Vegan Indian spiced with can-do candor

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1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Drain the chickpeas in a large colander to get rid of as much moisture as possible, 15 minutes. If using canned, rinse first. Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl. Arrange the seasoned chickpeas in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.

2. Bake, 15 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven; mix gently so the chickpeas cook evenly. Bake, 15 minutes.

3. Cool, 15 minutes. Sprinkle with additional red chili powder, if you like.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: 372 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 57 g carbohydrates, 18 g protein, 555 mg sodium, 16 g fiber.

Cooked chickpeas
Singla says soaking the chickpeas first isn't necessary. They will cook up just as soft as if they were presoaked. Don't have a slow cooker? Use a heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, reduce the amount of water by 1/2 to 1 cup, use a very low flame and keep a careful eye that the chickpeas don't burn.

Pick over and rinse 3 cups (about 18 ounces) whole, dried chickpeas. Place in a 3 1/2-quart capacity slow cooker with 5 cups water. Cook on high, 4 hours. Rinse the beans with cold water to stop the cooking process; drain excess liquid. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week or the freezer up to 3 months. Makes: 7 cups

Chaat masala
"Try it on raw veggies, sprinkle it over boiled potatoes, or stir a pinch into your plain soy yogurt," Singla writes. Look for the mango powder, black salt and carom seeds in Indian groceries or spice shops.

Toast: Dry roast 1/2 heaping cup coriander seeds, 2 heaping tablespoons each cumin seeds and fennel seeds, and 8 whole dried red chilies, broken into pieces, in a shallow, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir every 15-20 seconds to prevent burning. The spices should be just toasted and aromatic. After about 4 minutes of roasting, transfer the mixture to a plate. Let cool, 15 minutes.

Grind: Transfer spices to a spice grinder or the dry jug of a powerful blender. Add 1/2 cup whole black peppercorns, 2 heaping teaspoons mango powder (amchur), 2 tablespoons black salt and 2 heaping teaspoons each ground ginger and carom seeds; process to a fine powder. Sift after grinding to get a finer powder. Store in an airtight container up to 6 months.

Makes:2 cups
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