Preparation / Directions:
Although this is not absolutely authentic, it's quick (unlike most Indian dishes), and easily made for a delicious approximation of the real thing. Adding the optional ingredients helps the flavor, but a quick-and-dirty onion-garlic-curry powder-ketchup-chick peas version isn't too bad, either.
Fry the onions in oil at medium-high heat until golden and translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, fry for a minute. Add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, fry for a minute (until the kitchen begins to smell really good!). Now add the curry powder to the onions, fry for a minute or two. As the mixture begins to stick, add the ketchup to make it more pliable. Keep on frying for about 5 minutes, stirring fairly constantly. Once this "base masala" is ready (one hint is if the oil starts separating from the mixture), just add the chickpeas, including the water they are in. Stir to mix, heat until it boils, then cover and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes, take off heat and stir in coriander leaves. Serve hot, with heated pita, tortillas, Indian bread (roti, naan or puri) or ric