Curried Chickpeas in Coconut Milk

1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked (or two 15 oz cans)

1 inch ginger root, peeled and sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 teaspoons canola oil or ghee (clarified butter, frequently used in Indian cooking)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 cup coconut milk (optional light coconut milk)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

  1. Drain the soaked beans, then put in a pot with 5 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for about an hour. When they are very tender, drain and reserve.
  2. Heat a large skillet (see tip below) over high heat. When hot, add the canola oil or ghee, the ginger, garlic, cumin, turmeric, coriander and cayenne and stir until the spices are fragrant. 
  3. Add the coconut milk, brown sugar, tomato paste and salt, and mash and stir to incorporate the tomato into the sauce as it comes to a simmer. Add garbanzos and stir. 
  4. Cook, stirring often, until thick. Sprinkle with cilantro just before serving.

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Yield: 6 servings