To highlight a special dinner, serve this easy rendition of Indian-style chickpeas with rice and plain nondairy yogurt.
1 bay leaf
2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
4 large whole cardamom pods
1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chana masala spice powder, readily available in the Indian grocery store or online
5 cups cooked chickpeas (3 15-ounce cans), rinsed and drained
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
Chopped fresh coriander or parsley leaves
Note: The Spanish term for fresh coriander is cilantro.
In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, place vegetable oil, bay leaf, and onions. Sauté onions until golden.
Add tomatoes and ginger and cook until tomatoes are soft.
Remove cardamom seeds from pods and crush on a flat surface. Stir cardamom and remaining spices into onions and tomatoes. Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add chickpeas and continue cooking until chickpeas are hot, stirring occasionally.
Stir in lemon juice just before serving. Garnish with chopped tomato and fresh coriander or parsley leaves.