Super easy 1-pot Indian chickpea and spinach curry ready in just 10 minutes! Packed with flavour, not too spicy, and perfect as a meal or side dish.
We love Indian-style meals, and over the years, this chickpea and spinach curry recipe has quickly become a family-favourite.
My pantry is usually well-stocked up with beans, rice, tomatoes, and spices.
So when I don't feel like spending too much time cooking and my fridge is half empty, this is one of my go-to cupboard recipes.
It’s one of those quick meals you can whip up in no time, without planning ahead. It comes together all in one pot, and it's incredibly simple to prepare.
I can't claim this 10-minute chickpea and spinach curry is a super traditional Indian recipe, but it's an easier and quicker version of the traditional Indian Chana Masala recipe.
This vegan chickpea curry is also naturally gluten-free, and nut-free. You can eat it hot or cold, it's totally freezer-friendly and easy to customise.
All the good reasons to give it a try!
Easy Chana Masala Ingredients
To make this easy simplified version of chana masala, you'll need just a bunch of cupboard ingredients:
- Ghee or vegetable oil
- Spice mix
Ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala come together to bring this dish to the next level.
If you want to give it a more authentic touch, add a generous teaspoon of dried mango powder (amchoor powder).
If you have trouble finding garam masala, you can substitute it with mild curry powder or a jarred mild curry paste.
Your curry won't end up tasting exactly the same, but I'm confident it will still be delicious.
You can go for canned tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes (seems odd but the San Marzano variety are great for these kinds of recipes).
I like to use canned whole tomatoes but chopped tomatoes work just fine.
If you don't fancy their chunky texture, blitz the tomatoes with the onion/garlic/ginger mix, or use pureed tomatoes.
I use fresh spinach or baby spinach whenever possible. But frozen spinach works just as great. Simply add them frozen whilst your curry sauce cooks.
Dry or Canned Chickpeas
You can use canned chickpeas, jarred chickpeas or dry chickpeas prepared in advance.
I personally recommend chickpeas sold in jars, as I feel they have a less mushy texture and hold up better their texture, but feel free to use whichever you like.
If you use dry chickpeas, remember to soak them overnight. Then, the next day, drain them and boil them in plenty of water for about an hour and a half.
Or you can cook overnight soaked dry chickpeas in an instant pot for about 15-20 minutes.
Make sure you don't throw away their cooking water, so you can use it to make the curry sauce.
How To Make Spinach and Chickpea Curry
The recipe couldn’t be easier, requiring just 10 minutes to make, and a few easy-to-follow steps.
1. Place the onion, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and pulse until you have a creamy but slightly chunky mixture.
Alternatively, you can finely mince the onion and grate the garlic and ginger. Heat a large pan with the oil or ghee, then add the onion mixture and saute for 2 minutes, until softened.
2. Stir in the spices and a generous pinch of salt, and cook for a further 2 minutes, adding a splash of water to prevent burning.
3. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, pushing them with a spoon to the sides of the pan to break them up into chunks.
4. Finally, add the chickpeas, the spinach leaves and the remaining water, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.
Although it's totally optional, feel free to substitute some of the water with a splash of coconut milk if you fancy.
It adds a layer of flavour and cuts up a little of the spiciness.
I like to garnish my curry with generous chopped coriander and lemon wedges, but they are both optional.
Serve it either with steamed jasmine or basmati rice, or with naan or chapatis.
Add extra veggies/protein
This chickpea curry is extremely versatile, so feel free to add extra ingredients if you want, and adjust cooking times accordingly. Below are some great options:
- Baby kale
- Potatoes or sweet potatoes - peeled and finely cubed
- Bell peppers - sliced
- Carrots - finely cubed
- Leek – finely sliced
- Pumpkin or butternut squash – finely cubed
- Chicken– sliced or cubed
- Tofu, seitan or paneer– cubed
Can I freeze spinach and chickpea curry?
This curry freezes beautifully. Make a big batch and store it into individual freezer-friendly containers. You can store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
More curry recipes to try:
Thai Red Fish Curry - Loaded with flavour, super easy to make, and you can use any fish you like!
Vegan Thai Green Curry (Ready in Just 20 min!) - Another great vegan curry recipe, super quick to prepare and easy to customise.
Quick Chickpea and Spinach Curry
- 3 onions cut into quarters
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled about 1 tsp grated
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper optional
- fine sea salt to taste
- 1 tsp amchoor powder optional
- 3 whole canned tomatoes, or 300 gr canned chopped tomatoes
- 800 gr jarred or canned chickpeas, drained 2 cans
- 150 gr spinach leaves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 300 ml hot water or vegetable stock
- 380 gr steamed jasmin or basmati rice
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- Place the onion, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and pulse until you have a creamy but slightly chunky mixture.
- Alternatively, you can finely mince the onion and grate the garlic and ginger. Heat a large pan with the oil or ghee over medium heat, then add the onion mixture and saute for 2 minutes, until softened.
- Stir in the spices and a generous pinch of salt, and cook for a further 2 minutes, adding a splash of water to prevent burning.
- Add the tomatoes and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, pushing them with a spoon to the sides of the pan to break them up into chunks.
- Add the chickpeas, the spinach leaves and the remaining water, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, sprinkle with lemon juice and serve your spinach and chickpea curry with steamed basmati rice.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.