Quick Indian Spinach and Chickpea Curry

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We’re amazed at the full, all-day flavor that comes from this 20-minute chickpea curry. Lots of fresh and dried spices, along with a splash of cream (or cashew cream to make it vegan) really makes this easy chickpea curry recipe shine. Psst: You might also like our zucchini and chickpea curry.

Quick Indian Spinach and Chickpea Curry 780 | Umami Girl-2


If you like, cook up some white basmati rice to complement this chickpea curry. It will be ready in about the same amount of time and will stretch this recipe to serve eight people.

Chickpea curry that’s ready in 20

‘Tis the season for 20-minute dinners. Sometimes that means raiding the pantry for a crowd-pleasing 5 Minute Taco Bowl. (Five minutes makes you a total overachiever in the 20 minute dinner game, by the way.)

Sometimes it means swinging by the Whole Foods prepared foods aisle for a dinner of I Want Sushi, You Want Indian, She’s Having Mac and Cheese, But Mom Can I Get Soup. The tagline for that aisle should be, “The Food’s Prepared So You Don’t Have to Be.”

And sometimes maybe you’ve had a chance to breathe for a minute or take a sip of wine, and you want something warm and comforting and nourishing that still takes hardly any time or effort.

That’s where I was one evening last week, and we had this quick Indian spinach and chickpea curry. 

A delicious — if not wildly authentic — chickpea curry recipe

To be fair, as is usually the case when I borrow flavors and techniques from various countries, I think it’s a little bold to call this dish “Indian” without any qualifiers.

It incorporates lots of the spices found in Indian cuisine — ginger and turmeric, garam masala, brown mustard seeds — but I wouldn’t exactly tie it to a particular region. I’d call it Indian-ish curry-ish, but that’s hard to spell, so.

Let’s just eat it and not ask too many questions, shall we? I think you’ll be glad. 

Quick Indian Spinach and Chickpea Curry 780 | Umami Girl-2

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Quick Indian Spinach and Chickpea Curry

It amazes me that a dish so full of flavor can be ready in 20 minutes. Cook some white basmati rice at the same time if you like — it should be ready in a similar timeframe. If you can't find fresh turmeric, substitute a scant 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric. To make it vegan, you can omit the cream or substitute cashew cream.

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Serves Serves 4


  • 2 tablepsoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown/black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 pound baby spinach leaves
  • 2 15.5-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Pinch ground cayenne
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Warm the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion along with a good pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Cook, stirring frequently, until very fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the spinach by the handful, incorporating more as soon as each handful wilts enough to make space. Stir as you go to distribute the onion and spice mixture throughout.
  3. As soon as you've added all the spinach, pour in the chickpeas. Sprinkle with the garam masala, cayenne and another generous pinch or two of salt. Add the cream, give it all a good stir, and simmer for two or three minutes, until the cream thickens slightly but the spinach is still nice and green. Taste for salt, grind some black pepper overtop and serve alone or with rice.


For a vegan option, omit the cream or substitute cashew cream.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 574 Total Fat:: 20.2g Carbohydrates:: 82.7g Fiber:: 16g Protein:: 23.8g

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