Tried and tested and ever popular chole recipe. For my friends who don't have an abundant pantry that includes Channa masala and amchur, you can add garam masala instead or even curry powder. Pick one that you think you will cook with more than once.
4 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 (1-inch) knob ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
1 to 6 green Thai chilies (to taste), roughly chopped
2 tablespoons (30ml) juice from 1 lemon, divided
2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil or ghee
2 teaspoons (8g) black mustard seed
1 teaspoon (4g) whole cumin seed
1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups; 300g)
1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (1 ounce; 25g
Combine garlic, ginger, chilies, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a mortar and pestle or in the small work bowl of a food processor and pound or process until a fine paste is produced. Set aside.
Heat oil or ghee in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. All at once, add mustard seed and cumin. They will sputter and spit for a few seconds. As soon as they are aromatic (about 15 seconds), add onion all at once, along with baking soda. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions start to leave a brown coating on bottom of pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon water, scrape up browned bits from pan, and continue cooking. Repeat this process until onions are a deep brown, about 10 minutes total.
Immediately add garlic/ginger/chili paste all at once and stir to combine. Add coriander, black pepper, turmeric, channa masala and amuchur powder. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and crush them using a whisk or potato masher. Cook for 5 - 7 mins. Add drained, rinsed chickpeas and cilantro, reserving a little cilantro for garnish. Add 1/2 cup water.
Bring to a simmer, cover with lid slightly cracked, and reduce heat to maintain a gentle bubbling. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced into a thick stew and spices have melded, about 30 minutes.
Stir in garam masala and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt. Serve with rice and/or naan, sprinkling additional cilantro on top.