Chickpea, tomato & spinach curry

Chickpea, tomato & spinach curry

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(61 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins

Skill level



Serves 6

A superhealthy vegan curry which accounts for 2 of your 5-a-day - and less than 200 calories per serve

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3cm/1¼ in piece ginger, grated
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • ½ tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp yeast extract (we used Marmite)
  • 4 tbsp red lentils
  • 6 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 head of broccoli, broken into small florets
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 100g bag baby spinach leaves
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seed
  • 1 tbsp chopped cashew, to mix with the sesame seeds

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  1. Put the onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes in a food processor or blender and whizz to a purée.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan. Add the spices, fry for a few secs and add purée and yeast extract. Bubble together for 2 mins, then add lentils and coconut cream. Cook until lentils are tender, then add the broccoli and cook for 4 mins. Stir in chickpeas and spinach, squeeze over lemon and swirl through sesame and cashew mixture. Serve with brown rice, if you like.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2011

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Nuts_9's picture
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Great recipe, but definitely needs tweaking as mentioned in other reviews. I was cooking for 6 and was concerned about the portion size and quantity of sauce, so I stuck to the original recipe with the tomato/garlic puree (but using four cloves instead of two), then added an extra can of chopped tomatoes and a can of coconut milk (instead of cream) and also an extra can of chickpeas. I also doubled the spices as suggested by others. It turned out really well with just the right amount of flavour and there was plenty to go around. I served with brown basmati rice and poppadoms and it all got eaten. The lemon squeezed in at the end definitely made it for me. It really enhanced the flavour. Will definitely make this again!

tapan37's picture

Quite good but certainly needs a lot more than a pinch of chilli flakes. I never use tinned chickpeas ( and indeed any kind of tinned "pulses") when it is so easy to store all kinds if dried pulses and soak and cook them oneself. And I soak and precook them in batches and then portion them up into suitable containers and they go into my chest freezer. -- they are all so much nicer than the gooey tinned products!
I have to say that if you miss out fairly essential flavouring ingredients and then find a recipe "doesn't work" it is hardly following a recipe exactly!!!.
If you are trying for the first time then follow the recipe --then you can adjust to your own style/tastes -- although to shoot myself in my foot -- I will inevitably use tinned chopped tomatoes where a recipe calls for fresh tomatoes. If I lived in Italy I would certainly use fresh tomatoes but not the acidic tasteless produce that is usually available in our UK supermarkets -- they're fine for lifting up a salad in a nice warm summer but fairly disastrous for use in cooking!

mau2000's picture

I made this recipe following the original instruction of fresh tomato for the puree and had no problem at all. Had to use tinned spinach and coconut milk but if anything they would have added more moisture so no problem there. It's very mild - could probably do with more spice just for extra flavour as the tomato is a bit powerful. Overall, apart from missing out marmite , cashew nuts, sesame seeds and lemon, I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out nicely with enough moisture. I would suggest adding much more spice...maybe a little curry powder? Allow some more time for the brocolli because it didn't cook in 4 minutes but that didn't seem to make any difference. Nice served with rice but not too much as the chickpeas make it pretty filling. Fresh tomato with no stock or anything like that worked for me and I got 3 portions but I suppose it would stretch to 4 and might be better with naan or in a bowl.

Jennyahurst's picture
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Double the spice - add a touch of water or stock and it is very nice - I have made it a few times now - and it tastes even better the following day. It has to be my favourite recipe on this website

kirstycat's picture
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Not very impressed with this curry...followed the recipe and added some courgette and mushrooms, but the end result was a bit bland...definitely needs more spice! It made four good sized portions, so I shall try adding some more flavour to the frozen leftovers when I reheat them! Disappointed though, was expecting something super tasty based on the comments I had read!

