Vegetarian Chana Masala Spicy Chickpeas with Spinach Recipe

Homemade vegetarian chana masala with spinach
Homemade vegetarian chana masala with spinach.
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 3 servings
Ratings (9)

Chana masala with spinach is a vegetarian variation of a traditional and popular Indian food dish. If you don't have all the spices on hand, it's ok to omit one of them without too much trouble, but don't omit more than two or you will have a completely different (and bland!) dish on your hands. For a heartier chana masala, toss in some tofu with the chickpeas and serve over rice.

Simple Indian vegetarian recipes such as this one make it so easy to have a home-cooked Indian meal with very little effort. A more traditional chana masala recipe would call for a few ingredients that can only be sourced either online or at a local Indian grocery, such as amchur (dried mango powder), and sometimes pomegranate seeds. This vegetarian and vegan recipe is simplified for western cooks, with more common spices and ingredients you can find at most well-stocked large grocery stores.

Chana masala is my usual go-to recipe when I'm craving some Indian spices. Traditionally, chana masala is more focused on the chana, that is the chickpeas or garbanzo beans, and less on the tomatoes and spinach, but, if you know me, you know that I love adding greens too as many dishes as possible, thus my personal twist on traditional chana masala is, of course, with spinach!

Sometimes I omit the spinach and make a more tomato-based chana masala, such as this curried chickpeas with tomatoes recipe. I don't always pair my Indian curries with rice if I'm just cooking for myself, but a dish like this really should be served with either a plain white rice, a simple Indian basmati rice or perhaps an Indian lemon rice or, if you want the extra protein boost, quinoa. Chana masala is perfect for freezing and taking to the office for lunch later, so make a double batch if you'd like!

Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.

See also: More Easy Indian Recipes

What You'll Need

  • 1 can chickpeas in water (also called garbanzo beans) or 1 1/2 cups precooked + 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon (approx 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 large bunch of spinach or two handfuls, rinsed

How to Make It

  1. In a large skillet or frying pan, sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add chickpeas straight from the can, including all the water.
  3. Add spices and lemon juice, cover, and simmer about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water if needed until chickpeas are cooked and soft.
  4. Reduce heat, add spinach and cover. Allow spinach to wilt for 2-4 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy your chana masala!

    Makes 3 servings.

    Nutritional information, per serving (from Calorie Count):
    Calories: 301, Calories from Fat: 148
    % Daily Value: Total Fat: 16.4g, 25%; Saturated Fat: 1.9g, 10%
    Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 179mg, 7%
    Total Carbohydrates: 32.6g, 11%
    Dietary Fiber: 5.0g, 20%
    Protein: 10.4g
    Vitamin A 38%, Vitamin C 21%, Calcium 9%, Iron 19%

    If you like this easy homemade chana masala, you might want to try some  more easy vegetarian and vegan Indian food recipes.

    See also: More healthy vegetarian recipes