Chana Saag (Chickpea and Spinach)

This is an incredibly flavorful dish that’s pretty easy to make, for anyone who has no experience cooking Indian food. There are a couple of special spices, but most of the ingredients you probably already are familiar with and may have in your pantry already.

Note: This recipe is spicy! I would say this is a 3 out of 5 on the spicy scale. If you’re someone who can’t handle a lot of spice, add less of the chili powder and garam masala, maybe half or even less of what’s called for. I wouldn’t recommend eliminating them completely because of the depth of flavor they add to the dish.

The best part about making curries is the large quantity! This recipe makes about 6 servings, which is great for sharing.

Step 1: Gather and Prep Ingredients

Step 2: Make the Curry Base

Step 3: Combine Remaining Ingredients

Served with Butter Chicken Curry, rice, and chapati here

Recipe: Chana Saag


  • 1 stick of butter (can substitute vegan butter)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1-2 large jalapeño, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 4 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 40 oz frozen spinach, washed and drained


In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter and oil together, then add in the onion and jalapeño. Cook until fragrant and onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Next add in the tomato and all spices (ginger, garlic, sugar, garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, and chili powder). Stir to coat onions and tomato mixture in spices, and let simmer for a couple minutes.

Add water, chickpeas, and spinach and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat down and let flavors develop for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.

Serve with chapati, naan, and/or basmati rice.


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