Rondiddlyronron's picture

Don't think it's fair to say that it's bland when you added more ingredients (mushrooms have so much water in that they may have diluted the spices recommended for the amount of vegetables in the recipe) unless you added more spices to compensate for the extra vegetables you added. People post a recipe to be followed. If you change it, you can't then 'not be impressed with it' - it's not fair

Dizzy blond's picture

This should have been a 5 star but there doesn't seem to be an option for a star rating on my ipad (dizzy blond)

Dizzy blond's picture

Love this, it's the kind of food you can't get enough of. I took on board previous comments about the spices and dryness so I added heaped spoons of spices, an extra clove of garlic, also a tin of chopped tomatoes instead of fresh, I also used coconut milk instead of cream and kept adding a spoonful as necessary to get the consistency I like. I only used the juice of half a lemon as it was a very juicy lemon then seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I love fresh coriander so put a couple of tablespoons of chopped coriander on top. Delicious will definitely be making this again

perky2512's picture
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I thought that this was a really lovely tasting recipe. I made it to the exact recipe and my children really liked it. The comment about using tinned tomatoes and tinned coconut does make more sense and I would do that next time. Really lovely meal.

Penny7's picture

Can I freeze this recipe?

ainerua's picture

Did you find out the answer?

mrsgoodie's picture
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Really tasty and easy recipe even for an inexperienced cook. Used a tin of chopped tomatoes as was concerned there wouldn't be enough sauce based on previous comments. Also doubled garlic, cumin and tumeric. Would definitely make again :) Thank you :)

Emma Jones's picture

This is absolutely gorgeous - it's become a family favourite :) We've found that naan works better with it than rice, and it seems to serve 3 not 6...

Deborah1702's picture

Wow this is delicious. I made a few adjustments to suit. I found pataks coconut cream sachets in Asda (box of 4). Using two of these saved opening a full tin/jar and throwing the rest out. Also added a full tin of tomatoes, 180grm bag of spinach, and cup of vegetable stock. Delicious. Next time I would probably add extra spices, but that's just because we do enjoy spicy food. Definitely recommend this recipe.

mariab2's picture

Lovely. I used a tin of tomatoes and coconut milk instead of cream for extra liquid. Even so, the ratio of veg to sauce was quite high - I might halve the chickpeas next time. It could also take a generous kick of spice - as the recipe stands it is a lovely fragrant curry, but definitely not spicy. Even as it was though, it was absolutely delicious!

monkey_dog_brown's picture

This is reasonably tasty, I imagine it will taste better when reheated tomorrow, once the flavours have had a chance to develop. I like the base paste of spices & tomatoes & will use this again as a base for different curries. I used frozen cubes of garlic, ginger & chilli (from Sainsburys) whizzed in the processor with the onions & tomatoes, which worked well. Having read other comments I used tinned tomatoes & a whole tin of coconut milk - it would have been way too dry otherwise! I agree with some reviewers that the texture is quite grainy - I think next time I will soften the onions before mixing with the tomatoes. I also added some frozen peas & frozen green beans just because I had some in the freezer.

LuuuvDance's picture

Very nice. I made it as per the recipe and found it moist enough just using the tomatoes. I divided into 4, can't see it serving 6 unless you served with lots of rice and naan etc. As other reviews say, I would add a bit more spice, maybe throw a chilli in!

tinkerbell88's picture

Just made this. Didn't have any coconut cream so omitted that. Didn't have any yeast extract either. Didn't put broccoli in but had a punnet of cherry tomatoes that needed using so they went in along with extra chilli powder and I doubled the amount of spinach and garlic. Used a glass of water and a tin of tomatoes for extra liquid. Very pleased with the result! Oh and I had no lemon but just added a glug of lemon juice at the end.

claireriches's picture

Lovely. Used tin of reduced fat coconut milk, tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of mixed beans instead of ingredients recommended. No lemon as I didn't have one but the result was excellent anyway. Will definitely make again. Only served two teenage boys and one greedy mum :)

kitty's picture
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Delicious! Used tinned tomatoes for extra liquid and cooked the broccoli first as was using frozen. Also added a little more chilli and spice to taste. Great, easy recipe that can be made from what's usually in my cupboards. Enjoyed with garlic and coriander naan bread - and my meat-eating partner loves it too. Would say it's 4 portions rather than 6 for a main meal.