I love chickpeas and that love affair started long time ago during our stay in KL. II would wait patiently for one particular vendor on bicycle in the afternoons who came around our housing area with this steaming snack. He would scooped a cup of these into a cone cup he made with a piece of brown oiled paper and that could be exchanged with a mere 50 cent. The aroma and flavors from these goodies stayed with me for years. During a Yoko farm outing last year, Margaret came with a dish that brought such nostalgic feel I had to get the recipe from her. Like a kind soul that she is, she explained the entire process and I quickly scribbled on the back of a supermarket receipt (I kept all these bits and pieces solely for these purposes as I tend to forget easily).
Very few ingredients needed and measurements are not crucial. A handful of curry leaves, 1 tablespoon or so of mustard seeds and as many or as few dried chillies as you like for 500g of dried chickpeas.
To prepare the dried chickpeas:
Rinse the legumes well in a colander off dirt and grit, pick out bad peas and small pebbles. Transfer into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric (kunyit) powder and 1 teaspoon salt.
Soak them, the legumes expand, boil them in the soaking water (I did mine in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes, cooking without pressure would take slow simmering for an hour or two) and they expand further.
500 g cooked chickpeas
3 - 5 dried chillies, wash, snip into thin rings with scissors and discard seeds
1 T mustard seeds
1/2 cup curry leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 t turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 t chili powder, optional
2 T oil
Heat wok and 2 T oil, fry dried chili on medium heat until fragrant (do not burn as they will taste bitter). Drain and put aside.
Fry the curry leaves until fragrant, drain and keep aside.
Fry mustard until fragrant and drain.
Leave 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in wok, add the turmeric powder and chili powder (if use). Return all the fried ingredients and peas into the wok and mix well. Season to taste.
Serve as side dish or munch on during American Idol.