Spicy Chickpeas at Roti Chai

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We ordered too much again. And, oddly, this spicy chickpea side is one of the larger dishes on the table, despite also ordering mains.

“I’m firmly in the camp that can be wowed by a really good dhal”

This is a fairly straightforward vegetarian chickpea curry – but the simplicity is deceptive, since it is perfectly spiced with a cheering warmth and a blend of flavours that play off one another, without dominating other dishes. I’m firmly in the camp that can be wowed by a really good dhal, and this is one of those occasions – just as you might find with chutneys or parathas – where the accompaniment completes the meal.

The chickpeas themselves still have a good protein bite and have soaked up flavour. The sauce is firmly in the Indian red spectrum, which I’d guess hides cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and a good oniony base with lots else besides.

Roti Chai is billed as an Indian Street Food restaurant, and I’d have preferred a more tapas-like experience that fought a bit more against the meat-rice-bread tyranny of the British curry house. Instead we are offered a menu of many enticing dishes but sizes that prohibit tasting them all. So we ordered too much again! Maybe it’s a ploy to get us back again; if so, I’ll be sure to have a side of chickpeas – maybe as my main!

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