I first ate this dish sitting on rooftop in Jodphur in Rajastan, India.
I was blown away by the fresh sweet explosions of the pomegranate seeds served on top of the chickpea dal, it looked amazing too. The bright pink jewel like pomegranate seeds glistening on top of the brown chickpea stew, It certainly elevates what can look like – we’re not talking taste here – a rather pedestrian looking dish to something that’s quite exotic. The chickpeas are cooked with tomatoes and tamarind and the tamarind gives a lovely sour twist, the perfect complement to the pomegranate seeds
It’s pomegranate season now and the pomegranate sitting in our fruit basket inspired tonights dinner. It is so easy to make and quite a taste sensation. We ate it with basmati rice, tomato and red onions, sliced, and seasoned with a little salt and lemon juice and some thick creamy yoghurt. Yum!
500g cooked chickpeas or 2 cans rinsed and drained
1 tsp tamarind concemtrate
100mls hot water
25mls vegetable oil
250g onions, peeled and chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
25g fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1-2 chillie, chopped
1 can tomatoes, chopped
1 heaped tsp toasted cummin seeds
1 heaped tsp garam masala
a handful of fresh coriander
Put the teaspoon of tamarind concentrate into 100mls of hot water and stir until it has dissolved.
Put a small dry pan on the heat and gently toast the cummin seeds until they lightly brown and become aromatic. Put aside to cool.
Heat a saucepan and add the vegetable oil and the chopped onions, season with a little salt and cook without browning for about ten minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic, chilli and ginger. Cook gently for a few minutes then stir in the turmeric. Add in the can of tomatoes, the toasted cummin seeds and the tamarind juice, mix everything together and cook for fifteen minutes. Just before serving stir in the garam masala and add more salt if needed. Roll the pomegranate around on the table or a chopping board, using a little pressure with the palm of your hand to loosen the seeds then cut it in half and tip the seeds out into a sieve. pick out any bits of menmbrane and drain off excess juice – you can drink the juice. Serve the dal with the pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander on top.