Rinse chickpeas in a colander. Drain them and set to the side.
Put lentils with a cinnamon stick in water to cover with one inch at top. Bring to a boil. When boiling, immediately lower heat to a medium simmer. Cover with lid slightly open and cook for about 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender, but still holding their shape.
Fish out the cinnamon stick and toss away. Drain the lentils, but reserve the cooking water.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven. Put in onion, garlic, salt, turmeric, cumin seeds, ground cumin and bay leaves and sauté over medium-low heat for 5 to 8 minutes, just until the onions are soft.
Measure reserved cooking liquid from lentils and add water to make six cups of liquid. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. When boiling, immediately lower the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for about 15 minutes. Fish out and discard the bay leaves.
Stir in chickpeas and lentils and cook for about 5 minutes , primarily to heat the legumes through. Be careful to keep this short or the lentils will turn to mush. Season to taste with black pepper, cayenne and lemon juice.
Serve hot, topped with some yogurt, a sprinkling of parsley or mint and currants, according to your own taste. In the Middle East, all those condiments are popular.
Contributor: pat ciesla
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