Spinach, Tomato & Chickpea Curry
PREP TIME: 10mins
COOKING TIME: 30mins
By far one of my most treasured and popular recipes and a firm family favourite.
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
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
- 2 x 400g chopped tomatoes
- 2 x 400g tins chickpeas drained
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (opt)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 or two teaspoons salt (I use two)
- 400g baby spinach, washed and chopped
- 10g coriander, leaves only, finely chopped (opt)
- Pour the oil in a medium lidded saucepan over a medium heat, add the mustard & cumin seeds , stir for a minute or until the mustard seeds start to pop (they will pop all over the place so keep the lid on),
- Add the onions stir to cover with seeds and oil and leave to cook gently for about 10-12 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant, add the tomatoes and fill one can of tomatoes half with water and add to the pot. Stir gently and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer, covered for 10 minutes until the tomato sauce has thicken. Add the chickpeas and warm through before adding the coriander, chilli, turmeric and salt.
- Add the chopped spinach, FOLDING the leaves into the warm curry. This might look like way too much spinach but the spinach will wilt and shrink fairly quickly into the curry mixture, have faith! When all the spinach is incorporated, simmer gently, covered for 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt, pepper and chopped coriander.
- To serve, ladle the warmed curry in a bowl and serve along with rice, naan bread, a spicy pickle and a cooling yogurt. Enjoy.
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.
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!