Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and potato, cover and cook 10 minutes longer.
Remove and cover and stir in cayenne, paprika, ginger, salt, pepper, cumin, cardamom and tomato paste. Add chickpeas and water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender and the flavor is developed, about 30 minutes, adding a bit more water if needed. About 10 minutes before the stew is ready, stir in green peas and taste to adjust seasonings.