This chana saag recipe marries chickpeas and spinach in a one-pot curry

Chana Saag (Spinach, Tomato and Chickpea Curry)

Complete time:50 minutes

Servings:7 (makes about 7 1/2 cups)

Complete time:50 minutes

Servings:7 (makes about 7 1/2 cups)


The normal Mediterranean weight loss plan has change into a default setting for healthful consuming for good purpose. It affords healthfulness and pleasure in spades, and it has been completely researched — with many research pointing to its advantages.

However all the eye it will get would possibly go away the impression that different cultural foodways don’t measure up health-wise, and that’s plainly unfaithful. There are highly effective classes to glean from a large number of conventional diets worldwide, methods of consuming which have developed over generations to optimize individuals’s well-being. Widening our perspective past the Mediterranean opens us as much as boundless healthful culinary alternatives.

With that in thoughts, all this month and periodically all year long I’ll dedicate this column to exploring nourishing recipes from world cuisines which may not sometimes make the well being headlines, shining a light-weight on cookbook authors who symbolize these cuisines.

Within the coming weeks you’ll get healthful dishes from India, Mexico, Ghana and North American Indigenous culinary traditions, every of which, in step with how I sometimes roll within the kitchen, are fast and easy to organize however supply a wow issue of taste and nourishment. After all there isn’t a one recipe that would mirror the whole thing of any tradition’s delicacies, and each nation contains micro cultures which have distinctive meals traditions. The concept isn’t to distill that wealth of selection right into a single dish however relatively to supply a style of healthful meals from around the globe to encourage you to discover additional.

First up, this mouthwatering, plant-powered curry from Meera Sodha’s guide “Recent India,” a nutritious, weeknight-friendly dinner that dispels any notion you could have of Indian meals being heavy or sophisticated, and highlights the extraordinary custom of India’s vegetarian delicacies. Sodha is from Gujarat, a small state on the nation’s western coast the place, she explains in her guide’s introduction, “over hundreds of years, a wealthy and resourceful vegetable-first method of cooking has developed.”

Her tackle chana saag, a dish she says is sort of as widespread in England, the place she lives now, as it’s in India, is particularly handy and fresh-tasting. It brims with healthful taste from fragrant spices and is full of protein-rich chickpeas, savory tomatoes and piles of just-wilted recent spinach. This one-pot stew comes collectively in below an hour and tastes even higher the following day.

I couldn’t agree extra with what Sodha expressed to me by way of e mail: “If readers need to eat a extra plant-based weight loss plan to place greens on the centre of their meals and for a myriad of how to cook dinner them merely and deliciously, I believe India is a superb place to look.”

And this dish, I’ll add, is a superb place to start out.

Chana Saag (Spinach, Tomato and Chickpea Curry)

Storage: Refrigerate for as much as 4 days.

The place to Purchase: Kashmiri chile and black mustard seeds may be discovered at well-stocked supermarkets, Indian markets or on-line.

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  • 3 tablespoons impartial oil, equivalent to canola or grapeseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 massive yellow onions (1 1/2 kilos whole), diced
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon grated recent ginger
  • One (14-ounce) can plum tomatoes, with their juices
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Two (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons floor coriander
  • 1 teaspoon floor Kashmiri chile (could substitute 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon effective salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon floor turmeric
  • 1 pound child spinach
  • Plain whole-milk or reduced-fat yogurt, for serving (elective)

In a really massive, huge, lidded pot over medium warmth, warmth the oil till shimmering. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook dinner, stirring, till they start to pop, about 30 seconds.

Add the onions and cook dinner, stirring sometimes, till translucent and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook dinner for two minutes extra. Add the tomatoes and their juices, crushing every tomato by hand as you add it to the pot, then stir within the water.

Cook dinner, uncovered, stirring sometimes, till a lot of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir within the chickpeas, coriander, floor chile, salt and turmeric to include. Working in batches, if wanted, add the spinach, letting it wilt so you possibly can stir it into the combination earlier than including extra spinach. Cowl and cook dinner, stirring sometimes, till the spinach is comfortable and tender, about 5 minutes.

Take away from the warmth, ladle into bowls and serve, topped with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

Per serving (beneficiant 1 cup)

Energy: 214; Complete Fats: 8 g; Saturated Fats: 1 g; Ldl cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 590 mg; Carbohydrates: 27 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugar: 2 g; Protein: 9 g

This evaluation is an estimate primarily based on obtainable elements and this preparation. It mustn’t substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s recommendation.

Tailored from “Recent India” by Meera Sodha (Flatiron Books, 2018).

Examined by Rachel Sadon; e mail inquiries to [email protected].

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