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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.


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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