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From Your Kitchen - South India

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Chana Sukka (Sweet and Spicy Chickpea and Coconut Sauté)
Serves 4 as a side dish
 
1 tablespoon unscented oil or ghee
1 small onion, diced fine
1 small tomato, diced fine (optional)
2 - 3 teaspoons bafat spice mix (recipe below)
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)
¼ cup hot water
¼ teaspoon tamarind concentrate
½ teaspoon grated palm sugar
Salt to taste
¼ cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
½ onion, sliced and caramelized
1 tablespoon unscented oil + 1 sprig curry leaves, to garnish
 
Method:
 
Heat the oil or ghee in a sauté pan, and add the onion. Fry for about 5 minutes, then add the chopped tomato, if using, and the spice mix.
 
Fry gently for about 5 - 7 minutes, then add the chickpeas, tamarind concentrate and hot water. Cook together for 2 - 3 minutes, then add the grated palm sugar. Stir, then season to taste with salt.
 
Add the desiccated coconut, and stir together until the coconut starts absorbing some of the sauce. Stir in the caramelized onions.
 
Meanwhile, heat the oil for the garnish in a small pan, and add the curry leaves. Fry together for 30 seconds, then pour it over the chickpeas, giving it a quick stir.
 
Serve with rice or Indian breads.
 
Bafat Spice Mix
Makes about ¼ cup of spice mix
 
10 long mild dried red chillies
1 tablespoon lightly crushed cinnamon stick or cassia bark
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon  cloves
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
2 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
½ star anise
 
Method:
Toss all the ingredients one by one in a hot pan, stirring constantly. Remove to a bowl, and let cool.
 

Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or an unused coffee grinder. Store in a cool, dark place in an airtight tin.

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