Coconut, chickpea & spinach curry in a bowl

Coconut, chickpea & spinach curry

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 4

This simple curry is easy to make even if your fridge is bare – all it takes are a few storecupboard essentials, such as canned chickpeas and plenty of ground spices, to make a comforting dish 

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal658
  • fat27g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs79g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre11g
  • protein19g
  • salt0.1g
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  • 300g basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped



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

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • 1 tsp turmeric, plus a pinch



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

  • 2 tsp ground cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 1 tbsp garam masala
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

    Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian…

  • ½-1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 2 x 400g cans coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves



    A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

  • ½ cinnamon stick



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 200g frozen spinach



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • 1-2 tbsp tamarind or a squeeze of lime



    A seed pod from the tamarind tree that is used extensively in South-East Asian and Indian…

  • toasted dessicated coconut, to serve (optional)



    A large hairy, brown nut that grows on the coconut tree, found throughout the world's…


  1. Wash the rice a couple of times in cold running water, then leave to soak while you make the curry. Heat 1½ tbsp oil in a deep frying pan, and fry the onion for 10 mins until soft, but not turning golden.

  2. Add the garlic and fry for 1 min, then tip in the turmeric, cumin, garam masala and chilli powder, and toast for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the coconut milk and chickpeas. Simmer for 15 mins until the sauce has reduced slightly. 

  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining ½ tbsp oil in a small pan with the cloves, cinnamon and a pinch of turmeric. Stir until the mixture smells fragrant. Drain the rice and add to the spices, stirring well to coat in the oil. Pour in 600ml boiling water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add a tight-fitting lid and simmer gently for 10 mins, without removing the lid.

  4. About 5 mins before the end of the curry’s cooking time, stir in the spinach and break it up with a wooden spoon as it defrosts. Season well. Add the tamarind or lime juice to balance the sweetness of the curry. Serve in bowls with the fragrant, steaming rice, removing the large spices as you serve. Top with a pinch of the desiccated coconut, if using.

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Comments, questions and tips

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21st Apr, 2020
A little bland, I added a little extra medium curry powder, a sprinkle of mixed spice, 3 crushed cloves, ground almonds and some sweetened coconut. It was delicious.
Anna Haffenden's picture
Anna Haffenden
8th Apr, 2020
Very bland, completely tasteless.
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