This dish is a riff on one my friend Karen got from someone she worked with in the late 90s and it's one of my favorite quick, nutrient-dense, fiber-rich, cheap meals that provides several helpings plus lunch for a few days. If you keep bottled lemon juice around (I don't) or forgo it, it can be made entirely with pantry staples. And it's really, really tasty.
For this batch, I played around with adding a chopped-up sweet potato for extra nutrition and deliciousness, but I wouldn't recommend it. It took a lot longer to cook (usually the chickpea part is done by the time the rice is cooked) and even though I added extra liquid, it was still drier than I like. I have some kind of weird mental block about fresh ginger and almost always forget to buy it, but if you have some on hand, by all means use that instead of dried.
My Favorite Chickpeas
half an onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 t cumin
1 t tumeric
1 t coriander
1 t powdered ginger (or a chopped knob of fresh)
1 t garam masala
a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes
19-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
28-oz can crushed tomatoes
pkg frozen spinach, defrosted and lightly squeezed
Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add all of the spices and cook until fragrant, another minute or two. Add the chickpeas, stir to coat them with the spices and let them heat through for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until slightly thickened. Add the spinach and heat through. Serve over rice, with the juice of a quarter lemon squeezed over each serving.
[originally posted on my old food blog 9/10/2008]