I guess it's chickpea week; between this and yesterday's socca recipe you're seeing our love of all things chickpea well exposed! But it's for good reason: chickpeas are healthy, tasty, and really nutritious.
This recipe for chana masala comes from Molly and Brandon at Orangette. (They have such good taste; I turn to their recipes frequently!) Chana masala is a classic Indian dish of chickpeas braised with spices, onions, and tomatoes. It's not too time-consuming, especially compared to other Indian braised curries, and it's vegetarian and even vegan if you leave out the yogurt.
But the payoff is true spicy deliciousness; the soft, toothsome chickpeas are wonderful comfort food, and the toasted spices and tangy tomatoes are a great way to brighten your evening.
One note on this recipe: I have made it many times, and I invariably taste it the first night and think "Bah. Not as good as I remembered it." Then I put it in the fridge and take it out again for lunch the next day, when it overcomes me with its amazing flavor. This is a dish that is perfectly fine the first night, but really great the next couple of days as the flavors bloom.
So if you have a chance, make a double batch and eat it throughout the week. It's even good lukewarm, in the lunchbox. Nothing like a spicy bite or two to wake you up during the day!
Related: Weekend Cooking: How To Make Curry
(Images: Faith Durand)