This Chickpea and spinach channa saag curry is the perfect weekday pick me up with all the comfort of an Indian takeaway but lower in fat and much cheaper! I was always a bit intimidated by curries thinking there was no way I could create anything as tasty as an Indian restaurant but after learning a few tricks it is my go to supper when I want something easy but I am too hungry for a salad! Once you understand the basics of cooking a curry it is so easy to play around with your favourite vegetables and spices and create something perfect for you.
When experimenting if your curry lacks flavour add a squeeze of lemon or a pinch of salt, and if you have used a bit too much spice a pinch of sugar should level the dish and it will still be tasty! One of the best tips I can share is you have to cook the onion on LOW and for AGES! When I say ages I mean 10 minutes as an absolute minimum but ideally 15-20. It sounds laborious but as frying the onions is the first stage you can get them started and cut all the other veggies while they are cooking just keeping an eye and stirring every minute or so. When you caramelize onions this way the depth of flavour is just so delicious and brings out a beautiful sweetness. If you enjoy a sweeter curry red onions do create a slightly sweeter flavour but I tend to just use whatever I have in the cupboard.
One of my favourite things about Indian cooking is most of it is vegan already! The majority of Indians eat a predominantly vegetarian diet, and other than cooking with ghee the most popular diet is animal product free! This makes it so easy to recreate authentic indian flavours with no compromise!
I hope you love this curry as much as I do, and if you are a fan of vegan Indian food check out my unbelievably creamy roasted cauliflower korma and my tofu saag “paneer” curry and let me know what you think!
CHICKPEA AND SPINACH CURRY – CHANA SAAG (VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE)
Serves 3 as a main
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
- 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas
- 200g fresh spinach
- 2 onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- thumb sized piece of fresh ginger (can sub 1 tsp ginger powder with the spices)
- 2 red chillies (optional)
- 250g cherry/plum tomatoes
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 lemon
- large handful of fresh coriander
- rice/quinoa to serve
- Start by peeling and chopping the onion before adding to a frying pan on low with a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil or coconut oil. Fry for at least ten minutes stirring every minute or so until the onion starts to caramelize. Make sure to keep the onion on the lowest temperature you can
- While the onion is cooking chop your garlic, chilli, ginger and tomatoes and set aside
- Drain and rinse your chickpeas and wash your spinach. Set aside
- When the onions are lovely and caramelized add the spices and stir for a minute or so until fragrant.
- Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and fry for a couple of minutes
- Add the tomatoes and a 1/4 cup of water and turn the heat up to medium and cook until soft
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and process until smooth
- Add the curry sauce back to the pan on low and add the spinach. You will feel like there is not enough sauce but don’t worry as the spinach wilts and releases water the sauce will be perfect!
- Add the chickpeas and most of the fresh coriander and cook for a couple of minutes until warmed through. Add the juice of half a lemon.
- Taste the curry and add more salt or lemon if needed
- Serve hot with rice, quinoa or bread
Tip – This spinach and chickpea curry keeps really well so its worth making extra for lunch the following day! You can also make it earlier in the afternoon when you have time and just warm through when you are ready to eat.