When time is of the essence, this hearty stew makes a quick meal. It has a complex, almost beefy flavor that develops when the onion and garlic are cooked until dark brown. Accompany with steamed rice or whole-wheat flatbreads (chapatis).
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; cook cumin seeds for 10 seconds. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until dark brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add coriander; cook, stirring, for 20 seconds. Stir in water, potato, chickpeas, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the potato is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add tomato, increase heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro and serve.
Ingredient Note: Coriander seeds are tiny and yellowish brown; they are produced when cilantro is allowed to seed. They smell slightly citric. Their flavor does not resemble, in any way, that of cilantro.