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Veggie Chickpea and Spinach Curry

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Want to spice up the usual dinner routine? A delicate balance of harmonious seasonings and rich aromas set this veggie chickpea and spinach curry apart from your average stew. Warming from the inside out, it’s truly the definition of comfort food.

Even picky eater will think the spice is right since it puts an emphasis on full-bodied flavor without intense fire power. Creamy coconut milk is the secret to tempering the flames, creating a luscious sauce that will tempt you to lick the bowl. Don’t forget a scoop of fluffy jasmine rice to soak up every last drop.

Ready for the best part? You can make this delicious vegan dinner with less than 15 minutes of manual effort (plus some time for cooking), since this recipe comes from the 15 Minute Vegan Meals cookbook by Janet Gronnow.

vegetable chickpea curry

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and easy. You can have this complete meal on the table in 40 minutes or less, from start to finish. There are no complex techniques to master, exacting knife work, nor tricky timing, so it’s an excellent dish for cooking newbies or novices.
  • Affordable. Indian chickpea curry will cost considerably more when dining at a restaurant, while adding up to a much smaller portion, too. Using primarily pantry staples makes this homemade approach a smart way to stretch your food budget.
  • Highly adaptable. With a few small tweaks, you could make this veggie curry every day of the week and never get bored. The only limit is your imagination! Swap the vegetables, adjust the spices; with this fool-proof formula, you can’t mess it up.
  • Scalable. If you suddenly need to feed the whole football team on a moment’s notice, this is your new go-to solution. Double or triple the recipe with ease so no one will walk away hungry.
  • Allergen-friendly. It should come as no surprise that a vegan curry with chickpeas is naturally dairy-free, eggless, and gluten-free. On top of that, it’s nut-free, seed-free, soy-free, and even sugar-free.

All of the recipes on World of Vegan are rigorously tested by our team of recipes testers, and our testers raved about this veggie chickpea and spinach curry! Here’s what one of our testers said:

A solid 10! I tried to find something wrong with it, but it was absolutely perfect. My daughter is 8 (and brutally honest) and she loved it too!

– Sarah Hudson
top down photo of a bowl of indian chickpea curry with red pepper flakes and lime

Key Ingredients

Curry powder: There’s a hundred different versions of curry powders and paste in every color of the rainbow, unique to their country of origin. In this case, yellow Madras curry powder is ideal for its mild heat level to pairs nicely with sweeter spices.

Crushed tomatoes: Adding body and umami all at once, crushed tomatoes have a texture between tomato sauce and diced tomatoes for the best of both worlds.

Full-fat coconut milk: Don’t skimp out by using “lite” coconut milk or watered-down coconut milk beverage here. We need all those good fats to unlock the essential oils in the spices and make the nutrients more easily digestible. It’s the secret ingredient to making it a more satisfying main dish.

Chickpeas: Everyone’s favorite legume, chickpeas are an ideal protein source in this vegetarian curry. They remain firm enough through the cooking process to maintain a toothsome bite, while becoming soft and moist all the way through, soaking in that flavorful sauce.

Baby spinach: Putting spinach in curry is a great way to get your daily dose of green. They quickly cook down and shrink to almost nothing in the hot stew, becoming soft and silky in an instant.

chickpea curry ingredient flatlay with tomatoes corn garbanzo beans spinach garlic

How To Make Your Own Yellow Curry Powder

Yellow Madras curry powder is a British invention that has a deeply nuanced spice profile with a mild kick. It’s a great way to dip your toes into the world of curry for the spice-averse, especially if you start from scratch and make your own.

You can easily control the heat by dialing back the chilies to taste while customizing the other components as desired. It only takes a few extra minutes and pays off in big, bold flavor. Make a large batch to keep some on hand at all times.

  • ¼ cup whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons whole fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
  • 20 whole green cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 6 – 12 dried Kashmiri chilies or 2 – 4 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Toast the whole seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat for 2 – 4 minutes, until highly aromatic. Transfer to a spice grinder or blender and let stand for 10 minutes to cool. Add the ground spices and grind until everything is finely powdered. Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place until ready to use.

Ideas For Customizing Your Curry

Whether dealing with a picky eater or a limited pantry, you still have plenty of options for creating your very own custom curry masterpiece.

