I had one of those days where I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted for dinner. Not in the mood for more soy products or seitan. Had pasta the night before. Didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. So I clicked my way over to the Post Punk Kitchen to browse, and there was the solution to my conundrum: chickpeas! And I had every single ingredient for chickpea masala in the house, which is unheard of!
V. was at his sword fighting class building up an appetite, and a friend said she might stop by, so a big pot of stew seemed like the thing, with a generous side of basmati rice with toasted pistachios and raisins.
Well, V. got home and said he had a huge craving for soy chicken nuggets from the place down the block, so he ordered those, and my friend never showed up. Had I known, I probably never would have cooked, but I’m so very glad that I did, because I had a healthy dinner, and now I have a hearty breakfast for the rest of the week. Today I steamed some kale on the side. Tomorrow I’m planning to put a farm-fresh poached egg on top!

Chickpea Masala

Spice mix: 
1 tblsp. ground cumin
1 tblsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground tumeric
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. cayenne

3 tblsp. coconut oil or vegetable oil
1 large, chopped onion
1-2 jalapenos, seeds removed and finely chopped (i used 2 and it was super spicy)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tblsp. grated fresh ginger*
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 lbs tomatoes, diced
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or if soaking your own, start with 2 cups)
1 tsp agave
1 tsp. tamarind paste

In a small bowl, mix all the spices.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the coconut oil with the onions. Cook until they start to brown. 
Add jalapenos, garlic and ginger. Mix in the cilantro and wait for it to wilt. Fold in the spice blend.
Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and agave, as well as salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for at 20-30 minutes, or until the whole thing thickens a bit.
Stir in the tamarind paste.

* I discovered that if with my grater I don’t have to even peel the ginger…the peel stays on top and the grated ginger on the bottom. I tried this with my mother’s grater when I was at home and it didn’t work at all. Evidently not all graters are created equal, but it’s worth trying yours if you want to save a step!