In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, place vegetable oil, bay leaf, and onions. Sauté onions until golden.
Add tomatoes and ginger and cook until tomatoes are soft.
Remove cardamom seeds from pods and crush on a flat surface. Stir cardamom and remaining spices into onions and tomatoes. Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add chickpeas and continue cooking until chickpeas are hot, stirring occasionally.
Stir in lemon juice just before serving. Garnish with chopped tomato and fresh coriander or parsley leaves.