If you are using brown rice (our pick!) or quinoa as a base, cook according to package directions and set aside. First step=done!
Get all of your veggies chopped and ready to go. Seriously. Chopping one thing as you're trying to read this AND stir stuff in a pot? Safety hazard. Also go ahead and measure your spices out into a bowl or cup because you're going to need them soon and no one wants you spilling the whole jar into the recipe. Also, go ahead and open up all of the cans you'll need and rinse those chickpeas in a colander.
In a large pot or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and spice mixture. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. This would be a good time to pour yourself a glass of wine because the hard work is almost over.
Add the garlic and wait about 30 seconds. Patience is a virture. Then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas, carrots and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chickpeas and carrots are tender and soft. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Spoon a half a cup or so of rice and masala mix into a bowl. Garnish with fresh cilantro, parsley or rosemary.