This authentic Afghan dish of Chickpea Curry is shared with us by the Ayubi family from their restaurant, Parwana. Choose a full-flavoured white like Verdelho, Chardonnay or Viognier with the curry. Anything too light-bodied will not stand up to the myriad flavours in this dish.
Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the chickpeas
400 g (2 cups) dried chickpeas
250 ml (1 cup) sunflower oil
1 large brown onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon chaar masalah
1 teaspoon white sugar
3 dried bay leaves
4 large tomatoes, puréed in a blender
1 tablespoon white vinegar
250 ml (1 cup) boiling water
Fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, to serve
Recipe by Parwana restaurant
1. To soak the chickpeas, cover them with at least 5 cm cold water in a bowl and set aside for at least 8 hours. The chickpeas will expand as they soak up the water, so you will need a bowl large enough to accommodate this.
2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat and fry the onion and garlic for 3–4 minutes, or until light golden. Add the spices, salt, sugar, bay leaves and 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Stir in the tomato and vinegar, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and deepens in colour, and the oil rises to the surface. Add the boiling water to the sauce and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly again.
3. Drain the chickpeas, rinse in cold water and drain again. Add the chickpeas and 2 litres (8 cups) cold water to a medium saucepan, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid and cook for 35 minutes, or until they have softened, but still retain their shape.
4. Drain the chickpeas in a colander, discarding the water, then add them to the sauce and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, to heat through and to absorb the flavours of the sauce.
5. Sprinkle with parsley and serve alongside your preferred rice dish or simply with some naan.
Verdelho, Chardonnay or Viognier