Chickpea, tomato & spinach curry

Chickpea, tomato & spinach curry

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(70 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 6
A superhealthy, vegan curry that accounts for 2 of your 5-a-day and is low in calories to boot!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal204
  • fat7g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs20g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre7g
  • protein11g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3cm/1¼ in piece ginger, grated



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 6 ripe tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • ½ tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp yeast extract (we used Marmite)



    Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

  • 4 tbsp red lentils
  • 6 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 head of broccoli, broken into small florets



    Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…

  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 100g bag baby spinach leaves
  • 1 lemon, halved



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seed
  • 1 tbsp chopped cashew, to mix with the sesame seeds



    The seeds from the 'Cashew Apple' - a tree which bears bright orange fruit and is native…


  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.

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Comments (91)

mtp1905's picture

Very nice list of healthy ingredients but the end result was fairly bland. I would agree with the other comments about cooking the onions first and then adding the garlic - basically a more step by step approach. It wouldn't take much longer. I will definitely make again using this as a base recipe as it is great for a meat free day.

georgie-k's picture

I made a modified version of this with 1 tin tomatoes, 2 tins of chickpeas and 1 tin of coconut milk instead of the quantities stated. Also for spices I used medium curry powder (of which the main ingredients are coriander, cumin and turmeric anyway) and I didn't measure but probably used 2 tbps of this, plus a little of chilli flakes, and 1 veg stock cube. I also upped the amount of lentils to bulk it out and make up for the amount of liquid I added. For spinach I used 1 tin instead of fresh (just as good for cooking in my opinion).
So now with all of that it would feed 5 but not the original recipe! It is very, very tasty.

Vicki Bartlett's picture

Rinse the lentils several times (until water is clear) before adding to the recipe; red lentils will have a bitter taste if not rinsed well. And, yes, be cautious about overcooking the garlic; I add it after onions are cooked, as directed, in most recipes. Looking forward to trying this dish, today, with recommended modifications and adjustments!

homer120's picture

curry very bitter, any idea why?

Josim123's picture

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think garlic may become bitter if it burns. I cooked this curry once with perfect results by frying onion first and then adding garlic for last minute or so. I then whizzed into a puree at this stage before carrying on with rest of recipe. There was no bitterness whatsoever.

Twed's picture

I think the grainy and bitterness might come from not cooking the puree long enough. When I make this I cook the puree for about 10 minutes or until it's nice and soft then add the spices. Also use tinned tomatoes instead of fresh but don't whizz them up.

homer120's picture

As other people stated the sauce was very dry, but overwhelmingly grainy and very bitter, perhaps this was due to adding raw onions,garlic and ginger (followed recipe to the letter), does anybody else feel the same, any suggestions?

chicajules's picture

Very tasty recipe. If you don't add water or stock it's very thick. I omitted the yeast extract. No idea why that was included in the recipe.

ordonnel's picture

Never cooked with coconut milk before. Delicious and guilt-free.

ucharris's picture

Made this tonight, like others made a few moderations, doubled the spices after reading the comments and used fresh chillies. Used sweet potato instead of broccoli a can of tomatoes and a can of coconut milk. Is was wonderful and will definitely be making it again.

katiecou42's picture

I also want to know the purpose of the yeast extract ?? I don't want to buy a jar of marminte

PapaSmurf975's picture

Made without the coconut cream as I didn't have any and coconut is something I'm not very fond of and it was still lovely, but would definitely want to cook it with next time to see what it's like

RaspberryLemon's picture

This is yum! Boyfriend was less than thrilled when he found out we were having vegan curry for dinner... but he loved it! I used two tomatoes then added a tin of tomatoes (don't blitz the tinned toms, it will spit at you like anything when cooking) I also used a tin of full-fat coconut milk and loads of hot curry powder. The lemon makes this dish, squeeze it all over your bowl at the end. Served with brown rice and ate it the next day too. Yum.

Umbereleanor's picture

Absolutely loved this! I also put in sweet potato because I can't get enough of them and they worked brilliantly. Keep adding coconut cream/milk if you want to thicken it up. Also you're going to need a lot more spice than what is suggested. I added a lot more and it was still very mild.

emyj18's picture

More like 3 greedy / 4 sensible portions. Delicious flavour but would advise increasing liquid quantity (and maybe because of this increase spices/ginger&garlic measurements) - I used a can of tinned tomatoes instead of chopped fresh ones and also about a pint of stock and still found it could have done with more sauce! But delicious flavour and broccoli in curry is divine, will make again soon (with tweaks).

goodlyvibes's picture

Excellent recipe. Used cauliflower (1/2 head) instead of broccoli, doubled the spices (kept the pinch of chilli flakes, but added 1/2 tsp of mild chilli powder), also added a pint of water after the lentils went in as seemed too dry.

PS, Also used ground almond instead of cashew as had none in.

Lovely stuff!

Nuts_9's picture

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

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


Questions (3)

seekingflavour's picture

What is the purpose of the yeast extract? Do I need it?

the_dragon's picture

Erm this recipe says to "swirl through sesame and cashew mixture.", what sesame and cashew?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for flagging this. The cashews and sesame seeds were missed off the ingredients list - apologies. They've now been added and they are mixed together then stirred through the curry. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Tips (2)

emyj18's picture

Double spice quantities, add 1pt stock + use tinned tomatoes if you like a more sauce-y curry (will reduce whilst cooking the lentils). Serves more like 3 or 4 people.

mike gunn's picture

I tried this and was very impressed glad I read the other comment and doubled spices, will make agaln for sure