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Channa Masala

Soak two cups chick peas (garbanzo beans, not the canned kind)
overnight in water. By morning, they will have bloated upto twice
their original size.

Also soak 2 tablespoons "anaardaana"(dried pomegranate seeds) in
water, overnight. In the morning, drain out the water, grind them
to a fine pulp.

In a pressure cooker, cook the chick peas with two teaspoons salt
added, for about 20 minutes. I have a cooker that I bought in India.
Indian cookers give a shrill loud whistle to indicate that now its
time to turn the heat to low-medium. So, basically, I cook the
chick peas for 20 minutes on low- medium heat after the first
whistle.

In a large frying pan or wide-bottom pot, heat 4 tablespoons oil.
Add

5-6 cloves
Bay leaves (called "Tej pattha"), about 5-6 large sized ones.
7-8 whole black peppers
1.5 teaspoon minced garlic
1.5 teaspoon minced ginger

and fry for a minute or less on low-medium heat.

Add two very large finely chopped (or better, grated) onions. Turn
the heat to medium-high and fry for some more time, till onions
are slightly browned.

Add a 3-4 ounce can of tomato paste, and one fresh chopped tomato.

Cook till oil starts appearing on the sides of the pan.

You may also have to add about a cup of the chick pea water (from
the pressure cooker) so that the onion-tomato sauce in not too
thick but has the consistency of gravy.

Mash about half a cup of the boiled chick peas and add to the onion
tomato sauce, cook for a minute more and then add the "anaardaana"
paste. This paste is responsible for imparting a dark color to
the sauce.

Add the boiled chick peas along with some more of the water,
depending on how "dry" or "liquidy" you like your Channa Masala.
Remember, when this cools down, its always going to lose some of
the water and become more thick.

In the end, add 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, mix well. Turn off the
heat.

Garnish with onion (cut into rings) and plenty of finely chopped
cilantro.

you like your Channa Masala hot, you may add a teaspoon of "red
chilli powder" just before adding the tomato paste.

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