In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the rice and toast for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 3 cups chicken broth, the bay leaf, lemon zest, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cardamom. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 18 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and discard the bay leaf. Add the butter and toss to evenly coat the rice; set aside.
While the rice cooks, in a large, deep nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, eggplant, bell pepper, onion and garlic; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Uncover and stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, curry paste and chutney; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining 1 cup chicken broth and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes. Serve the vegetable curry with scoops of rice on top. Top with the scallions, cilantro and almonds.