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Dinner Tonight: Spinach and Chickpea Curry

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

The ingredient list for this recipe from Saveur is long, and the directions come dangerously close to the one-hour mark. But cut me a little slack. Like so many other Indian recipes, six of the ingredients are spices. Two of the remaining ingredients are onions and garlic, which should be lying around your kitchen anyways. Then it's just a smattering of aromatics and canned products that altogether make one of the best dishes I've cooked up recently.

The trick is to take it slow. The onions cook for 25 minutes over moderate heat until golden-browned and beautiful. The spinach, tomatoes, and chickpeas cook at a bare simmer (do not let boil) for 30 minutes so they can slowly soak up the flavors of the spices.

If you can judiciously chop four onions like a line chef, this should take you about an hour—but hey, most of the time is just waiting around. Meanwhile, the aroma of the spices waft around your apartment, making you and your neighbors swoon. In fact, by the end, the last thing you'll question is the number of ingredients. Mostly I was just struck by how such inexpensive ingredients could transform into such an incredibly fragrant and filling vegetarian feast.

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