  • Increase the protein. Double up on the chickpeas, or add diced tofu, tempeh, or seitan to hit your ideal macros.
  • Go green. Palak chana is a popular variation on curried chickpeas and spinach, putting a mega-dose of leafy greens on your plate instead of other vegetables. Triple or quadruple the spinach, or add a blend that could include arugula, mustard greens, chopped kale, shredded collards, and more.
  • Taste the rainbow. Try a red or green Thai curry paste instead of curry powder to create one-of-a-kind fusion cuisine. Read labels carefully though; some use shrimp paste and/or fish sauce.
  • Use frozen assets. Instead of frozen corn, swap in frozen peas, green beans, broccoli florets, or a vegetable blend for a little bit of everything.
  • Get fresh. Cherry tomatoes are delightful little bites of summer, but you can eat seasonally without sacrificing quality. Fresh diced zucchini, eggplant, sweet potato, cauliflower florets, or chopped mushrooms are great options to consider.
vegetarian chickpea spinach corn curry bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I save the leftovers?

A: This is an ideal meal for preparing in advance or packing for lunch because it keeps and reheats beautifully! Store the rice and curry separately in airtight containers in the fridge for 5 – 7 days. Warm in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes when ready to serve.

Q: What can I do if I don’t have lots of individual spices?

A: It’s a good idea to stock up for the future, but if you need curry in a hurry and have a limited spice rack, don’t panic. Replace the cumin, ginger, cinnamon, chili powder, and coriander with an additional 2 tablespoons of curry powder, making 3 tablespoons of curry powder in all. It won’t be nearly as complex and nuanced, but it will still taste great.

Q: What’s a good substitute for jasmine rice?

A: Any long grain white rice, particularly basmati, would be a perfect substitute that cooks at exactly the same rate. If you’d like to switch things up with different whole grains, consider quinoa, millet, teff, fonio, farro, or bulgur instead.

More Curry-licious Recipes To Try Next

Veggie Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Author: Janet Gronnow
5 from 12 votes
This veggie chickpea and spinach curry is a tried-and-true favorite! Who doesn’t love a cozy, warm, delectable bowl of flavorful curry? It has a super-creamy and simple sauce that is surprisingly flavorful for coming together in 15 minutes. This quick preparation is definitely not traditional, but it pays homage to the beautiful Indian flavors that I love. The spices in this curry are a winning combination, with a hint of cinnamon and a mild amount of heat. If you’d like to cut down on the spicy heat, go ahead and halve the chili powder. It will still be delicious!
chickpea curry with spinach served in a bowl with rice and roti
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of jasmine rice
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • teaspoons of ground coriander
  • ¾ cup of canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of baby spinach

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, add the jasmine rice and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, covered, thenimmediately reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated (around 12 minutes).
  • Preheat a large pan on medium heat, then finely chop the onion. Add the onion and oil to the pan, stir, and let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring periodically. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and halve the cherry tomatoes.
  • Add the garlic, cherry tomatoes, corn, garlic powder, salt, curry powder, cumin, ground ginger, cinnamon, if using, chili powder, and coriander to the pan. Stir and cook for 1 minute, then add the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, and chickpeas.
  • Stir the curry and bring it to a boil, covered, then lower the heat to a simmer, uncovered, for another fewminutes. During the last minute, stir in the baby spinach to wilt. Serve with the jasmine rice.
Course dinner
Cuisine Indian
Keyword curry, dairy-free, gluten free, indian, plant-based, vegetarian

This veggie chickpea and spinach curry recipe was reprinted with permission from 15-Minute Vegan Meals by Jannet Gronnow, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2022. Photos by J.J. Steele for World of Vegan, all rights reserved.

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Recipe Rating




14 comments
  1. Delicious and easy to make! This recipe is truly perfect for cozy season.

  2. 5 stars
    This veggie chickpea and spinach curry is deliciously healthy and simple to make.

  3. 5 stars
    The most delicious veggie curry ever! I am absolutely obsessed with this recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    I love to spice up my meals! Loved your chickpea curry, it was delicious, thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    The flavor of this curry dish is spectacular! Loved it!

  6. 5 stars
    Yes!! i am totally ready for cozy recipes like this chickpea curry!!

  7. 5 stars
    Yum! Perfect healthy dinner for early autumn days!

  8. 5 stars
    Love chickpeas and this recipe looks so good!

  9. 5 stars
    This is one of my family’s faves!!! Love the flavor combo and that it infuses protein and nutrition from the chickpeas and spinach and all the veggies and spices. Curry win!

  10. 5 stars
    Super good! I love anything with chickpeas and this is no exception!

  11. 5 stars
    Easy, healthy and delicious. Love that we can substitute so many of the ingredients using what veggies we have on hand. The spices and creaminess of the coconut milk are sooo good.

  12. 5 stars
    This curry looks so incredibly delicious! Need to try this asap!