Vegetarian. Spicy. Filling. Made from ingredients I already had lying around. Did I just fall in love with a recipe? Yes, I b'lieve I did.

    A weird thing I noticed after moving to Davis three years ago is that the dirt here smells different from the dirt in Albany after a rain. The smell of dirt is one of those things you take for granted until it changes on you, and then you suddenly realize what a  complicated bouquet of smells dirt really is.
    I mention this because I've been getting to experience lots of that fresh rained-on dirt smell the past few days. It's been acting an awful lot like February around here, and I don't mind telling you I'm pretty tired of it. I took my lack of enthusiasm for yet another rainy day as a sure sign that it was time to make curry, and made chana masala yesterday. Chana masala is a curried chickpea stew. Not only is it delicious and vegetarian, it is extremely easy to make if you use canned chickpeas. Best of all, the leftovers actually taste even better the next day!

*serves 2
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup canned diced tomatos
1/2 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup canned chickpeas
2 tbsp plain yogurt
cilantro to garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil until it spreads across the bottom of the pan. Add the curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, sugar, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon. Cook the spices, stirring, until they begin to release smells. Add the tomatos, water, lemon juice, and chickpeas, and bring to a boil. Stir in the yogurt, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly. Serve over long grain white rice, and garnish with chopped cilantro.