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Everyone needs an ace-in-the-hole dish, something wonderfully delicious to pull together for a quick dinner when the cupboard is almost bare. This vegetarian curry answers that need. It does a good turn to shelf-stable pantry basics by combining them with flavorful spices for a main course that tastes exotic and complex.
Start by lightly browning onions, ginger, and garlic for the flavor base. Add spices, garbanzos, and canned tomatoes for a well-seasoned entrée to eat with rice or whole-wheat tortillas (similar to Indian chapatis). If you're serving rice, start cooking it just before you make the curry. The sprightly slaw and sparkling mango floats can be made in minutes.