Easy chickpea curry with yogurt and spinach, a delicious vegetable based curry that is quick to cook. Making it an ideal mid week dinner dish, for those nights when you want to eat meat free.
Easy chickpea curry with a variety of vegetables is a regular dish on my family’s dinner table. If I’m being honest, I probably cook more vegetable curries than I do meat based ones. It does us no harm to have meat free days in our weekly diet.
Vegetables cook quickly, and with the addition of a tin of chickpeas from our store cupboards, we can have a curry on the table in well under an hour!
However, more than anything else, I simply love vegetable based curries, particularly this chickpea curry recipe. This simple curry is packed full of warm spice flavours and cooled with the addition of yogurt.
Easy chickpea and spinach curry is one of those dishes that I’ve made for years. This particular curry is cooked with yogurt and spinach and whilst I vary it from time to time, the base of the recipe remains the same! This is the version I make most often.
Chickpea curry recipe steps:
Feeding a crowd:
I love cooking curries above anything else, it’s something I have become good at over the years, practice really does make perfect.
I pour over Indian recipe books, the first one I read being Madhur Jaffrey’s “Curry Bible”. It is a very well read cookbook, one I still cook from regularly today.
Curries are great to cook when feeding a crowd of people as you can prepare most of it in advance, only heating up when your guests arrive. This easy chickpea curry recipe is one I early always include as everyone likes it!
When catering for a crowd of people there is one rule I always follow “something for everyone!” I prepare a variety of different dishes that will suit all palettes. Some mild, some hot. and some that are somewhere in between.
I love spicy food, and thankfully have family and friends who enjoy it too. When I say spicy I don’t necessarily mean chilli heat. Spice can be warm, mellow, bitter, sweet. The list is endless and is not always hot! That’s not to say of course that I don’t love chillies, I do, I’m a complete chilli head!
I also always cook a selection of both meat and vegetables based curries. I like to add a dahl as a side, and often some spiced potatoes. Finally, there is always a selection of breads, lightly spiced rice and a big bowl of raita or simple thick natural yogurt.
As is the case with most dishes you can adapt the amount of chillies you use. I have used 3 red finger chillies in this recipe, you can add more or less depending on your taste and who’s going to be eating it. I you would prefer a chickpea curry with no heat, leave the chillies out altogether.
I have used a blend of dried spices that I think work really well in this curry dish. However, if you don’t have these spices you can substitute with curry powder instead, it will just taste a bit different as ground curry powders do vary considerably..
I have used frozen spinach in this dish as that’s what I and my family like to eat. However, I have also used kale, black kale and Swiss chard leaves from my garden on occasion.
Likewise I sometimes like to add frozen peas to this curry as well as the spinach. Use what you have and enjoy eating yourself.
Bulk up the dish:
If you want to bulk up this dish a little, this is easily done. In the past I have added potato, cauliflower (roasted first as this really brings the flavour out), peppers and butternut squash.
Don’t add it all at once or you will lose the balance of the dish. However, adding in an extra vegetable will not make much difference to the finished dish.
I’ve also added some paneer cheese to this easy chickpea curry as the cheese really takes on the flavours form the curry sauce.
How to adapt this recipe to make a vegan chickpea curry?
This recipe is really easy to adapt for vegan diners. The only dairy element in this vegetarian curry is the yogurt. You can simply replace the Greek yogurt with some vegan yogurt of a tin of thick coconut milk. Both will work in this easy chickpea curry to provide a richness to this finished dish.
Benefit of using frozen vegetables?
There are certain vegetables that I always have a supply of in my freezer, namely: spinach; peas; broad beans; leeks and sweetcorn. That’s not to say I never buy and cook fresh, more that these are vegetables I use a lot of in my cooking and I can’t say I notice any difference in them being frozen.
Aside from being more convenient, frozen spinach is quick and ready prepared. For this particular curry I simply removed 5 balls of frozen spinach from the freezer and allowed it to come defrost in the sauce.
By all means use fresh spinach if you would prefer and have that to hand.
Can I made this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, this easy chickpea curry is a great prep ahead dish. You can prepare it a couple of days beforehand, allow it to cool, cover it and leave it in the fridge. However, I would cook it to the end of recipe step 4. Then when you are ready to serve finish the recipe with spinach and fresh coriander.
In fact, as with most curries, I would say it benefits from being made in advance. Curry always tastes better when it’s allowed to sit.
Can I freeze this curry?
This chickpea curry can be frozen really easily. However, one word of caution would be that the vegetables do tend to break down a little when being defrosted.
So, as with the instructions above, I would cook the curry to the end of recipe step 4 and freeze at this stage. Finishing the final steps when you are ready to enjoy the curry.
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Additional recipe suggestions:
If you like this recipe then try some of our other great curry recipes:
- Vegetable & Coconut Curry
- Easy Matar Paneer Curry
- Butter Chicken Curry
- Chicken & Squash Curry
- Indian Cottage Pie
- Lamb & Spinach Curry
Looking for inspiration for feeding the family mid week, then take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners. Full of useful hints, tips and recipes.
Easy Chickpea Curry with Yogurt & Spinach
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 3 red finger chillis (sliced)
- 5 cm ginger (in chunks)
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 3 cardamon pods (bruised)
- 1 tsp salt
- 300 g thick Greek yogurt
- 400 g tin plum tomatoes
- 400 g tin chickpeas (drained)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 200 g frozen spinach
- large handful of coriander leaves (chopped)
- Place the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies into a food processor with a little water and blitz to a smooth paste.
- In a large frying pan gently heat the sunflower oil over a medium heat. Add the paste to the frying pan and gently saute the vegetables for 5 minutes taking care to soften but not colour the paste.
- Next add in all the dry spices to the vegetable paste and stir thoroughly to combine. Cook out for a minute so that the dry spices begin to release their aroma, but again take care not to burn the spices.
- Add the creamy Greek yogurt to the spice mix and stir through to form a thick smooth curry paste. next add the tinned tomatoes, the vegetable stock cubs and the drained chickpeas and give everything a good stir. Cook for 10 minutes and if it's looking a little dry add a splash of water to loosen the curry sauce.
- Add the frozen spinach to the curry sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes until the spinach had defrosted and heated through.
- Before serving stir through the chopped coriander. Serve with warm naan breads or flatbreads.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •Share on Facebook
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