Spinach, Tomato & Chickpea Curry

PREP TIME: 10mins


By far one of my most treasured and popular recipes on my website and a firm family favourite.

This is my take on a classic ‘Chana Saag’ with Chana meaning chickpeas and Saag meaning spinach.

The recipe tick all the boxes for me! It tastes as if you slaved away for hours, but the curry only takes 30 minutes to make.  This family friendly recipe (leave out the chilli if the kids are not keen) can be thrown together with the majority of the ingredients from your cupboard making this dish quick, super easy and very budget friendly.

My ‘go-to’ recipe if I need nourishment.

Seasonal Swaps: you can use any greens here, chard and kale would work well. You can use any canned beans here as well, I think butterbeans would work a charm.

Serves 4 or 2 with plenty of leftovers


Serving Suggestion:

Would be lovely with some freshly baked easy garlic naan, quickest spiced flatbreads and a beetroot or cucumber raita.


  • 3 tablespoon oil of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds (looks pretty but not essential)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (opt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g tinned chickpeas drained
  • 1 or two teaspoons salt (I use two)
  • 200g baby spinach/chard/kale, washed and chopped
  • 10g coriander, leaves only, finely chopped (opt)



  1. Pour the oil in a medium lidded saucepan over a medium heat, add the mustard & cumin seeds , stir for a minute until the mustard seeds start to pop (they will pop all over the place so keep the lid on).
  2. Add the onions, 1 teaspoon salt, stir to cover the onions with the seeds and oil and leave to cook, covered for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. The better the onions the better the curry (see note below).
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for 3 minutes until fragrant, now add the coriander, turmeric and chilli (if using) and another teaspoon salt, stir well.  Everything should smell amazing by now!
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes and HALF fill one can with water and add to the curry. Stir everything gently and bring to a simmer.
  5. Simmer, for 10-15 minutes until the tomato sauce has thicken and most of the water has evaporated. It’s important that the sauce reduces to a jammy consistency, you don’t want a watery curry.
  6. Add the chopped spinach, folding the leaves into the warm curry. When all the spinach is incorporated, remove the curry from the heat, the heat will be enough to cook the spinach. If using a thicker leaf like kale, you might want to cook the curry for 5 more minutes and then remove from the heat. Taste and season with salt (if necessary), pepper and chopped coriander if using.
  7. To serve, ladle the warmed curry in a bowl and serve along with rice, naan bread, a spicy pickle and a cooling yogurt. Enjoy!


Kitchen Notes:

Cooking onions is a skill, the sugar that they release with heat makes them quick to burn. When I am referring to Curry Onions I am referring to the way that Indians cook onions, its an art, the finely slice the onions and let them cook on a low to medium heat with some ghee or sunflower oil for a really long time, until the onions are completely falling apart and translucent, they then crack up the heat and let the onions caramelise to a sticky sweet onion delight.

Kitchen Story:

The great thing about being at Leiths is you have all these amazing guest chefs coming to demo at the school. We had amazing chefs come and cook for us including  michelin star Sanjeev Kapoor who talked us through creating amazing Indian dishes as well as Angela Malik who kept on shouting at us ‘yes chef’ she was one scary lady, but her emphasis on the importance of cooking onions stayed with me!

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