Heat oil in a pan and add the bay leaves, cloves, cardamoms and peppercorns and fry for a minute.
Add the sliced onions and fry until light golden.
Add ginger and garlic paste, chopped tomatoes, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and coconut paste and fry for 5 minutes until the oil separates from the mixture.
Mix in the chickpeas and stir well.
Add salt to taste and sufficient water for the gravy.
Simmer for a few minutes so that the gravy thickens.