This curry is a classic South Indian dish , usually made with black garbanzo beans, dried coconut and coconut oil. The coconut oil is the key flavoring agent. It is a hearty spicy curry best eaten with something light and bland , like savory crepes or pancakes or with plain yogurt and some basmati rice.
I found this recipe to be best with a mix of dried and fresh shredded coconut, unsweetened of course. You can substitute frozen for the fresh one and thaw it. If it is hard to get your hands on it, use all of whatever is available. —Kris
dried shredded coconut ( unsweetened. I used Bob's red mill shredded unsweetened coconut.)
coriander seeds( dhania)
red chillies ( use less for a mild curry)
Cooked chickpeas( use a mix of chickpeas, black ones or mung beans. avoid kidney beans)
red chillies torn in pieces
black mustard seeds
fresh or frozen shredded coconut( use dried unsweetened if you don't have this )
red chilli powder ( add to taste. cayenne /paprika is way more potent)
salt to taste
coconut oil ( highly recommended) or any other high heat oil
curry leaves ( washed and roughly chopped or torn in half)
For the masala paste : Dry roast coriander seeds and red chillies and set aside. Then roast coconut till it is light brown and aromatic.
Add a few tablespoons water and pulse it in a blender food processor till it is combined. Do not grind to a fine paste. You want the coconut to have a bite to it.
For the curry : start with the tempering . Add the oil to a pan on high heat along with mustards seeds and cover. Once it starts spluttering reduce the heat to medium
Once the mustard seeds have spluttered, add the cumin seeds . Once they start crackling, add the curry leaves.
Then add the shallots and turmeric powder and sautee well. Once the shallots are translucent, add the tomatoes and sautee well.
Once the tomatoes dont look raw ( this should overall take 5 -7 minutes from the time you started the tempering ) , add the masala paste and 1/2 cup water. Stir well and add about 1/2 teaspoon salt and chilli powder. Add this to taste
Cover and cook this for 3-4 minutes , stirring occassionally to ensure it does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once this mixture has cooked, taste and adjust the chilli powder and salt if required. Then add the cooked beans
Add some water , about 1/2 cup to bring this to a curry consistency. Reduce the heat to medium low and eventually low and let this cook for another 10 minutes for the flavours to blend.
Serve it with some hot steamed rice or savory pancakes ( indian style works best) Makes a fairly large batch and keeps well in the fridge for upto 5 days. Make it on sunday and have it with different sides throughout the week.