A popular dish in our family and also in many Indian restaurants. Depending on your preference, the sauce can be made with either tomatoes, or milk or coconut milk or even cream! Here the addition of crushed peanuts gives a nice thick sauce.
Best eaten with puri, bhatura or plain rice.
Cook the soaked channa in a pressure cooker, adding enough fresh water to cover the channa and about half an inch more. Cook for 10 minutes, until the channa is very soft. If using the easier option of tinned channa, drain and wash the beans before adding to the sauce.
Heat the oil(ghee) in a heavy based deep pan. When hot add the vaghar ingredients in the order listed. Adding the asafoetida just when the seeds start crackling.
Quickly add the turmeric, garlic and the onions. Gently stir and fry until the onions are translucent.
Add the ginger/chilli paste and stir.
Add the masala and fry for a further minute.
Next add the ground peanuts. Stir further to prevent the peanuts from sticking to the bottom. Here you can add a little more oil to stop the sticking.
Add the tomatoes and the puree.
Keep stirring and roasting at a low heat until the oil starts to separate.
Add the kokum and the jaggery.
Now add the drained, cooked channa. Keep the cooking water to one side and use if necessary to thin the sauce. This water is nutritionally very rich.
Let the channa cook on a low heat for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
To enrich the taste or also to thicken the sauce, add either one tablespoon of cream or two tablespoon of yogurt just before serving. If using set yogurt, remember to stir in a separate bowl before adding to the sauce.
Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with coriander before serving.