp black salt
Pinch sugar
2 large tomatoes, or half tin chopped tomatoes
2tbsp oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp fenugreek leaves
½ tsp garam masala


1 lemon or ½ tbsp lemon juice
Fresh coriander


Drain chickpeas, and add to saucepan with the yellow split peas. Cover with 1½ litres of water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour – until the chickpeas are tender. Remove any scum that forms when the pulses start to be cooked.

Add one black teabag and bicarbonate of soda and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring well. Drain but keep the liquid. Remove the teabag. Mash a few of the chickpeas and yellow split peas. Set aside.

Grate the ginger. Chop and crush the garlic. Blend the tomatoes to a pulp or use half a tin of chopped tomatoes.

Add 3tbsp vegetable oil to a heavy-based saucepan. Sauté the cumin seeds for a minute without letting them burn. Add the chopped onions, then the garlic and ginger and fry until the onions have softened– this takes about 6-7 minutes.

Next, add the chopped tomatoes and rest of spices, then cook on a medium heat for 8 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Add the chickpeas/ yellow split peas and 700ml of the reserved cooking liquid (or water if you chucked it out by mistake). Stir through.

Bring the curry to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes. Stir a few times to ensure the curry does not stick, adding a little extra water if you’re worried about it catching.

When ready, sprinkle over with the fenugreek-garam masala. Stir through.

For the fancy touch, squeeze over the juice from half a fresh lemon and 2tbsp chopped fresh coriander, and stir through.