A mouthwatering, creamy and tangy chickpea spinach curry with heaps of spices and zesty lime juice.
This dish is every spice lover’s dream! Leftovers are great for eating with tortilla or pita chips. I was definitely in a feel good haze for a good 30 minutes after eating this curry. I definitely was guilty of eating it for almost every meal for about 3 consecutive days.
I’m absolutely obsessed with this dish. I loved cooking with all the colorful spices and I’m sure you guys will enjoy it as well! I’m quite fond of Indian cuisine, so I absolutely adore creating Indian-inspired dishes.
1 cup chickpeas, soak overnight for faster cooking
8-10 oz spinach (I used baby spinach)
1 large tomato, diced
½ onion, diced (I used red onion)
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 piece ginger root, about 1 in x 1 cm x 1 cm, finely minced
1 lime, quartered
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin powder (I forgot to include this in the prep photo, oops!)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika
1 can coconut milk (I used coconut milk without added sugar)
2 tbsp sugar (I used raw sugar)
Salt to taste
5-6 thyme sprigs, destemmed
6-7 cilantro sprigs, chopped (optional)
I personally would rate this dish a 2 out of 5 in terms of spiciness, however I will mention that I am biased because anyone who knows me knows I live for spicy foods! For folks who are not so crazy about the spice, a milder dish can be created by reducing the amount of turmeric, paprika, and chili powder used.
By the time I finished the bowl, not only was my tongue abuzz with tingles, but my entire face seemed to be vibrating and glowing! I thought for a minute there I was having a super saiyan moment, but turns out it was simply the magic of spice that had me feeling quite fine.
Soak chickpeas overnight for quicker cooking time. Boil chickpeas in water for approximately 1 hour to 1.5 hours until desired tenderness is achieved. Drain chickpeas and put aside.
The desired firmness of the chickpeas depends on the dish being made. For example, if I were to make hummus, I would boil the chickpeas for 1.5 hours for a softer texture for blending. For this dish, I wanted my chickpeas to be on the firmer side so I only cooked them for about 1 hour.
Heat large sauté pan on medium heat and add oil. Add onions and ginger, stirring for about 1 minute. Add garlic and thyme, cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently (thyme tends to pop up from the pan!). To minimize thyme popping out of the pan, add 1 tbsp water if desired.
Add tomatoes to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in all spices to coat mixture evenly and get ready for an explosion of colors and smells! For those who are all about that spice, throw in some red pepper flakes for an extra zing.
Add coconut milk and bring pan to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add spinach, chickpeas, lime juice, and sugar to pan. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Take off heat and add salt to taste. Some may find the curry flavorful enough without any added salt!
Serve topped with fresh cilantro and pair with rice or your favorite bread! I served this with toasted whole grain pita bread.
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) – Chickpeas contain vitamin K, folate (a B vitamin), phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, choline, and selenium. They are a fantastic source of protein and fiber and have very high levels of iron, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Chickpeas can help support bone health, manage or prevent diabetes, reduce the risk for cancer, and promote heart health. They also encourage smooth digestion, help control cholesterol and hypertension, and can help reduce inflammation.
Garlic – Garlic contains manganese, vitamins B6 and C, and selenium. It has incredible medicinal properties including combating illness, reducing blood pressure, lowering LDL cholesterol, and promoting longevity of life.
Onion – Onions includes high levels of sulfuric compounds, which stimulates the body’s anti-inflammatory processes to promote healing. It also has folate, vitamin C, and fiber and can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Tomato – Tomatoes are the major dietary source of antioxidant lycopene, a carotenoid which reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. They also contain vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
Cilantro – Cilantro, the leafy portion of the coriander plant, contain high amounts of antioxidant flavonoids, essential oils, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, and vitamins, A, C, K, and folate. It may help reduce levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol as well as promote healthy cardiovascular function.
Curry Powder – Curry powder is a blend of various spices which typically include turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, mustard seed, cardamom, cayenne pepper, and fenugreek. Consumption of curry powder can aid in blood sugar control, prevention of cancer cell growth, healthy digestion, cholesterol management, and reducing inflammation.
Turmeric Powder – Turmeric has potent medicinal properties due to its active ingredient curcumin including reducing inflammation and associated chronic pain, promoting digestive health, cancer prevention, and supporting healthy liver function.
Cumin Powder – Medicinal properties of cumin include increasing healthy digestion, promoting weight loss, cholesterol and blood sugar control, and combating food-borne illnesses. Cumin seeds are also a rich source of iron which assists in healthy red blood cell function and production. They also contain antioxidants that help reduce damage from harmful free radicals.
Red Chili Powder – Red chili powder contains vitamin C which boosts immune system function to fight off infections and heal injuries. Capsaicin found in red chili powder has been found to release endorphins that stimulate sexual arousal and powerfully boost metabolism. Red chili powder can also promote healthy digestion and prevent acid reflux and fight bacteria that cause stomach ulcers. It’s anti inflammatory properties can help those with osteoarthritis by increasing blood flow and reducing joint swelling.
Paprika – Paprika is a spice that is rich in beta carotene which can aid in maintenance of healthy skin and may even have anti-aging effects. It is abundant in Vitamin A which encourages eye health. Copper and iron found in paprika help in production of healthy new blood cells. Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and potassium are also present in paprika.
Ginger Root – Ginger root contains gingerol, an incredible medicinal substance that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Ginger helps in treating chronic indigestion, nausea, and vomiting and can be particularly helpful for digestive troubles when brewed in a tea and taken regularly. This incredible healing spice can also lower blood sugar significantly and help improve cardiovascular health.
Lime – Limes are a good source of Vitamin A, B, and C, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Like other citrus fruits, limes promote healthy immune function and are a fantastic source of antioxidants. It can also help increase absorption of water and make the body more alkaline versus acidic.
Thyme – Thyme is seasonal to autumn and is a medicinal mediterranean herb that treats a wide range of ailments including diarrhea, arthritis, and sore throat. It contains high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, riboflavin, fiber, iron, manganese, and copper.
Spinach – Spinach is a nutrient packed super green containing high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium. Spinach also contains high levels of B vitamins and can help control blood pressure levels and support eye health. It is also a good source of insoluble fiber which promotes healthy digestive function.
Happy eating folks! And remember, food is art.
“Let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates
Like this recipe? Share with a friend! Leave comments and pictures of your take on the recipe below.