Hearty and easy-to-make chana palak or chickpea spinach curry made with chickpea, spinach, and spices. The recipe I am sharing here is made without onion or garlic, yet it is super delicious and flavorful. It is ready in 20 minutes and can be paired with rice, aloo paratha, or naan bread.
My chana palak recipe is inspired by the chickpea curry made at ISKCON, and this Hare Krishna recipe is for one of the popular curries served there. A typical Indian curry is made with onions, where onions are fried and then cooked with tomatoes and spices. Unlike the popular Punjabi chana masala, I am using tomatoes as the base of the curry in this recipe.
Why you will love this recipe
- This chickpea spinach curry is very easy to make.
- It is hearty and delicious and can be served with both rice and roti/bread.
- This chana palak recipe is made without onion and garlic. It is Jain-friendly and is suitable during Navratri fasting.
Chickpeas: I use canned chickpeas (see notes on how to substitute them with dried chickpeas).
Spinach: I use frozen spinach. If you are using fresh spinach, clean and roughly chop them before using it.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: Heat oil and add mustard seeds. Add cumin seeds, star anise, hing, and ginger. Saute for one minute (image 1). Add the tomatoes, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, chili powder, sugar, and salt (image 2).
Step 2: Mix well and saute for 3-4 minutes. Next, add the potatoes and saute for 2 minutes (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Add chickpeas, spinach, and one cup of water. Mix well and deglaze the pot (images 5 and 6).
Step 4: Cancel saute mode and set the
I have used 3 cans of chickpeas here (each can weighing 15 oz/425 grams). Drain the water and rinse the chickpea well.
Frozen spinach can be used directly without defrosting. If you are using fresh spinach, clean and chop them. Add them after pressure cooking the curry and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Canned tomatoes can be replaced with fresh tomatoes. If you are using fresh tomatoes, cook the tomatoes for 4-5 minutes, until they are soft and pulpy, before going to the next step.
Also, check out this recipe to make kala chana curry.
What to serve with chana palak?
Accompany with bread: Fresh and warm naan bread is a great choice to accompany chana palak.
You can store it in the refrigerator for up to five days. It also freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
If using dry chickpeas, soak them in water overnight. Follow this recipe until adding chickpea. Cook chickpea separately for 20 minutes, then add the frozen spinach and cook for a further 3 minutes. Use 1.5 cups of water to cook 1 cup of dried chickpeas.
Yes. This chana palak recipe is vegan and naturally gluten-free.
More recipes using chickpeas
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Chana Palak / Chickpea Spinach Curry (No Onion No Garlic)
- Drain the liquid from the canned chickpeas and rinse them thoroughly.
- Crush the kasoori methi between your palms and set it aside.
Making the curry:
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil.
- Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Add cumin seeds, star anise, hing, and ginger. Saute for one minute.
- Add the tomatoes, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, chili powder, sugar, and salt.
- Mix well and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add chickpeas and spinach. Add one cup of water and deglaze the pot.
- Cancel saute mode and set the Instant Pot in pressure cook mode for 3 minutes.
- Do a natural release of pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Open the IP lid once the pin drops. Add kasoori methi and garam masala.
- Mix well and serve hot.