If you're looking for a delicious and healthy meal that's easy to prepare, look no further than this spinach chickpea curry! Packed with flavour and nutrients, this vegan-friendly dish is ready in 40 minutes. Let's get cooking!
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We are huge fans of curry here at Vegan on Board. This easy recipe is inspired by the classic Indian dish chana saag or chana palak and is made without coconut milk.
While there are many recipes for chickpea and spinach curry out there, we had to share our own take on it with you!
Unlike other recipes, we saute and season the chickpeas at the beginning which makes them more flavoursome. Most other recipes just simmer the chickpeas, and I find they can be a little bland.
Our recipe also doesn't skimp on the amount of spinach, there's not just a token handful, but a whole bagful, which makes a thick and tender sauce.
Here's what you'll need to make this chickpea spinach curry:
Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans: We use canned chickpeas for convenience.
If you have dried chickpeas you want to use, cook them separately before using in this recipe. You will need around ½ cup or 100g dried chickpeas to replace 1 can of ready cooked chickpeas.
Spinach: This recipe uses a lot of spinach! You may be surprised by how much it looks at first, but it will shrink and wilt as it cooks down.
We highly recommend using fresh spinach for the best flavour. Baby spinach or young spinach also gives the most tender texture.
If you only have frozen spinach available, then thaw it separately before adding it to the curry. The colour with frozen spinach will be less vibrant.
Tomatoes: Canned tomatoes are perfect to use in anything saucy. Chopped tomatoes from a can are the easiest choice and bring plenty of flavour to this curry.
Spices: We use a combination of individual spices we always have in our pantry, plus some garam masala to round it all off. If you have a chana masala spice blend, you can use that instead.
Step by step pictures
Here's a visual guide on how to make this vegan spinach and chickpea curry. For the full, adjustable and printable recipe, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Step 1 - Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds.
Step 2 - Add the sliced onions and brown sugar and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 3 - Add the chickpeas and salt, turn up the heat to medium-high, and sauté for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Step 4 - Turn the heat back to medium and add the garlic, ginger, and spices. Fry for 2 minutes.
Step 5 - Add the tomatoes and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
Step 6 - Stir in the garam masala, then add the spinach and lemon juice. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-4 minutes to let the spinach wilt down.
We saute the cooked chickpeas with the onions and some seasonings at the beginning.
Most other recipes for chickpea curry just add the canned chickpeas to the sauce towards the end, which we think this makes them a bit bland.
Our method imparts the chickpeas with more flavour. We also prefer the slightly firmer texture, and we think you will, too!
Substitutions and variations
Swap the chickpeas another type of bean.
Mix the spinach with other leafy greens for variety. Kale is a great alternative.
Adjust the spice levels to your liking by adding more or less cayenne pepper, or adding a fresh chilli.
Already have a chana masala spice blend in your pantry? This would be a good fit to replace some or all of the spices used in this recipe to make it even simpler. You can also have fun experimenting with other spice blends.
You can make the curry a bit more saucy and creamy by adding a half can of coconut milk. Stir in coconut milk after the tomatoes have cooked down.
This spinach chickpea curry makes for a delicious and filling main course when served with basmati rice. Try our aromatic yellow rice!
Choose brown rice, quinoa, or bulgur wheat for a more wholegrain-rich side.
For garnishing, lemon wedges, fresh cilantro / coriander leaves, or a dollop of vegan yogurt or coconut cream are all great options!
Store any leftover curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
More curry recipes
Spinach Chickpea Curry
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 onions sliced
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained, or 240 g (8.5 oz) cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch piece ginger grated
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cardamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 can chopped tomatoes 400g / 14 oz
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 10 cups (300 g / 10 oz) spinach washed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- In a large, deep frying pan, heat up vegetable oil on medium heat and fry the cumin seeds for 30 seconds.
- Add the sliced onions and brown sugar. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add rinsed and drained chickpeas (cooked or canned) and salt. Turn up the heat to medium-high and saute for 5 more minutes while stirring more regularly, until onions are translucent and starting to brown.
- Turn heat back to medium and add garlic, ginger, and the ground spices - cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cardamon, and cayenne, and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Turn the heat back to medium. Stir in the garam masala, then add the spinach and lemon juice. Cook for 2 - 4 minutes to let the spinach wilt down.Serve with rice, vegan naan, chapati or bulgur wheat and your favourite chutney.
This information is calculated per serving and is an estimate only.