Heat 1 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, Add onions, salt, ginger, garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Stir frequently.
Add coconut, coriander, turmeric, cayenne. Mix and cook for half a minute. Add the tomatoes, mix in. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until saucy. Stir occasionally. Add a splash of water if the spices start sticking or browning.
Cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blend with 1/2 cup water and keep aside.
In the same or other skillet, heat 1 tsp oil over medium heat, When hot, add fennel seeds and cook until they change color. About a minute.
Add curry leaves carefully. Add chickpeas and 1 tsp black pepper and mix in.
Add the onion tomato puree, salt and mix well. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until the chickpeas are very tender and the sauce thickens. Stir once in between. Taste and adjust salt and spice. Add more water if for thinner sauce. Mix in the remaining pepper and chopped cilantro. Simmer for another minute. Add a dash of lemon juice. Serve hot with rice, flatbread, or add to a bowl with roasted veggies and cooked grains of choice.